In 2014, in conjunction with Special Olympics Ireland and their Eastern Region, we sought to create as much opportunity as possible for their golf athletes to gain access to golf to aid their continued enjoyment of the game of golf. As a result, the Special Olympics Eastern Region Golf League supported by Synergy golf was born.
The SOI Eastern Region Golf League had been running for over 6 consecutive years. Unfortunately, due to the Covid 19 pandemic, it has been on pause since the end of 2019. Everyone associated with the event is excited to see it resume in due course.
When did Golf become part of the Special Olympics?
Following the 1995 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Minneapolis-St Paul USA, golf was introduced to Special Olympics Ireland.
Differences of Special Olympics Golf:
Special Olympics offers varying events for competition, but in individual stroke play competitions, there are a couple of variations from the rules of golf provided by the International Federation.
First, if a 10th stroke is played without holing the shot, the player shall record a score of “10x” and proceed to the next hole. In the place of a tie for first place, the winner can be decided (when a playoff is not feasible) by the number of “10x” scores on an athlete’s scorecard. The player with the fewest number of “10x” scores shall be declared the winner.
Special Olympics Ireland offers golf at four different levels:
Level 1 is an individual skills programme, where athletes are given the opportunity to develop each of 6 skills in isolation.
Level 2 involves moving onto the golf course, playing alternate shots with a volunteer partner.
Level 4 involves playing 9 holes independently.
Level 5 involves playing 18 holes independently.
By the numbers:
In 2019, 631 Special Olympics Ireland athletes participated in Golf
Events for Competition:
Individual Skills Competition
Alternate Shot Team Play Competition (9 hole)
Individual Stroke Play Competition (9 hole)
Individual Stoke Play Competition (18 hole)