PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Golf will be one of 13 competitive sports in the Special Olympics 2010 USA National Games in Lincoln, Neb., July 18-23, and has the strong continued support of The PGA of America and the United States Golf Association.
Special Olympics golf is part of a worldwide sports program for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Nearly 200 Special Olympics golfers from 39 states will compete in one of five levels of competition at the Mahoney Golf Course and Highlands Golf Course in Lincoln.
Olympic-style Opening Ceremonies for some 3,000 Special Olympics athletes will be held July 18 with three competitive golf rounds played July 19-21. Awards ceremonies for the golf competition will take place immediately following the final round on July 21.
The support of The PGA of America and USGA has been vital to the growth and development of the Special Olympics Golf program, which began in 1988. The associations have been integral to the conduct of the National Invitational Tournament since its inception in 1999, providing assistance with rules education, tournament administration, and course setup, in addition to financial contributions.
"We are proud to partner with the USGA in supporting this year's Special Olympics Golf tournament within the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games," said PGA of America President Jim Remy. "Since 1988, The PGA of America and PGA Professionals from around the country have been proud advocates for Special Olympics golf. Our members have enjoyed uplifting experiences with enthusiastic Special Olympics golfers who truly embody the spirit of the game and the worldwide growth of the Special Olympics golf program has been very gratifying at every level of our Association."
"The USGA is proud to support the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games," said Jim Hyler Jr., President of the USGA. "We are dedicated to supporting organizations that use golf as a medium to teach core values to individuals with disabilities. We are proud to endorse the Special Olympic Games as it empowers these participating golfers through a unique competitive experience."
Special Olympics state golf delegations at the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games include:
California - South
Special Olympics golf offers five levels of competition for athletes of different abilities. Level I is an individual skills contest, where six golf skills are tested. Level II is an alternate shot team play, where a Special Olympics athlete is paired with a non-Special Olympics partner of more advanced skill for a 9-hole competition. Level III is Unified Sports team play, pairing Special Olympics and Unified partners of similar ability for an 18-hole competition. Levels IV and V are individual stroke-play 9-hole and 18-hole competitions, respectively. Competition for Levels I, III and V will take place at Highlands Golf Course, while Level II and IV competitors will play at Mahoney Golf Course.