The Wednesday Morning Golfers
In June 2010, Gary Donald came to Community Living Huntsville seeking people with which to share his love of golf. The goal was simple; to have fun, meet new friends and share what he knew about golf. The group that Gary began is now celebrating their 10th summer, and continues to meet every Wednesday morning from late June to mid-September at the Deerhurst Lakeside Golf Course. Since the first summer, there have been eleven people participate along with a group of seven golf volunteers, and while some people have joined and moved on, there is still a core group that show up every Wednesday morning. One of the original golfers shared that each person that has joined has been very appreciated and a joy to teach.
The golfers have been able to continue the group with the support of the Deerhurst Lakeside Golf Course. Over the last ten summers, Deerhurst has generously donated the golf fees for the people supported, a cart for those with mobility needs and the staff to help each week.
The volunteers can’t emphasize enough how tremendously important this weekly golf game has become to them. Their understanding of the breadth of mental health issues and diversity continues to increase. They ensure that every week everyone gets there, the game goes on, and they would “crawl through broken glass to make sure it happens every week. It is very important to all of us.”
Rex Malloy, who has been part of the group since the beginning, says that he has learned a lot over the years. He laughingly said that people are surprised at how well he golfs and that he has a great shot on the driving range. He golfed when he was younger with his father, and is proud that he is able to continue spending time on the course with friends. Rex also puts his skills to good use teaching new members what he has learned. Rex says that it is nice to play and that it is lots of fun out there too, but what he seems to value most is the friendships and the time spent sitting and having a snack after a game of golf.
Every week this summer, the golfers will be out on the course. If you were to see them, what you would see is a group of friends gathering around an activity that they enjoy. What you would see is inclusion.
You can also check out the golfers in action in the Community Living Huntsville video, “Celebrating Inclusion”.