Deaf Sports Events11th October 2013

Autumn 4 Nations Deaf Golf Championships

4 Nations Deaf Golf Championships, held at the Vale Hotel and Golf Resort in South Wales, August 2013

by Sarah Lawrence

Set in the wonderfully colourful setting of the Vale Hotel and Golf Resort in South Wales, the second 4 Nations Deaf Golf Championships took place between the 5 and 9 August.

​Keenly contested, the Championships pull together teams from Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales. Reigning champions England turned up with another strong squad, knowing that if they played well, theywould take all the beating! However, in typical 4 Nations style, the other teams were determined to put up a great fight.

Taking part and supporting the Championships is not just about the golf, however, the evening get together and enjoyment of the stay are also significantly important. So, as part of the preparations, SL First through the helpful and supportive Golf Development Wales Programme contacted The Vale and offered some deaf awareness training and introductory BSL classes.

Under the auspices of our favourite mantra, ‘Attitude is Everything’, I was invited to run a couple of classes with staff from the hotel, golf shop and the on-site restaurants, bars and leisure facilities.

The staff who attended the sessions were enthusiastic and keen to learn, and with an introductory BSL input that had been designed around their interaction with golfers and supporters, they threw themselves energetically into the programme.

In addition to teaching someBSL and deaf awareness, I also asked staff to consider some of the issues about accommodating deaf people, simple things like the fire alarm, what happens if you lose your key card, how to use room service, that sort of thing.

The outcome is that people felt it made a difference in respect of the consideration that the Vale Hotel and Golf Resort gave to all the teams, families and their supporters. We were given specific information upon arrival, text numbers to contact the reception desk and staff were far more deaf aware. It made a real difference.

The competition took place on the picturesque National Course; a course that provides a considerable challenge with tight wooded holes on the opening holes, and a series of water hazards on the back 9. A true Championship golf course, golfers can go through the whole range of golfing emotions during one round. I certainly did!

With three days of competition, each nation plays the others, and points are awarded for the result on each hole. Using a different scoring system to the first Championships, two points were awarded for a win, one point if the teams had the same score, and no points if the hole was lost.

In 2011, England ran out fairly easy winners in the men’s competition with a 10 point victory over Ireland. This year was considerably tougher, with Ireland putting in a fine performance to challenge them all the way.

Whilst the England Senior’s Team proved too strong for the other nations, the Irish Men’s Team scored well throughout the competition, and ultimately that proved to be the deciding factor, with Ireland accruing 324 points against England’s 269.

The ladies competition was contested between only two of the nations due to illness and the lack of female competitors. After some close games, the English team ran out worthy winners.The planned evening activities were enjoyed by all the teams, and we had the additional benefit of sharing the hotel’s accommodation with some high profile stars who were taking part in local charity events. As ever, I was keen to take some photos to capture how lucky we were to enjoy their company.​

Overall, the 4 Nations were a huge success and I look forward to the next one in two year’s time, which is being hosted by the English Deaf Golf Association.

Credits – Kate Evans Photography and Jason Albutt.

Article by Sarah Lawrence

posted in Deaf Sport / Deaf Sports Events

11th October 2013