Meet Josh Madden

Wembley leading the way on inclusivity

Wembley Golf Course has quite literally gone to great lengths to ensure that every golfer feels welcome at their club. This has been recognised recently with Josh Madden, Wembley’s General Manager receiving the prestigious Greg Norman medal for the 2020 PGA National Management Professional of the Year. Huge congratulations!

After linking up with Empower Golf Australia to become one of their inclusive Hubs, the club went above and beyond the call of duty by commissioning a special set of Callaway irons that have been adapted – including longer shafts – for use with the all-terrain ParaGolfer, which enables its users to stand upright and swing a club in the conventional manner.

It is therefore no surprise that the club, located 5kms north-west of Perth’s CBD, prides itself on its inclusivity.

Having first formed an association in 2016 with Empower, which has so far introduced more than 10,000 Australians with disabilities to golf, one year later the club persuaded the Town of Cambridge (local government) to purchase a ParaGolfer. Fast-forward four years, and Wembley now hosts free clinics every fortnight where people with disabilities can access the revolutionary piece of kit.

Together with the modified Callaway irons and hybrids, which as well as extra length also have more upright angles plus softer shafts and grips than conventional golf clubs, the in-demand ParaGolfer enables golfers to reconnect with a game many feared had been lost forever to them.

“It’s a great thing to be a part of,” said Josh.

“We get to help out the community and actively encourage inclusivity, and our clients get to learn or re-learn this great game at one of the most user-friendly facilities in Australia.”

The accessibility features includes, ample space in each hitting bay, and the tees in the driving range are fully automated so the ball appears in the same place every time, meaning that once as a golfer is in position they can swing away freely without having to adjust their stance.

In addition to the clinics, golfers keen to make further improvements to their game can book in for one-on-one coaching with an All Abilities trained PGA professional or even head out with the ParaGolfer onto the course, which includes a specially modified hole.

“The people who come to the club to use the ParaGolfer or take part in the free clinics all have their different challenges and stories, but they are all inspiring in their own ways,” said Josh.

“Golf can be a hard game at the best of times, but it can also be a great release from everyday life so we really hope that every single person who comes to our venue to use our equipment and tries to improve their game takes something positive from the experience.”

Clinics are open to complete novices as well as people who have played golf before. They take place twice a month on Tuesdays. Family and friends are invited to come along and show their support.

All equipment, including clubs and balls, is provided but attendees are also welcome to bring their own.

To book into the clinic or for further information, head to http://www.empowergolf.com.au/events-2/

For more information on Wembley Golf Course, visit https://www.wembleygolf.com.au/cms/