Winter 2017 issue of Florida Golf Magazine features "The Florida Golf Architecture of Arthur Hills" Click here to read it.
2021 (Low Gross) Reigning Champion, Kenny BontzPictured here on the left, receiving the tournament trophy is the 2-time open tournament winner and the 2021 reigning champion, Kenny Bontz, from Bradenton, Florida, who won the 16th Annual Florida Open Tournament for Golfers with Disabilities and-or Mobility Challenges. As always the player with the lowest gross score gets the honor of having their name inscribed on the permanent open tournament trophy.
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Don't miss the 2023 Florida Open Tournament for Golfers with Disabilities and-or Mobility Challenges on Sat. Oct. 14, 2023, 12-noon at Long Marsh Golf Club.
Golfers without disabilities are also encouraged to play in this annual "All Inclusive" tournament, alongside of their "friends-with-disabilities". Everyone with a USGA Handicap is eligible to compete for prizes in the Low Net Award categories. The $50 entry fee includes 18 holes of golf, cart fee, range-balls, prizes, & dinner (Award Banquet). For tournament details see http://floridagolfmagazine.com/open/pre-register.html
2021 Ladies (Low Gross) Winner, Cindy LawrencePictured here on the left, receiving her tournament trophy is the 2021 Ladies (Low Gross) Winner, Cindy Lawrence, from Lehigh Acres, Florida.
2021 Mens (Low Net) Winner, Mike HardenPictured here on the left, receiving his tournament trophy is the 2021 Mens (Low Net) Winner, Mike Harden, from Cape Coral, Florida.
The open tournament was founded in 2006 by Florida Golf Magazine with the help of some initial “much needed” guidance provided by the National Alliance for Accessible Golf and the Adaptive Golf Association. Just as it has been since its inception, this tournament is definitely not-for-profit. The bare-bones entry fee of $50 has always included 18-hole green fees, cart fee, (dinner) an award banquet, range balls and prizes. This open tournament raises no money for any cause, nor does it try to get anyone to join any organizations or foundations of any kind. The goal of this “all inclusive” open tournament has always been to have fun playing golf, while raising awareness of accessibility issues concerning golfers with disabilities and/or mobility challenges. For full tournament results and details see http://floridagolfmagazine.com/open
Though all the players are most certainly winners, listed here are the past Open Tournament Champions so far.
Steve Shipuleski 2010, 13, 16, 17 & 2019
5-Time Winner, Steve Shipuleski, from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, won the open tournament in 2010, 2013, 2016 2017 and 2019.
Virgil Price 2006
Virgil Price, a St Petersburg resident and former Treasurer of the National Amputee Golf Association (NAGA), dominated the inaugural tournament in 2006, winning 1st Place overall, scoring a gross 72 on the challenging 18 holes at Kissimmee Bay.
Mike Hudson 2008
Mike Hudson shot a 75 to win 1st place Overall in the 3rd Annual Florida Open Tournament for Golfers with Disabilities and/or Mobility Challenges held on 7/14/2008. Born with one hand, Mike Hudson is a Volunteer Golf Instructor in Pasco County.
Monroe Berkman 2007
Tampa resident, Monroe Berkman, a polio survivor, won the 2007 Florida Open Tournament for Golfers with Disabilities, playing every shot, including sandtraps from his SoloRider Adaptive Golfcar. Berkman, who shot 80 had no problems hitting out of the bunkers using his stand-up seat to support him during his full golf swing.
Ian Halliwel 2009
Stroke survivor, Ian Halliwel came all the way from England and shot a 74 to win 1st Place Low Gross in the 2009 Florida Open Tournament for Golfers with Disabilities and/ or Mobility Challenges. Now his name is also inscribed on the prestigious Open tournament trophy.
Dale Dawson 2011
Dale Dawson, a 47 year-old Palm Beach Gardens resident who suffers from debilitating tremors shot a gross 71 to win the 2011 Open Tournament.
Kevin Slucher 2012
Kevin Slucher, a disabled veteran from New Smyrna Beach shot a gross 74 to win the 2012 Open Tournament.
Steve Allberry 2014
Playing with a beautiful cross handed grip, Tampa resident Steve Allberry was the #1, Low Gross, tournament winner of the 9th Annual Florida Open for Golfers with Disabilities in 2014.
Gary Hooks 2015
2015 Champion and former Remax Long-drive competitor, New Smyrna Beach resident Gary Hooks played with an eight handicap and shot one over par winning the Low Gross award.
Randy Clay 20202020 Champion, Randy Clay, from Rotonda West, Florida shot (Low Gross) in the 15th annual Florida Open For Golfers With Disabilties
Kenny Bontz 2018 & 20212-Time Winner, and the 2021 reigning champion Kenny Bontz, from Bradenton, Florida, won the open tournament in 2018 and 2021.
The Upcoming 2023 Florida Open For Golfers With Disabilities and/or Mobility Challenges
If you would like to help raise awareness of accessibility issues concerning golfers with disabilities, come play in the upcoming 2023 annual Florida Open For Golfers With Disabilities and/or Mobility Challenges, Sat. Oct. 14, 2023, 12-noon at Long Marsh Golf Club at 20 White Marsh Road, Rotonda West, Florida 33947, Pro-Shop-941-698-0918
Pre-registering is free. Save your spot in the open tournament by pre-registering online or call Joe Stine at 863-227-2751 or 863-294-2621 with your contact info! We will save a spot in the open tournament for everyone who pre-registers at http://floridagolfmagazine.com/open/pre-register.html
Mind And Body Integration
Golf is the culmination of mind and body integration and significant improvement as a result of participation in the game demonstrates determination, patience, and growth as a person. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) survivor Charles M. Brugh, who has competed in this tournament numerous times, told us, "The neurological, psychological and physical benefits of golf are precisely why GOLF is a cornerstone of my extended efforts to conquer Traumatic Brain Injury.
I consider GOLF the equivalent of graduate study in neurological rehabilitation at a prestigious university," he said. "Its just that good. I implore my fellow survivors of brain injury to pick up a club and smack that little white ball around.
From much personal experience, it is with absolute certainty that I tell you: Golf is positive and meaningful as a therapeutic modality! Done consistently, as part of an overall therapeutic regime, GOLF will greatly enhance both your rehabilitation and your life."