Manon Eggermont is proud that the European Championship for Golfers with a Disability will be held in the Netherlands •

Manon Eggermont is proud that the European Championship for Golfers with a Disability will be held in the Netherlands •

Manon Egermont has worked for EDGA, the European Paragulf Golf Association, for seventeen years – the last four as tournament director. This year she can finally stage a home game, because The European Singles Championship for Golfers with a DisabilityHeld every two years, he comes to the Netherlands for the first time.

Extra trot

Eggermont is anything but nervous about the upcoming tournament. She is particularly interested in him. “Everything is running smoothly and the collaboration with NGF is fantastic. As it stands, this will be our most prestigious European tournament ever. And the fact that he is also in my country, of course, makes it even more fun – and secretly also very proud.”

This event is not inferior to the average DP World Championship

With a job like the Dutch, it’s bound to be a European championship with a lot of prestige. Previously, major tournaments such as the KLM Open, Challenge Tour and Senior Tour competitions were held. “In addition, thanks to BMVG (Promotion of the Less Good for Golf), we have accumulated a huge budget and can now treat our players to a real party with a welcome dinner and cocktail. That’s not all, we even have real player lounges. This event is not inferior to the average DP World Championship. The bar is high.”

Incidentally, the modifications were hardly necessary in the Dutch. “It was very little,” Eggermont explains. “We use the same boxes. The bunkers are slightly modified. They’ll have a kind of bridge for the parachutists, so they don’t damage the edges of the bunker. We get small vans from the Handicart Foundation and special exits for wheelchair users are built here and there. It was in fact. You know the big clubs and federations Well how do they organize tournaments. The only thing they have to take good care of is that they remove as many restrictions as possible so that players on the golf course can be golfers. Because they know the game on the golf course.”

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Lage disabilities

In total, more than eighty players from all over the world attended the tournament. “We will soon have 21 nationalities roaming around. Very cool from Australia to South Africa and even from America. It is still officially called the European Championship, because it was launched by the EGA (European Golf Association). But during the individual European Championship players are allowed all over the world. Sign up. It’s more or less the same story as it was back then with the European Tour.”

Looking at the field, 68 players have a handicap of 7 or less. More than half of them play from a handicap of 3 or less. Tournament MVP has an exceptionally low handicap: -5.0.

“It really indicates level,” Eggermont adds. “During the European Championship for Golfers with a Handicap, three tournaments are played simultaneously. There is a European Championship for men, women and paragliders. Due to their limitations, these so-called wheelchair players have a slightly higher handicap due to the shorter distances they can reach. But make no mistake, they play the best sports. They do the same preparations, watch their diet and adjust their bodies accordingly.”

They have lost their leg, but this does not mean that they cannot participate in society

With the arrival of this tournament in the Netherlands, Eggermont hopes that golf for people with disabilities will receive more attention in our country. “To achieve this, we hold workshops for golf course managers and owners on Wednesdays along with NGF and some players. On Fridays we hold clinics for people with disabilities who want to try this sport. With this we show everyone that we are golfers and we have a disability. We’re golfers first and foremost. That’s how we want to be seen and treated.”

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According to Eggermont, the fact that players in this tournament have a handicap is a side issue. “Yeah, you break your neck on prostheses at the end of the day and there are wheelchairs in the way. But our players are no different from you and me. They lost a leg, but that doesn’t mean they can’t participate in society. Something they all do. It’s part of the taboo that still remains.” We unfortunately have to break it in many countries. Also with the owner of the golf course or the golf professional. Even if someone came to court and amputated their leg: Well, because you can see it: we only have players with additional disabilities walking.”

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