OhioHealth Fore Hope
Columbus, OH,
15:00 PM

Golf Program Gets Participants Back in the Swing of Activity

OhioHealth Fore Hope Adaptive Golf Program

It's a pretty day for golf and some big dreams.                                                                                                         

But for people like Diane Clever and Bill Berwanger, it’s enough just to be on the course with a club in their hands.

They have neurological conditions which can affect balance. Diane was a physical education teacher, sidelined by multiple sclerosis.

“I had no connection to sports anymore. I thought it was done then," Diane said.

Bill was benched by Parkinson’s.

“I didn’t really want to play much golf because I was disappointed in how bad my game was," Bill said.

They gave up golf, but now are playing again with the aid of helpers.

OhioHealth recently acquired Fore Hope, and adaptive golf to help these clients.

“We promote health and wellness through the game of golf," said Mindy Derr, Founder of Fore Hope.

Mindy Derr started this non-profit when her father became disabled just after he retired.

“It was devastating to him and our family," Mindy said.

She thought helpers would make a difference. They place the ball on tees and guide people on fairways, so clients, many of them OhioHealth neuroscience patients, can play golf again, stay active and be happier.

“It means getting out of the house. If you’re locked up, you can enjoy the golf course a little bit," Bill said.

“The mission is therapeutic golf for persons with life barriers," Mindy said.

Diane uses a special cart where the seat swivels her around, then rises so Diane’s feet touch the ground. She’s belted into place so she can’t fall.

Mindy says over 5,000 people have returned to the sport since she launched Fore Hope. OhioHealth’s team includes recreational and physical therapists, as well as a golf pro.

Players take it slow, with exercises, small swings, then bigger ones.

“It’s fun to get out and still hear the two good sounds, the ping of the golf club when you hit it right," Diane said.

“You make new friends. You do things you didn’t think you could do. You build confidence," Bill said.

Click here to learn more about OhioHealth Fore Hope.