World number one Kipp Popert is targeting victory in the inaugural G4D Open and hopes the event will inspire more disabled people to take up golf.
Popert will be among 80 male and female players from 19 countries competing at Woburn from May 10-12.
“It would be a big deal to win the inaugural G4D Open,” said the 24-year-old from Kent, who has a form of cerebral palsy called spastic diplegia which impairs the muscular movement in his legs.
“Only one person is ever going to win the first one and if I put my name on that trophy then that will be incredible. It will be a memory I will treasure forever.
“What The R&A, DP World Tour and EDGA (formerly the European Disabled Golf Association) are doing for grassroots golf for people with disability has been brilliant and important, but those getting into the game need something to aspire to and that is what I’m trying to achieve.
“I hope people watching the G4D Open come away thinking that anyone can play golf. It doesn’t matter what your disability is.”
The 54-hole event will feature players competing in standing, intellectual, visual and sitting categories.
Kris Aves, a 41-year-old former Metropolitan Police officer who was injured in the terrorist attack on Westminster Bridge in March 2017, will be playing in the sitting category.
He was paralysed from the waist down after being struck by the attacker’s car but has been able to resume playing golf thanks to a ParaGolfer, a special mobility device that lifts people from a sitting to a standing position.
“I got inside and was able to make a swing,” said Aves, who was a keen golfer before the attack.
“That first hit brought tears to my eyes. Even though I knew I’d never get back to the standard I had been, I was able to play again.
“I was over the moon to get a place (in the G4D Open). I’m looking forward to meeting people from across Europe and around the world and seeing how well I perform against the seated golfers. But, really, I’m looking forward to simply taking part.”
The establishment of The G4D Open follows on from the Modified Rules of Golf for Players with Disabilities being included in the Rules of Golf from the start of 2023.