By Stefan Taylor

NORTH OLMSTED, OHIO – The Return To Golf® program was pleased to welcome nationally recognized adaptive golf instructor Anthony Netto to the Wharton Golf Center at North Olmsted Golf Club last week (October 6).  Netto, a veteran of Operation Desert Storm, flew in from California where he lives full time.  His promising golf career was cut short by a car accident in which he suffered paralysis from the waist down.  He later founded the Stand Up & Play Foundation, traveling throughout the country working with different organizations, community centers, rehabilitation hospitals and golf courses to promote active standing therapy programs for the physically disabled.

Netto’s visit was prompted by the programs extensive use of adaptive golf equipment, offering five SoloRider Golf Cars and two Paramobile devices.

“The Paramobile has been a game-changer for our program,” stated director Frank Rihtar.  “Our primary focus has been eliminating barriers for individuals of every physical disability and providing them a unique opportunity to benefit both physically and mentally.”

The day was highlighted by an adaptive golf clinic held on the first fairway of the North Olmsted Golf Club. During the clinic, Netto demonstrated the opportunity for paralyzed golfers to enjoy the game of golf, while gaining a sense of independence through the use of a Paramobile and programs like Return To Golf®.

Netto spent most of the day working with program staff and participants, and also spent time fitting participants to utilize the Paramobile.

“When learning how to walk, you have to stand up once more than you fall down. This applies for both a small child and an adult. It holds true for learning how to walk, but in a transferred sense, also for life itself,” said Netto.  “With a handicap it is an even steeper challenge. I have experienced that myself. For every physically handicapped person, the Paramobile is an important and valuable tool that gives you a bit more freedom.”

The day was capped off by an open house in the Wharton Golf Center at North Olmsted Golf Club, the home of the Return To Golf® program.  The state-of-the-art facility was opened to the public for tours and to help spread the message about the life-changing program.

“With Anthony’s clinic and the Return To Golf® open house at the Wharton Golf Center we are increasing the public’s awareness to all the good things that are going on here,” said Chief Executive Officer Robb Schulze, PGA.  “I am proud of our staff and the commitment that they give to each and every participant.  And I am equally proud of the participants who trust us to help them make a difference in their lives.”

Stefan Taylor is the Communications Manager for the Return To Golf® program, email him at staylor@noga.org