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#GRP2014

Welcome to the fund raising site for the European Disabled Golf Association

27/04/14: Summary of Round 2 North of Portugal


We reported that Round 1 of GRP2014 had been a great experience. Now that we have completed the more demanding Round 2, which took place in the north of Portugal, we realise that the Lisbon/Centre round had been a mere warm up. Fortunately we had managed to keep our fitness levels from Round 1 which was just as well, as on this occasion we had to traverse several mountain ranges. At our highest point we climbed to over 1,000 metres above sea level, cycled for more than 37 hours to cover the 550 kilometres and gained almost 6,000 metres in elevation.

It is often said that the north of Portugal is full of friendly people, great food, wine and spectacular countryside. Our experience certainly backs up those claims, although we did not try the wine on this occasion. Even though Sue and I had agreed that we would stick to the roads, we found ourselves on a couple of cycle paths. The first of these was from Vidago to Vila Real which follows the old railway line. Until now it is not fully completed and in the first ten or so kilometres there are a few parts which are particularly demanding with loose stone and overgrown areas. Once we had negotiated these obstacles, reset our attitudes and made it to the finished surfaces we were rewarded with spectacular views. We enjoyed a similar but much shorter path from Fafe to Guimarães on the Day 2.  

We were blessed with superb weather for the majority of the journey and only had to tolerate a couple of hours of rain at the end of the Day 2. This put us a little behind for the next day but the courses were very understanding and the hospitality which we received was much appreciated. I have many friends in the north of Portugal and it was great to get together with some of them either at the courses we visited or for dinner. 

So with the rounds one and two of GRP2014 now complete, we move to the Algarve starting on 7th June. Currently having played 34 holes, my total is a little more respectable and now stands at seven over par, having used 32 different sets of clubs, but only one Ping putter.  

Sue is doing a great job of taking the videos and photographs, which you can see in the daily galleries on www.edgagolf.org. I would like to give a special thanks to John Bird who has been keeping our website up to date and to Daniel Balvert who has joined the team and is looking after our Facebook page.  

Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be announcing details of the courses we’re planning to play in the Algarve along with the route and as always you are more then welcome to join in.  


14/04/14: The Bubba Watson Foundation


We are delighted to receive a substantial donation from PING Golf Equipment through the Bubba Watson Foundation for GRP2014. In 2012 PING supported the foundation of two times Masters Champion Bubba Watson. For the last couple of years Bubba has been regularly dispatching drives over 300 yards using his pink shafted and headed PING driver. 

The Bubba Watson Foundation, Inc was formed in January of 2014 by Professional Golfer Bubba Watson and his wife Angie to enhance their ability to help those in need. Consistent with the Watson's historical philanthropic activities, the Foundation's mission is to enhance the every-day lives of people in need with a particular emphasis on helping and inspiring children, young adults, and those associated with the U.S. Military. It is their belief that everyone deserves the opportunity to pursue their dreams while becoming productive and responsible members of society. In furtherance of its charitable mission, the Foundation both supports existing organizations and administers programs of its own that enhance the physical, spiritual and social development of children, young adults and those associated with the U.S. Military. www.bubbawatsonfoundation.org


12/04/14: GoKart donate an automatic golf trolley


Sandy Catford of UK golf cart manufacturer GoKart has very kindly donated one of their very latest automatic golf trolleys valued at €364 to the GRP2014 fund raising event. We propose to raise money for the event by organising a prize draw and will be announcing this during the coming weeks.

The Automatic version of the GoKart includes a new control system (Patent pending). There are no buttons, rollers or knobs to manually adjust the speed. You simply hold the handle and walk. The trolley will automatically adjust the motor speed to match your pace. You can let go of the handle while you're walking and the GoKart will continue running at the same speed. It's really neat, and really easy to use. For more information visit the GoKart website www.gokart.co.uk


11/04/14: Aldeia dos Capuchos fund raiser


Aldeia dos Capuchos hosted the first fund raiser for Golf & Ride Portugal 2014. The 9 holes course which is located on the south of the River Tagus organised a Nevada Bobs Golf Day. Antonio Carvalho, Golf Director at Capuchos, had his hands full with a full field ready to play, only to find that an unseasonal sea mist had descended onto the course making play impossible in the morning session. 

Finally the mist cleared and with some skilful arrangement of the draw sheet by Antonio, the players took the course. If the smiles of the players at the prize giving we're anything to go by, then they had enjoyed their day. The atmosphere was very good and it was a pleasure to be invited to collect a cheque from the organisers for €480 which now goes to the EDGA fund to help impaired individuals to participate or compete in the game. 

