Charity funds UK’s first adaptive putting green

Growing Golf

The first putting green in the UK specially adapted for users with wheelchairs and mobility aids is to be installed at Walmley Golf Club, Birmingham.

Walmley Golf Foundation Community Interest Company (CIC) has announced plans to open the artificial short game area and putting green in May 2024, after receiving a grant for £44,500 from Sutton Coldfield Charitable Trust (SCCT).

The pioneering project will make golf more accessible for local people with disabilities in the West Midlands and break down barriers to participation, such as the high cost of mobility devices designed for use on turf.

Lesley Robbins, Chairwoman at Walmley Golf Foundation, told Golf Business: “This grant from SCCT will provide substantial help in getting the artificial putting green and short game area put in place and allow more access to people with mobility issues such as paraplegics, amputees, stroke victims, wheelchairs users and people using walking aids. We believe that golf should be inclusive to all as an activity.”

The foundation was set up in 2017 and has funded and delivered golf sessions for more than 1,000 disabled people from over 40 organisations, using the Birmingham club as its base.

The putting green will measure 30 feet by 40 feet and be situated in front of Walmley’s three-bay covered driving range and teaching studio.

Disabled chipping area

Head coach Sam Stuart is passionate about helping people realise that they can play golf despite their individual disability and calls the green a ‘game changer’.

“We are very grateful for the support of SCCT, as everything that we do at the foundation is paid for by donations and fundraising. This grant will make the putting green a reality,” said Stuart.

The foundation hopes that the project will be replicated at other clubs across the UK and inspire other facilities to improve access to golf for the disabled.

The area will be constructed from durable artificial grass suitable to withstand repeated use and have two teeing areas for chipping and pitching, accessible by a surfaced pathway from the clubhouse.