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July 19, 1996 - Image 73

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1996-07-19

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

niques after studying a method
developed by an amputee in the
1920s. He also read Ernest
Jones' two golf books, Swinging
the Golfhecul and Swinging Into
"The emphasis is not at all on
working with people who are
disabled but rather to create a
swinging motion with a golf
club," he explained. "A program
like this gives realistic hope to
people. I have seen people who
six months ago couldn't move an
arm and are now holding a
Mr. Sauer commented that
this summer's participants
showed open attitudes and were
willing to work at their game.
One of the golfers, Tom Watkins
of St. Clair, said, "I lost my hook
and my slice from my game, but
I have a grip again, even though
it's not a good grip. Pm working
on it."
Mr. Watkins, who was at first
totally paralyzed from a truck-
ing accident but now has partial
use of all four limbs, uses a Vel-
cro grip and swings with one
"My motivation was to use a
set of clubs rd won," he said. "Ws
strange when you are aiming for
a straight hit and it curves, but
Pm still working on it."
Ms. Hill says the NAGA pro-
gram introduced her and Ms.
South to a reality of post-injury
life today.
"Seven years ago, a stroke pa-
tient might have stayed in the

"A way for people
to feel good,"

hospital for four to six weeks.
With stays now lasting, at most,
two weeks, patients may have
their medical needs taken care
of but are sometimes left bewil-
dered by how to improve or sus-
tain some quality of life," she
said. "The psychological and
recreational aspects of handling
a traumatic illness are vital to
a patient's recovery.
"That's what we're trying to
impact," she said.
The therapists plan to offer
the course again next year and
would also like to coordinate
some informal golf sessions for
people who have taken the
"We hope to increase our at-
tendance as word gets around
that 'Fairway to Independence'
can be fun and non-threaten-
ing," Ms. Hill said. ID


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