Therapeutic golf programs allow people with disabilities to do things they never thought possible

AUGUSTA, Georgia (WJBF) – Shims and Wood is a teaching center on the driving range and over the years has become a place that helps people with disabilities.

“On Wednesdays, we hold an adapted golf clinic across the Marty Turcios Foundation then a few times a month we do the GSGA Clinics and then we also run PGA Hope clinics,” said Nick Prokosa, owner of Wedges and Woods.

Wedges and Woods offers three different types of adaptive carts that allow people with disabilities to do things they never thought possible.

“Even if you’re paralyzed, we can strap you in and the frame itself holds you up and becomes your spine for you,” Prokosa said.

The Adaptive Golf Clinic helps people with minor injuries like paralysis, cerebral palsy, strokes, and other disabilities get out and enjoy the hobby they love, and it’s free.

“It’s just to help people. I myself had five herniated discs. I know how limited I am on certain things. So being able to give back to those people and being able to get them out there and do something without having to pay for it helps them a lot,” Prokosa said.

“Well, I played golf until about 2007 when MS kind of took my legs off and I didn’t do anything until we found the course here, Wedges and Woods, and Nick and his team,” said Laurie Wilkes.
“When I started I could barely hit the mat here and now I’m able to hit it from a minimum of 65 yards,” Julie Shade said.

“Well, it’s just a life-changing program. It’s people helping people and that general sense, but it’s the use of adaptations, whether it’s equipment, d approach, techniques, because there are so many golf outlets and we want to make it as accessible as possible for people,” said Adaptive Golf Director David Windsor.

People who participate in golf therapy have seen nothing but improvements since they got out and tried the program.

“It’s amazing to see the transformation of some of these people,” Prokosa said.

“The fact that I can swing again and do what I love to do and just love doing it again,” Wilkes said.

“It allows me to be able to participate like everyone else. I don’t really have to struggle to do anything. I am able to do it to my full capacity,” Shade said.

“They were a godsend. Like I said Nick put it all together and works with Marty every week and Ricky on top of Marty, they’ve been great here. So, I enjoyed every second. It helped my mobility. It has definitely helped my golf game since I haven’t done anything for so long and now I’m playing the golf club again,” Wilkes said.

“I want to say thank you because if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here doing this. I am very grateful to the volunteers. I am very grateful to Nick. I am very grateful to everyone who gives me this chance,” Shade said.

Therapeutic golf programs aim to help those in need and to make the sport of golf accessible to everyone. If you are a golfer in the area, you can help.

“We are always looking for other people around the game. We are looking for volunteers who can be involved in the game, passionate about golf, passionate about people, and want to lend a hand and guide. Whether it’s throwing the ball for someone or helping them get back into this great sport,” Windsor said.

If you are looking to volunteer for the GSGA Clinic CLICK HERE.