Back in the Swing of Things

Golfers in La Crosse Wisconsin hit the links to raise money
to buy a golf cart for mobility-impaired individuals. Friday June 29 2007

A group of 130 golfers hit Fox Hollow Golf Course on Friday, but they weren't just enjoying a round of golf.

Fred Caywood has been hoping to get back in the swing of things since multiple sclerosis hampered one of his favorite hobbies.

"I used to be an avid golfer, played three or four times a week until I was put in a wheel chair with M.S. and didn't play for ten years."

But his dream was answered by a family member.

"My brother-in-law gave me an article out of the Tulsa newspaper. It indicated the city of Tulsa was buying four solo-riders for use by their city municipal golf courses."

Caywood researched the special golf cart and this is what he found: a single rider cart which has the ability to lift the person to a standing position, allowing them to hit the ball.

"I'm out there two or three times a week. I don't hit the ball as well as I used to, but I still enjoy getting out there with friends and the fresh air and having a good time."

More than 100 golfers hit the links to help more people like Caywood get active again. Pat Lamke, vice president of N.A.S.A., says their organization is dedicated to helping disabled people get outdoors.

"We're out here raising funds to purchase golf carts for the area golf courses that allow physically challenged or mobility impaired individuals to get out and move around and get back in the game of golf."

Caywood hopes the golf carts N.A.S.A. will buy with the day's proceeds will change the lives of people in our community the way the cart has changed his life.

"It's really helped restore my quality of life, having become a physically challenged person."

Lamke says there is already a cart available at Trempealeau Mountain Golf Course and that the cart can be used free of charge.

The carts cost about $8,800 and Fox Hollow Golf Course should have their cart, which will also be free of charge, in about two weeks.