British Inclusive Golf (BIG) is a registered Charity giving people with disabilities the opportunity to participate in golf. BIG work with groups that would not normally have the chance to try golf, the activities help improve mobility, concentration and confidence.
This year BIG have been fortunate to have PHAB from Wirral sponsor shirts for the event to be held at Cardona Hotel in Peebles.
Through the program that BIG run we hope to find many more disabled golfers who can participate in the game along with non-disabled golfers. There are competitions for all disabled golfers throughout the UK run by organisations like Disabled Golf Association (DGA) and Scottish Disabled Golf Partnerships (SDGP) as well as the opportunity to join any golf club.
The Phoenix Cup was organised by Jim Gales of SDGP and Kevin Booth of BIG to encourage disabled golfers to play in a team event with each game being a pairs related format that helps promote team work and avoids isolation of individuals. Although the Phoenix cup is friendly competition it does deliver a very strong competitive desire from both sides.
The format of the phoenix cup is Day 1 5 games of Foursomes, Day 2 is 5 games of Greensomes and Day 3 is 5 games of Pairs Match play. In total 15 points are available. The team leading must give their team to the opposition in advance so that the team behind can try and engineer a level playing field.
The BIG Team will be captained by Mike Oxley from Wirral, Mike is 58 and is an ex coldstream Guard who suffered an accident in Northern Ireland and was disabled out in 1979. He is now North West co-ordinator for BIG working closely with his wife Wendy a stroke survivor who he cares for. Handicap 21
The rest of the team is:
Kevin Booth from Huddersfield a retired Telecommunication engineer who served 12 years in the RAF and worked throughout Europe and Asia on mobile phone networks but had to retire because of Bi-lateral ligament damage to ankles. Having stopped playing golf for 5 years his enthusiasm for the game was revitalised after joining DGA, he now runs the Charity BIG with his wife Cerise. Handicap 14
Ian Halliwell from Wigan but living in Hawes, aka the social golfer, a ball on every ocean and a divot on every continent. 6 British Par 3 titles, 2 wins on the golf channel tour in the USA, winner of the F g Tait and Barney Barnato in South Africa, first overseas player to win the Florida disabilities open and vice-captain winning North American Phoenix Cup. Handicap 21
Ian Slowther from Newcastle joined disabled golf 3 years ago after an industrial accident in 2007 resulting in amputation of his right leg. Enjoys playing golf at club level and representing BIG in all disabled golf competitions. Handicap 13
John Irvine from Blyth was an insurance under writer until an accident in 2010 that left him with his right leg below the knee being amputated and extensive injuries to left leg. Now working part time for Alzheimer’s society. Handicap 16
Billy Lloyd from Huddersfield joined Arethusa training ship in 1957 aged 14 then the Royal Navy in 1959 as a communications rating going on to serve for 25 years on Destroyers, frigates, and minesweepers reaching the rank of Chief communications Yeoman and now has hearing difficulties from working closely with explosives. Handicap 19
James Gallagher from Huddersfield is in 3rd year at University studying honours degree in sports coaching, he has left hemiplegia, type of Cerebral palsy affecting nerves and muscles in his left side. Handicap 16
David Standing from Wigan is an Amputee who lost his leg in an accident while living in South Africa. Handicap 10
Anthony Stewart from Blyth started playing golf 7 years ago after meeting his disabled wife whose son ran a pub golf society. Suffering from Psoriasis and allergy to rubber thought that golf was not for him but has never looked back since starting. Working on London underground for 25 years retired early to look after his disabled wife and moved back to his native North East. Handicap 18
Lewis Eccles is 14 years old from Doncaster and is Golf Trust UK Disabled Open Junior Champion and Special Olympic GB Athlete in Golf. Also just named Doncaster Disabled Sports Person of the year 2015. Handicap 12
BIG will be well supported by BIG Chairperson Cerise Booth, Trustee Wendy Oxley, Thelma Lloyd, Jackie Stewart, June Booth and Peter Eccles (Caddie and Carer of Lewis) who are all staying at the Cardona Hotel for the competition.
British Inclusive Golf are proud to be part of this event, no matter who wins the real winner is golf for people with disabilities and those who enjoy playing with people with disabilities because INCLUSIVE is the what the charity aim to achieve. We thank Jim Gales, Alan Robertson and Stevie Cunningham plus all SDGP players for making the event a success in 2014 and hope that 2015 will achieve the same sportsmanship and closely fought games as before.
Tee Times for those who may wish to come and watch at Cardona Hotel PEEBLES are as follows:
Day 1 Monday 8th June – 13.56 -14.36
Day 2 Tuesday 9th June – 10.44 – 11.24
Day 3 Wednesday 10th June – 10.20 – 11.00.