Golf has proven to be a wonderful way for people with disabilities to refocus on their abilities and redirect their thoughts to the positive side of life.

Recreational therapists developed the concept of Challenge Golf, as a means of providing therapeutic benefits to persons recovering from strokes, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, amputations and neuromuscular disorders.

The program has expanded to include adults and children with visual impairments, persons with developmental challenges, and those with less disabling impairments, such as hip or knee replacements. It is designed to assist all individuals, both disabled and able-bodied in learning the game of golf for the first time or experienced golfers in need of adaptive assistance.

It also provides a supportive atmosphere to encourage persons with disabilities to play golf and build their skills, as well as helps individuals set goals, grow in confidence and self-esteem, and improve their mental and physical health.

Classes are taught by PGA Professional Ron Tristano and other qualified staff. Both individual and group classes are offered.

Class curriculum includes:

  • Introduction to golf
  • History and rules
  • Fundamentals of the golf swing
  • Chipping and putting
  • Strengthening and flexibility exercises
  • Introduction to the use of woods
  • Golf activities

Upcoming Challenge Golf Events and Classes

Special Volunteer Opportunity

Challenge Golf is in need of volunteers to staff concession tents for the Bridgestone PGA Senior Invitational to be held July 10-14, 2019 at Firestone Country Club. Volunteer and then go and watch some of the golf tournament. Proceeds benefit Challenge Golf. For more information, contact PGA Professional, Ron Tristano, at 330.784.5400.

Youth Programs

Annually, the golf course provides classes for the Akron City After-School Program, Summer School Program and hosts an LPG/USGGA Girls Golf Program.

Other programs include:

  • Akron City Schools Special Education Classes
  • Special Olympics
  • Junior Golfers
  • Area Veterans Hospitals
  • Blind Centers
  • University of Akron

About the Challenge Golf Course

Built in 1991 and opened in 1992, Challenge Golf Course was the first facility in the nation designed specifically for persons with disabilities. The entire program has been a model and information resource for similar programs, both nationally and internationally.

The three-hole Golf Course has three sets of tees each, allowing for a full nine-hole round. Special features include wheelchair-accessible paths, especially in the areas of tees and greens; handrails on the tees and in areas where access is critical, and slopes with incline of eight percent or less in areas where access is most critical.

The driving range is located on 12 acres across from the golf course. It features a 3,500-square-foot tee area for persons with disabilities and a putting green.

The Learning Center features an indoor hitting range are that allows classes to be taught year-around.

All areas are open to the public and both disabled and able-bodied golfers of all ages.
All equipment is provided by the Cleveland Clinic Akron General Foundation. However, golfers can bring and use their own equipment.

The Challenge Golf Course is funded by the generous contributions of people like you. For more information on how you can become involved, contact the Cleveland Clinic Akron General Foundation at 330.344.6888.

For more information about Challenge Golf, please call 330.784.5400.

1596 Flickinger Road
Akron, OH 44312

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