When Action Potential One on One Physical Therapy opened in 2011, owners Kristen Wilson and Kathy Dixon decided that the business would not only provide superior physical therapy services to the Glen Mills community but also make a commitment to offer learning opportunities and experiences that would enable community members to enjoy doing the activities they love. In 2014, Action Potential combined efforts with the National Amputee Golf Association (NAGA), Eastern Amputee Golf Association (EAGA), and Penn Oaks Golf Club to host the 1st Annual Action Potential “First Swing Seminar and Learn to Golf Clinic”. The First Swing golf clinic provides golf instruction to people with disabilities and teaches physical therapists how to instruct people in adaptive golf techniques.
The NAGA was established in 1954 after a group of men with amputations post World War II decided to band together and golf as a means of recreation and to reinforce pride. 1 In 1989, NAGA introduced the First Swing program to hospitals and rehabilitation facilities to utilize golf as a rehabilitation medium to promote participation in outdoor leisure activities.1 EAGA was later formed by retired NAGA trustee, Bob Buck, who incorporated NAGA’s “First Swing Seminar” with EAGA’s “Learn to Golf Clinic” creating a free, hands-on golf instruction program for people with disabilities.2 Bob’s passion for teaching the “First Swing Seminar and Learn to Golf Clinic” along with his commitment to helping people with disabilities discover an activity they love sparked the interest of Action Potential.
Action Potential’s “First Swing Seminar and Learn to Golf Clinic” takes place at Penn Oaks Golf Club located in West Chester, PA. Penn Oaks graciously donates their driving range for an afternoon of fun. The clinic wouldn’t be possible without the volunteer efforts of the Penn Oaks golf instructors, Harry Hammond, Jess Hallett, Tom Koenig; EAGA golf instructor Lou Namm; and volunteer prosthetists, physical therapists, and physical therapy students.
During the first hour of the day, Lou Namm and the Penn Oaks golf professionals instruct the volunteer physical therapists and physical therapy students in the basics of golf. First, they are taught the proper golf grip and swing, followed by adaptive grips, alternative standing and seating positions, and guarding techniques so that they can safely assist the participants in golfing techniques when they arrive later in the day. The clinic encourages any person with a disability to attend, but most of the participants have survived a limb amputation. Some of the participants have never held a golf club in their life, while others are active members and even champions involved with the NAGA and EAGA golf organizations. Together, the golf professionals, volunteers and participants perfect their golf swings and provide an opportunity to discover golf as a lifelong leisure activity.