15th Annual North American One-Armed Golfers Association Championships
June 24, 2015 – Louisville, Ky. – Forty of the best one-armed golfers from the United States and abroad – including the top three players in the world and four veteran players from the local area – will compete in the 15th Annual North American One-Armed Golfers Association (NAOAGA) Championships June 28 – July 2 at four courses in Louisville and Southern Indiana. Champions will be crowned in three separate divisions in a traditional tournament format with the first two days of stroke play competition to determine the low eight qualifiers in each division, and the qualifiers moving on to match play. Non-qualifiers will continue to participate in a series of alternate shot and best ball events throughout the tournament.
The NAOAGA Championship will take place at Oxmoor Country Club and South Park Country Club in Louisville, Harmony Landing Country Club in Goshen, Ky., and Covered Bridge Golf Club in Sellersburg, Ind. The competition is open to the public and admission is free.
Champions will be crowned in the One-Arm Unassisted Division, where golfers touch the club with only one arm; the One-Arm Assisted Division, where golfers are allowed to utilize prosthetic devices and/or touch the club with two limbs; and One-Arm Net Division using traditional golf handicaps.
The NAOAGA will hold a fundraising Shamble at South Park Country Club on Sunday, June 28, with one-armed golfers paired with the corporate teams and interested local golfers. The one-armed golfers also will compete in a long drive contest on July 1 at Oxmoor Country Club. Slots are still open for the Shamble and the general public is invited to the long drive competition.
“During these past 15 years, the members of the NAOAGA have inspired many around the world with their competitiveness, camaraderie, courage and class,” said NAOAGA President Alan Gentry. “We’ve also introduced many ‘new’ disabled citizens to the game of golf, including wounded soldiers.”
“We’re thrilled to host this event in Louisville for the first time since 2001 and welcome the public to come out and play with us in a Shamble and watch these amazing and inspirational athletes compete at a very high level in a game that we truly love,” continued Gentry.
The NAOAGA Championship, held annually in different regions of the North America, is returning to its roots in Louisville for the first time in 15 years. Gentry will be joined by Bill Frey (Louisville), Scott Lusk (Guston, Ky.) and Steve Day (Sellersburg, Ind.) as the local participants in the four-day event. Top international and US players expected to compete are:
Jesse Florkowski, Alberta, Canada – Defending North American Unassisted Champion… Reigning Unassisted National ParaLong Drive Champion…arguably the best one-armed golfer in the world…led his college team last year to a berth in the Canadian Collegiate Championships…he has also bowled 10 perfect games.
Reinard “Rhino” Schuhknecht, South Africa – This big, powerful German now resides in South Africa and is the current world champion….played for Team Europe in the 2014 Fightmaster Cup in Scotland (one-armed golf’s equivalent to the Ryder Cup)…he hits it 300+ yards with one arm.
Alexander Hjalmarsson, Sweden – Has won three World One-Armed Championships, including the prestigious 2012 event in St. Andrews, Scotland, which is widely believed to be the strongest one-armed field ever assembled…two-time Team Europe competitor in the Fightmaster Cup.
Vince Biser, Florida – Won an unprecedented five consecutive North American Unassisted Championships from 2009-2013; three-time Fightmaster Cup competitor for Team America; one-armed player who is a ball-striking machine despite having cerebral palsy.
John Trenchik, Ohio – Four-time North American Assisted Division Champion, including three in a row from 2011-2013; three-time Fightmaster Cup competitor for Team America
Steve Quevillon, Montreal – Won 2006 North American Championship in Montreal; two-time member of Team North America in Fightmaster Cup; extremely inspirational player who has two healthy arms but is paralyzed from the waist down, holds himself upright with left hand on crutch, while he hits ball with right hand only; have to see it to believe it.
Michael O’Grady, Ireland – Won the 2008 North American Championship in Indiana; three-time Team Europe competitor in the Fightmaster Cup; two-time World Champion in 1982 and 1986; although now past his prime playing days, will still light up a room or camera with his delightful Irish personality.
