A Tale of Two Golf Buddies

Harold Swick and Butch Hochman were frequently seen wondering down the fairway every chance they could morning, noon or early evening. Suddenly in September of 2006 Harold was struck down by an unknown infection that attacked his spine and left him a paraplegic. NO GOLF!

Golf came to a stand still in Harold's mind, but Butch stood tall and said "NO WAY"! We will do everything possible to get Harold back up and on the golf course. After intense internet research, Butch discovered a site for people with disabilities who wanted to get back on the golf course. With much determination and the assistance of Peter Ewert (manager and golf pro) at Larters Golf & Country Club. They discovered a company that made adaptive golf carts with hand controllers, a swivel/elevation seat with turf friendly weight distribution tires and suspension. This cart allows the single rider golf cart to move any where on the golf course especially on the greens. The Golf car is called a SoloRider.(www.solorider.com)

The next step was to bring this golf cart to Winnipeg Manitoba Canada, so Harold could get back to golfing. There was a plan; Butch enlisted Peter Ewert to help with trying to get a single rider cart to Larters Golf & Country Club. Peter immediately came on board and supported this new adventure, where Peter and his board took it upon themselves to fund and bring the adaptive cart into the city. The cart arrived and Harold and Butch were extremely appreciative of Peter and his board had done.

Summer was here and Harold was back on the golf course with his best friend Butch golfing, feeling the sun and being free to get back on the golf course. Harold now had this opportunity to get back out on the golf course, becoming the first person in Manitoba with a disability to golf again. Even though Harold knew how to golf he would have to re learn how to golf with his disability. There still were 2 key factors in keeping him motivated to move on in his physical means of being active.

Staying Fit:

With the assistance of his daughter Candace and her friend Kristen they designed an intense rehab/exercise program for Harold to stay healthy and active. Three times a week Harold would lift weights, work on balance and learn how to walk again with a walker and quad canes. Over an 8 month time frame Harold's daughter moved back home from Calgary with her family to work on Harold's rehabilitation. Keep in mind Harold was already golfing, but lacked the physical fitness/rehab components to continue to move forward with his mobility.

Here we are into Harold's second season of golf, two years after the accident and Harold is out of his wheelchair, using a walker to get a round, continuing with his rehab and showing others out there that anything is possible when you have Family and Friends who support you and push you to get better each day.

The Second Season of Winnipeg:

As some of you may or may not know Winnipeg has a few months of winter so Harold and Butch have to cease their outdoor golfing and come indoors. Larter's, Harold and Butch managed to collaborate with Curtis Grey owner/manager at the indoor golf dome, to allow the golf cart to be accessed in the winter time. By having the cart at the Dome Harold or others that would like to golf could come out throughout the winter and practice hitting golf balls with their friends and family. Harold has been very lucky to have his granddaughter Sydney and her Dad come out and hit balls with him now.

Harold would like to take this opportunity to let the world know that he is grateful to his family, his friend Butch and all those who brought the golf cart into Winnipeg the opportunity to give him his golfing back.

We all encourage you out there to contact your local city councilors, government or anyone else you can think of to lobby for your adaptive golf cart so you too can get back to your golf life.

"Now we will again be able to see two buddies wonder down the fairway of Larters."

To get a hold of Harold send an e-mail to cswick@mts.net or 204-228-1212

- Candace Swick