Golf club appoints wheelchair golfer as captain for first time

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire February 12, 2019 07:40

A Derbyshire golf club has become the first in England and probably the world to appoint a wheelchair golfer as its club captain.

Terry Kirby has taken office at Tapton Park Golf Club, Chesterfield, almost exactly 25 years after a tumour in his spinal cord cost him the use of his legs.

“Then, I was thinking that’s it, I’ll never play golf again and it was a total change in my life. But 25 years later I’m captain of a golf club,” said the 63-year-old.

He’s taking on the role as a golfer: “I have never been treated any different from anyone else within the club. When I first started some people thought they had to give concessions but I soon put a stop to that! I’m just treated as any other golfer. That’s how I want it.”

He added: “I rock up and have a laugh and a joke and get the mickey taken out of me, just like anyone else.”

His story also highlights the work of the charity for wheelchairs golfers, the Handigolf Foundation, which he chairs.

Handigolf, which is supported by England Golf, not only organises competitions but hires buggies to wheelchair users who want to get back on the fairway, or take up golf.

Terry came across Handigolf when his physiotherapist spotted a flyer for a taster day. He went along and four weeks later was playing in his first disability competition. He returned the next year and won it!

Terry enjoys all aspects of the game, but particularly the competition. He’s held a handful of national disability titles and has been a European title runner-up.

“There are other wheelchair sports,” says Terry. “But I always say golf is a sport for life, once you are into it, that’s it.

“To be perfectly honest, golf has really kept me going. It’s been the mainstay of my life over the last 25 years.”

He plays off a handicap of 26, saying “Not bad for one arm and sitting down!”

Jamie Blair, England Golf disability manager, commented: “Congratulations to Terry and best wishes for a fantastic year as captain. It has been great to work with Terry over the past five years and see his passion for the game.

“His captaincy will raise awareness of disability golf and the opportunities for people who previously played, but might have stopped due to injury or illness. Terry is proof that there is a way to adapt to make the game for all.”


Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire February 12, 2019 07:40
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  1. JM February 12, 06:19

    My dear friend popeye Terry congratulations you deserve the captain position. You prove there are no barriers and you travel the world and compete overseas representing your club with loyalty and respect for the Club.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Graham February 12, 10:22

    The right man for the job………. simple really. Kudos to the club, great one guys!!!

    Reply to this comment
  3. kelly February 12, 12:02

    Brilliant! Stacey Jeffries- love this forward thinking golf club

    Reply to this comment
  4. Mike February 12, 14:20

    Awesome and inspiring. I am currently recovering from a nasty condition which has left me with a disability where i am looking at ways to get back on the course. Going to look into this.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Adrian February 12, 17:54

    Ganstead Golf Club has a wheelchair golfer captain for 2020 for the first time.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Andrew February 14, 11:54

    I’ve played many rounds with Terry on the disabled European tour, top bloke and fully deserved.

    Reply to this comment
  7. lazio February 16, 14:31

    what do you suggest a best golf cart

    Reply to this comment
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