Bob Beach, the 2013 PGA Patriot Award winner and a New England PGA Section Hall of Fame member, is the PGA head professional at Braintree Municipal Golf Course
Bob Beach on the importance of hosting Special Olympics golf leagues:
Our weekly clinics for people with special needs at the Braintree Municipal Golf Course has grown to over 100 people. We recently formed a league for our Special Olympic athletes that would enable them to get out on the golf course and play more often. We have five teams of eight players. The teams play three-hole matches for a flag, similar to the PGA Junior League golf format. Each player has a unified partner (a person who helps the Special Olympics athlete out on the golf course) and also competes. The teams play one another in heated competitions, which really helps them get excited about golf and prep for the NEPGA/Special Olympic tournament at Braintree Municipal. The teams also compete against each other each week in various skills such as driving, pitching, and putting. In addition, we have set up matches with other courses in Massachusetts and Rhode Island as traveling events.
Bob Beach on the business impact of hosting Special Olympics golf leagues:
On average we see roughly 40 – 60 or roughly 50 percent of our participants coming back to practice on their own. Our program is offered at no cost as we’ve had several donations from generous individuals in our town. Each Special Olympic athlete has a unified partner to play with. We have found that many times this unified partner or coach is a lapsed golfer. This lapsed golfer often times has a new perspective of the game and will continue to utilize our facility and drive revenue. They see the spirit of the game and how golf can be more fun.