My special thanks go to the management and staff of Hotel Aldeia dos Capuchos for their hospitality, to Sergio Cordeiro & Andre Pinto of Nevada Bobs, to the players who so generously donated to the fund, to the CN Sports team who covered the event for TV, and most of all to Antonio Carvalho for his support, both when we played the nominated hole together and in organising the fund raising event. www.golfaldeiadoscapuchos.com





08/03/14: Golf & Ride Portugal 2014


The first 2014 fund raising initiative for EDGA started on the 8th of March 2014 in Lisbon Portugal.

The current President of EDGA Tony Bennett and his wife Sue have challenged themselves to play one hole at 72 Golf courses spread the length and breadth of the Portuguese mainland and in the islands of Madeira and the Azores.

The challenge is not so much the 72 holes but rather the distance that these ‘recreational cyclists’ will cycle between courses. Tony and Sue expect to cycle approximately 1400 kilometres as they zig-zig across the mountain ranges, along the coast, through cities, towns and villages and experience some of the most beautiful countryside in the whole of Iberia.

The first round was completed on March 13 and was a great success. The Golf courses were very supportive and their hospitality was much appreciated.

 

01/03/14: From a simple seed…

Tony Bennett was approached in May 2013 by EDGA, which is short for The European Disabled Golf Association and was asked to come up with a strategy for the association. The vision document which he produced was accepted by the Executive Committee and later by the members of the association in November of the same year at the General Assembly. 

in January of this year, Tony became the President of the association and decided to set himself a personal challenge and do something which would raise the awareness of Golf for those with physical, intellectual or sensory impairment. Another goal would be to raise funds for EDGA and encourage others to get behind the association. After a couple of drinks with family and friends at Christmas, the seeds of Golf & Ride Portugal 2014 were planted. A few days later, Tony together with his wife Sue had nurtured the original concept into what became the plan for GRP2014. 

4 rounds, one hole at each of 72 different courses, cycle between the courses and ask each course to hold a Fund Raiser with ​the​ proceeds going to EDGA. The courses would benefit from the publicity of GRP2014 and exposure through a dedicated website (this website) 

The next stage was planning the route and engaging the courses to take part. Ideally Tony & Sue would have had more time between the concept and the start of GRP2014, but the time was right and so as Tony puts it, “ it is a bit like riding a horse, slapping its butt and then hanging on to see where it takes you”. Certainly the GRP2014 challenge has developed into a much bigger project that was first envisioned but with great support from the courses, sponsors, John Bird (the Webmast​er), Daniel Balvert (Social Media co-ordinator) and many others the challenge has taken shape and is already in planning for a further challenge in another country during 2015. 







News and Events

10/05/14: 4 ball Special Challenge


With the Golf & Ride Portugal 2014 project set to tee off in the Algarve on the 7th of June, four men have taken the spirit of the event to heart in order to raise funds for the project with their own special challenge.  

Antonio Pinto Coelho & Steve Juster from Onyria Palmares along with Michael Abbott & Ralph Griffin from Parque da Floresta are hoping to raise funds which they will present to the President of the European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) when he rides through the Algarve.

They have planned to play four golf courses, Parque da Floresta, Espiche, Boavista & Palmares on the same day, 29th May. They will be walking and carrying their clubs and then jumping onto their bikes to cycle between each course.

All at EDGA wish them a good journey, good Golf and good companionship.


13/03/14: Summary of Round 1 Centre of Portugal


What a great experience we had on the 1st round of GRP2014. Although the route we took was more challenging that we had originally thought, Sue and I both coped with injuries sustained on the last couple of days. Almost 32 hours of actual cycling saw us travel 475 kilometres, climb over 5,000 metres in elevation gains and burn more than 12,000 calories each. As expected we had a mix of city, rural, ocean side, mountain roads and tracks to navigate with cycles, each fully loaded with more than 20 kilos of baggage. 

For anybody following us and who saw our frequent stops, it was likely that we had either just reached the top of a particularly steep hill or that we were taking one of the hundreds of photographs which we took to document the journey. You can see a selection of the photos in the GRP2014 gallery. 

The Golf courses were very supportive and their hospitality was much appreciated. It was a pleasure to play with Directors of Golf, fellow Golf Professionals, former national team players and club officials. Each person really took an interest in what the challenge entailed and the work of EDGA. The media were out in force and I would like to thank all who took the trouble to cover the event. Special thanks go to the Sic Noticias film crew who were with us on the first morning and the CN Sports film crew who followed us on the last morning, while making a piece for Sport TV.  

So with the first round of 21 holes complete, in a less than inspiring six over par, (19 different sets of clubs and no warm-up shots is my defence), the challenge moves to the 2nd round which will take place in the North of Portugal. Over the next couple of weeks you will be able to find details of the courses and routes that we will take here at www.edgagolf.org . As always you are more then welcome to join in.  


13/03/14: CN Sports TV Interview


GRP2014 continues to attract TV attention. See the latest interview with CN Sports TV


08/03/14: Sic Noticias TV Interview


GRP2014 continues to attract TV attention. See the latest interview with SIC Noticias TV