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Unique Golf Tournament Gets Physically Challenged

Alvarado Hospital’s San Diego Rehabilitation Institute is sponsoring SoCal. Rehab Golf Classic golf tournament to increase awareness about golf as a therapeutic tool.

“The SoCal Rehab Golf Classic is a unique tournament to the San Diego Area,” said Mary Williams, event coordinator and recreational therapist at Alvarado Hospital in a prepared statement.

“It’s a great way to continue the healing process of those who have suffered health challenges, and it’s a healthy, constructive way to remain socialized.”

Golfers with physical challenges are paired with able-bodied players to increase awareness as golf as a form of therapy for those who have experienced a stroke, traumatic brain injury, amputation or seniors with physical challenges as a result of aging.

According to organizers, “this tournament is a nine hole, four-player scramble, with an awards and dinner banquet following play. The tournament was created 21 years ago by PGA Professional John Klein and Recreation Therapist Mary Williams from Alvarado Hospital/SDRI. Klein has a background in therapeutic recreation from SDSU, special education and adapted physical education. He has been teaching children and adults with disabilities (physical and cognitive) to play golf for over 45 years.

Many of the patients who are treated at Alvarado Hospital/ SDRI participate in the SoCal Rehab Golf Club, and the Back Nine Senior Golf Program, two programs that are a part of SDRI’s Programs for Active Living and Support, said organizers.

The Sept. 14 tournament at Riverwalk Golf Club begins at noon with a putting contest and a shotgun start at 2 p.m.

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