John Barton, Florida – After being severely electrocuted, Barton has endured an amputation, massive injuries and burns over 80 percent of his body, has had more than 100 surgeries, but still is found grinding it out on the course with a constant smile and determination rarely exhibited anywhere; he will not shoot the lowest scores, but his presence delivers an inspirational memory never forgotten, as he is the absolute epitome of NAOAGA’s motto of never quit!
Alan Gentry, Louisville – Reigning para Long Drive One-Armed World Champion; played in all four Fightmaster Cup Events as a member of Team America. Runner up numerous times in the NAOAGA Championship.
Scott Lusk, Guston, KY – Won 2002 North American Championship in Florida…played in all four Fightmaster Cup Events as a member of Team America
Bill Frey, Louisville – Runner up in the Unassisted Division in Montreal….played on three of the four Fightmaster Cup teams and served as team captain on the one Fightmaster Cup in which he did not play
Steve Day, Sellersburg, IN – Won 2004 North American Championship at Cog Hill in Chicago….played in all four Fightmaster Cup Events as a member of Team America…also lead Singer in local band “Lefty and the Lunatics”
Gentry, Lusk, Frey and the legendary Don Fightmaster, a Louisvillian who became an international sensation by travelling to the British Isles in the 1970s and winning two consecutive Society of One-Armed Golfers World Championships, founded the NAOAGA in Louisville in October 2000. NAOAGA’s mission is to promote the game of golf to those who must play one-handed due to a physically challenged condition for the purpose of competition, recreation, and physical and emotional rehabilitation. NAOAGA organizes local, regional, national and international competitions for its membership; seeks opportunities to educate the public on the existence and benefits of one-armed golf; and strives to provide a forum for discussion of pertinent issues related to living with an upper-extremity disability.
North American One-Armed Golfers Association (NAOAGA) Championships – Schedule:
June 28 NAOAGA Shamble at South Park Country Club
June 29 Stroke play competition at Covered Bridge Golf Club, 11 a.m. first tee time
June 30 Stroke play competition at Harmony Landing Country Club, 10 a.m. first tee time
July 1 Match play competition at Oxmoor Country Club, 7:30 a.m. first tee time
July 1 Para Long Drive contest at Oxmoor Country Club, 3 p.m.
July 2 Match play competition at South Park Country Club, semifinals at 7:30 a.m.; finals at 1:30 p.m.
July 2 Awards Banquet at Muhammad Ali Center 7:30 p.m.
North American One-Armed Golfers Association (NAOAGA) Championships – Fact Sheet
- Forty one-armed athletes entered representing 15 US states, including Texas, California, Florida, New Mexico, New York and Rhode Island; three Canadian provinces – Alberta, Ontario and Quebec; and Sweden, Ireland and South Africa.
- Field includes the four, top one-arm unassisted golfers in the world, as well as local one-armed phenoms Alan Gentry, Scott Lusk, Steve Day and Bill Frey.
- Championships to be played over four days at four separate host golf clubs across the Louisville area – Covered Bridge Golf Club in Sellersburg, Ind.; Harmony Landing Country Club in Goshen, Ky.; and Oxmoor Country Club and South Park Country Club in Louisville, Ky.
- Champions will be crowned in three separate divisions (One-Arm Unassisted, One-Arm Assisted and One-Arm Net using golf handicaps)
- Defending Champions of both the One-Arm Unassisted and One-Arm Assisted Divisions will be competing, as well as nine former North American champions and two European players responsible for winning the last five European one-arm titles.
- This will be the first year a “Net” Division will be held, which is established for the older and less-established one-armed players.
- The entire tournament week is open to public spectators; admission is free
- There are a few late-entry spots available for any local one-armed golfers desiring to play in the competition who are members of the NAOAGA