"I can't play golf in a wheelchair."
This is the reply I received from a new patient at Ranken Jordan when I asked him if he wanted to play golf with us. Before responding to him I slowly looked around, making sure he saw what I was doing, and looked at the other 4 junior golfers who were already outside rolling putts, hitting chip shots, and working on their swing. As we looked he noticed the same thing I did. All 4 of the other kids who were out there were in wheelchairs as well. Each one was smiling, laughing, and having a good time. If not for the pediatric hospital we walked through to get to the field you might think we were at any golf course or driving range on a typical summer day.
Part of me likes hearing comments like the one at the start of this post. In a way I take it as a challenge to prove to them that they can play golf. As long as the kids who feel this way are willing to give golf a try, they will soon see that playing golf is definitely possible. Usually all it takes is one made putt or one solid shot and they are hooked! Proving to the kids that they can play golf regardless of their medical situation is one part of the significant benefits the kids receive from playing golf. Just because they may be in a wheelchair or have other physical limitations does not mean they cannot participate in activities just like every other kid. The physical requirements of golf allow for a wide variety of benefits as related to their physical therapy.