Champion and 3-time winner, Strong-man Steve Shipuleski, from
Palm Beach Gardens, who golfs one-handed
won the open tournament in 2010, 2013 and again in 2016. As always
the player with the lowest gross score gets the honor of having
their name inscribed on the permanent open tournament trophy.
In a conscious effort to be
all-inclusive, golfers without disabilities are also always encouraged
to play in the open tournament, along with their friends with
disabilities. Steve's wife Deborah Shipuleski, who is standing
in the background below, won the 2013 tournament Female Low Net
Though all the players are
most certainly winners, below is listed the past Open Tournament
Champions so far.
3-Time Winner and current Defending
Champion, Strong-man Steve Shipuleski, from Palm Beach Gardens,
won the open tournament in 2010, 2013 and 2016.
Virgil Price, a St Petersburg resident and
Treasurer of the National Amputee Golf Association (NAGA), dominated
the inaugural tournament in 2006, winning 1st Place overall,
scoring a gross 72 on the challenging 18 holes at Kissimmee Bay.
Mike Hudson shot a 75 to win 1st place Overall
in the 3rd Annual Florida Open Tournament for Golfers with Disabilities
and/or Mobility Challenges held on 7/14/2008. Born with one hand,
Mike Hudson is a Volunteer Golf Instructor in Pasco County.
Tampa resident, Monroe Berkman, a polio survivor,
won the 2007 Florida Open Tournament for Golfers with Disabilities,
playing every shot, including sandtraps from his SoloRider Adaptive
Golfcar. Berkman, who shot 80 had no problems hitting out of
the bunkers using his stand-up seat to support him during his
full golf swing.
Stroke survivor, Ian Halliwel came all the
way from England and shot a 74 to win 1st Place Low Gross in
the 2009 Florida Open Tournament for Golfers with Disabilities
and/ or Mobility Challenges. Now his name is also inscribed on
the prestigious Open tournament trophy.
Dale Dawson, a 47 year-old Palm Beach Gardens
resident who suffers from debilitating tremors shot a gross 71
to win the 2011 Open Tournament.
Kevin Slucher, a disabled veteran from New
Smyrna Beach shot a gross 74 to win the 2012 Open Tournament.
Playing with a beautiful cross handed grip,
Tampa resident Steve Allberry was the #1, Low Gross, tournament
winner of the 9th Annual Florida Open for Golfers with Disabilities
2015 Champion 62 year-old New Smyrna Beach resident Gary Hooks
who played with an eight handicap shot one over par winning the
Low Gross award.
is the culmination of mind and body integration and significant
improvement as a result of participation in the game demonstrates
determination, patience, and growth as a person.
Injury (TBI) survivor Charles M. Brugh, who has competed in this
tournament numerous times, told us, The neurological, psychological
and physical benefits of golf are precisely why GOLF is a cornerstone
of my extended efforts to conquer Traumatic Brain Injury.
I consider GOLF
the equivalent of graduate study in neurological rehabilitation
at a prestigious university, he said. Its just that good. I implore
my fellow survivors of brain injury to pick up a club and smack
that little white ball around. From much personal experience,
it is with absolute certainty that I tell you: Golf is positive
and meaningful as a therapeutic modality! Done consistently,
as part of an overall therapeutic regime, GOLF will greatly enhance
both your rehabilitation and your life.
If you would
like to help raise awareness of accessibility issues concerning
golfers with disabilities, come play in our open tournament.
- see www.floridagolfmagazine.com/open
or call 863-227-2751
truly is something about golf that brings out the best in a person,
and nowhere is this made more evident than at the Florida Open
for Golfers with Disabilities and/or Mobility Challenges.