Latest News from Return to Golf
Northern Ohio Golf Association Receives $60,000 Grant to Help Disabled Golfers
By Pat Galbincea, The Plain Dealer
The Northern Ohio Golf Association's program to help disabled golfers got a $60,000 boost in December from the Harold C. Schott Foundation.
The grant will mean a significant increase to the association's 'Return to Golf program, according to Bob Wharton, executive director of the association's charities.
"We've wanted to do a better job for golfers with disabilities," Wharton said. "We want to get them physically stronger, using golf as the carrot. This grant will enable us to do that."
The money will be used to hire a golf pro and a therapist one day a week, Wharton said.
He said the grant will also enable the golf association to complete its Wellness Center in the basement of its headquarters in North Olmsted. The center is designed so that golfers who have physical disabilities can exercise.
The facility is also used during the summer in inclement weather. Golfers conduct putting contests there and can receive lessons for free.
In good weather, golfers can play the nine-hole association-owned North Olmsted Golf Club.
The Schott Foundation grant will also enable the golf association to purchase specialized golf equipment, including a golf simulator.
Wharton secured the grant with the help of Cleveland Clinic physical therapist Jeffrey Ciolek. Wharton and Ciolek were the key figures in establishing the Return to Golf program in 2002.
Initially, the association had a golf pro and a therapist who volunteered and worked with about 20 golfers with physical disabilities on Tuesdays during the summer. The program has since grown, as the group now works with about 20 golfers during the winter months, and up to 35 golfers during the summer.
"Whether you have a disability or not, most golfers want to see how well and how far they are hitting the golf ball," Wharton said. "This grant will help us get the equipment we need to hook up golfers so they can see how well they are executing the golf swing."
(The Plain Dealer)
NOGA Charities & Foundation Opens New Fitness Center
The NOGA Wharton Golf Center was missing one piece for its Return To Golf program – a Fitness Center. Now, thanks in part to a grant from the Harold C. Schott Foundation, our puzzle is complete.
The NOGA Fitness Center is an 800-square foot facility located in the lower level of the Wharton Golf Center (next to the indoor golf range). This spacious room is fully equipped with high quality, easy-to-use, equipment geared toward helping individuals perform rehabilitation-based fitness and conditioning. The Fitness Center features state-of-the-art fitness equipment, including Cardon Rehabilitation Pulley Systems, K-TRAINER Biofeedback System, TRUEStretch Flexibility Platform and NuStep Recumbent Cross Trainer.
During weekly sessions, physical therapists utilize the Fitness Center to help Return to Golf participants enhance flexibility, improve balance and increase overall strength.
Jerry Ludvik Return to Golf Outing Celebrates Another Year of Accessible Golf
A record number of participants gathered for the 7th annual Jerry Ludvik Return to Golf Outing at the North Olmsted Golf Club on Friday, August 24. The event was sponsored by the Jerry Ludvik Memorial Golf Fund.
More than 70 golfers comprised of Return to Golf participants, their families and program supporters celebrated another year of accessible golf and the success of NOGA Charities & Foundation's Return to Golf program for golfers with disabilities.
Jerry Ludvik was the head golf professional at Springvale Golf Course in North Olmsted until he unexpectedly passed away in December of 2005. His passion for teaching golf to those with special needs and disabilities lead his wife, Debbie, to establish the Jerry Ludvik Memorial Golf Fund to carry on his legacy. Her fund annually conducts the Jerry Pole Golf Classic at Springvale Golf Course.
Thanks to Debbie, the annual Jerry Pole Golf Classic raised $3,000 in 2012. A check was presented to Trevor Hazen, Director of Return to Golf, at the Jerry Ludvik Return to Golf Outing. Since 2006, the Jerry Ludvik Memorial Golf Fund has contributed $18,833 to NOGA Charities & Foundation and Return to Golf.
Every year, the Return to Golf player of the year is announced at the Jerry Ludvik Return to Golf Outing. The Player of the Year award recognizes an individual who demonstrates great determination and commitment to the program. This year's award winner, John Trevis, exemplifies all that is good about Return to Golf and is the first to recognize how the program has changed his life. John is a great friend to all, welcoming new participants and giving encouragement along the way.
The Jerry Ludvik Return to Golf Outing would like to thank Chick-fil-A of Great Northern Boulevard in North Olmsted. Outing participants were treated to their signature Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwiches for lunch, with cookies and ice cream for dessert. Angelina's Pizza also supported the event by donating gift certificates to each golfer for complimentary pizza.
Return To Golf Brings the Course Indoors
For most golfers in northeast Ohio, the end of the golf season is traditionally marked by the arrival of winter. Golf courses are covered with a blanket of snow and the opportunities to swing the club must be put on hold until spring. Fortunately, Return To Golf participants now have the ability to tee it up all winter long thanks to the donation of an OptiShot Infrared Golf Simulator from Dancin' Dogg Golf.
During the winter months, Return To Golf is conducted indoors at the Wharton Golf Center in North Olmsted. This facility is located adjacent to the North Olmsted Golf Club and houses Return To Golf's indoor driving range and fitness center. Last month, NOGA Charities & Foundation added equipment to enhance these facilities and allow program participants the opportunity to experience additional recreational therapy during the week.
"The new Optishot has been great. Program participants are able to utilize the facility additional days during the week and stay active during the long winter months. Whether they are practicing or playing a championship course, participants receive instant feedback on each shot, increasing their enjoyment and focus." - Trevor Hazen, Return To Golf Director
In addition to regularly scheduled program days, Return To Golf participants are invited to play golf on the OptiShot golf simulator with other participants and volunteers. To learn more about the OptiShot Infrared Golf Simulator visit www.dancindogg.com.