HUNTINGTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — For those who can no longer get around on their own two feet, there’s no need to give up the game of golf.
That’s because there’s now a game changer at a public golf course on Long Island.
After a crippling spinal cord injury, Breid Fisher can drive a car with the help of hand brakes, but she never thought she’d be able to drive a golf ball again, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.
She’s back playing her beloved game thanks to the Paramobile – sort of a cross between a golf cart and a motorized wheelchair. It can traverse greens and the rough and enables people in wheelchairs to reach new heights.
“It allows you to position yourself to the ball and then be able do a full arc swing, front to back,” Fisher said.
It’s the brain child of Anthony Netto, a golf professional who, after a car crash, lost the use of his legs.
“Most of my guys that I know say, ‘You take my golf clubs away, I want to die.’ And that’s basically hitting the nail on the head.” he told Gusoff. “So our mission is to give everybody the ability to stand.”
Netto’s Stand Up And Play foundation helped bring the para-golfer to Crab Meadow in Northport, which is now the first public course in New York State to have one.
Fisher helped raise the rest of the money needed for the chair, and Town of Huntington officials say they’re thrilled to make golf accessible to anyone.
“It’s liberating to get out there and enjoy the sport. And I think as more people see it on Long Island, there are going to be more golf courses out there that have it,” Mark Cuthbertson, of Huntington, said.
The foundation claims the chair is gentler on the course than carts and spikes.
Standing upright helps blood circulation and bone density, but how about the heart and mind?
“It gives you back freedom. It gives you back a normalcy,” Fisher said. “To be able to stand up, I can look you in the eye. Just to be outside, it’s terrific. It’s gorgeous.”
Fisher’s ultimate goal is to raise money for a second Paramobile so that two people with mobility challenges can golf together.