Special Cart Helps People With Disabilities Play Golf

By Scott Logan

BOISE -- Although Jacob Van Hemelryk was born with spina bifida, and has used a wheelchair most of his 15 years, he loves to ski, swim, and play basketball.

And now he's learning golf thanks to Solo Rider, a revolutionary new golf cart the Boise Parks and Recreation Department recently bought for Warm Springs Municipal Golf Course.

"I've never actually golfed," Jacob says as he hits some balls at Warm Springs. "This is just the second time I've been to the driving range."

The solo rider is specifically designed for people with disabilities. It won't damage turf, and is easily operated.

"You can turn, and it allows you to stand up so that you have a better swing at the ball," says Jacob.

According to the manufacturer, this cart can cost anywhere from eight to nine thousand dollars but the opportunity it gives is priceless.

Robert Krogh helps people with disabilities learn to ski and is delighted the city has provided this sports accessibility.

"Anybody with a disability or mobility impairment can benefit by this piece of equipment," Krogh says.

And Jacob is just one of many people starting to take advantage of the new solo rider cart.

"I really don't like the word disabled," Jacob says, "because I'm able to do anything."

Yes, Jacob Van Hemelryk is just learning to golf, but with his attitude, he's already sunk a hole-in-one.