Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC) has been providing pediatric orthopedic care to the region for more than 90 years. In addition to offering numerous services for children with orthopedic conditions, TSRHC provides patients with ancillary recreational therapy, such as our Learn to Golf Program. Learn more about how this unique program helps patients reclaim their childhood through education, engagement and recreation.
Established in 1998, the TSRHC Learn to Golf Program is a key component of the hospital’s therapeutic recreation department. Using the National Amputee Golf Association’s First Swing program as a guide, TSRHC designed a clinic that introduces patients to the rehabilitative benefits of golf. In 2000, Learn to Golf was formally recognized by the United States Golf Association with a multi-year grant to fund expanded program offerings. Since its launch, more than 1,200 children have participated in the Learn to Golf Program.
Throughout each clinic session, golf instructors are on hand to teach participants about the technical components of the game, such as driving, chipping and putting. In addition, basic golf rules, safety and etiquette are explained so that kids feel comfortable playing a full game after completing the clinic. Each of the instructors involved in the program has received specialized training for teaching golf to patients with physical disabilities.
For patients, the Learn to Golf program offers a hands-on introduction to a physical activity they can enjoy for the rest of their lives. It helps children to growth both socially and physically by meeting other kids and learning to enjoy recreational activities despite their physical challenges. These patients are able to push themselves to try new things in a safe and supportive environment. Most importantly, it instills confidence and provides a great deal of fun and enjoyment.
Locations and Eligibility
The Learn to Golf program offers local clinics, each consisting of a half-day session. Since the program’s inception, TSRHC has offered clinics in cities throughout Texas, including Austin, Bullard, Fort Worth, Plano, Dallas, Wichita Falls, Lewisville, Lubbock, Grand Prairie, Denison, Waco, Longview, San Antonio and Odessa.
All patients at TSRHC ages six and older are invited to participate in the Learn to Golf Program. In some cases, the program is able to provide adaptive equipment to help children with certain orthopedic or neurological challenges, such as scoliosis, clubfoot, hand disorders, hip disorders, limb length differences spina bifida and cerebral palsy. Trained instructors use other innovative methods to ensure that all children are able to participate in the program.
Through the Learn to Golf program, hundreds of children have discovered that their physical challenges don’t have to hold them back from fulfilling, fun activities. This program continues to help more pediatric orthopedic patients year after year through therapeutic recreation.