Equipment

ParaGolfer, FAQ and more!

equipment, Empower Golf, image of ParaGolfer in use

The ParaGolfer is an all-terrain wheelchair that raises the user into a standing position, to allow a more conventional golf swing.

The ParaGolfer is able to access most areas of the golf course. Its low-pressure tyres and wide stance allow it to be used on all areas of the golf course (including greens and appropriately designed bunkers), and on the driving range and practice area.

You can try a ParaGolfer at any of our regular Come and Try Golf clinics. ParaGolfers are available to hire at Empower Golf Hubs around the country.

Apart from golf, the ParaGolfer can be used for any activity that would benefit from its all-terrain capabilities and stand-up functionality. Our players have used it for activities such as fishing, archery, photography, shooting, and just hugging a loved one.

The ParaGolfer is regularly used by people with high level spinal cord injuries, but can also be used by anyone with mobility or stability issues.

ParaGolfer FAQs

Empower Golf and specially trained staff at Empower Golf Hubs run ParaGolfer training sessions.

The training covers the basic operation, maintenance and set up of the ParaGolfer and how to safely use the ParaGolfer around a golf course.

Once a player has completed their ParaGolfer training, they can hire a ParaGolfer at a number of Empower Golf Hubs around the country.

The one off training costs $300. Contact us to book or discuss funding options if required.

Greens

Yes, the ParaGolfer has been specifically designed for golf. Its wide stance and low-pressure tyres spread the weight of the ParaGolfer across a wide footprint producing less pressure than a human step. This enables the ParaGolfer to be used on greens without causing any damage.

During specialised ParaGolfer training, users are shown how to manoeuvre the device comfortably across the greens limiting sharp turns where possible.

Clearly, when greens are unusually wet due to recent weather or watering, greater care should be taken to avoid damage.

Bunkers

This depends on the design of the bunker.

If the back lip of the bunker is level with the surrounding fairway, then it is possible to pilot the ParaGolfer in and out of a bunker.

The shape of the rear of a bunker has less impact on the difficulty of the hole, compared to the shape of the front of the bunker. As ongoing periodic upgrades occur at Empower Golf Hubs, the clubs are mindful of improving ParaGolfer access.

 

Other Activities

Yes, the ParaGolfer can be used for bushwalking, fishing, bird watching, shooting and any other activity where its all-terrain abilities and stand-up abilities are beneficial. We even had an ex-baseballer use it to hit balls in a batting cage recently!

No more awkward, bum out hugs from a wheelchair…

Perhaps most importantly, it is perfect for stand-up hugs with loved ones. For many, the initial experience in the ParaGolfer is both the first time they’ve been able to stand up after injury and embrace their children or partner properly.

ParaGolfers are available for hire (just like a golf cart) at Moore Park Golf, Long Reef Golf Club and The Ridge in Sydney, Parkwood on the Gold Coast and Sandhurst Golf Club in Melbourne.

Wembley Golf Club in Perth and Curlewis Golf Club in Geelong will be up and running soon. Each club has its own conditions of use, so it is wise to call ahead to check for availability.

We are also currently in discussions with 20 new locations around the country.

The ParaGolfer weighs approximately 200kg.

This weight is required to provide a steady platform and to offset the dynamic forces generated from a golf swing.

However, with its low-pressure tyres and wide stance, it spreads its weight across a wide footprint.

Interested in owning a Paragolfer?

ParaGolfer Bookings

Booking at other Hub locations coming soon!

This is a service provided by Parkwood International Golf Course to enable their members and guests to book the ParaGolfer each afternoon.

Steps to Book: 

  1. Check Paragolfer availability on this page
  2. Phone Parkwood to book corresponding tee time at (07) 5563 3342
  3. Return to this page and proceed to book ParaGolfer (or book on Eventbrite)

Please arrive 15 mins prior to your tee time to check in with the club.

Contact us directly if: 

  • You are unable to attend a booked session so we can free it up for others.
  • You require training. The ticket price is for private use of the Paragolfer; it does not include training. All players must have completed ParaGolfer User Training to use it.

ParaGolfer Bookings

Parkwood Golf Course

This is a service provided by Parkwood International Golf Course to enable their members and guests to book the ParaGolfer each afternoon.

Please note: To use the ParaGolfer, all players must have completed ParaGolfer User Training.

To ensure fair use of this valuable public service, please contact Ben Tullipan if you are unable to attend a booked session so we can free it up for others.

Tee times will still need to be booked in with the club direct on (07) 5563 3342.

The ticket price at right is for private use of the Paragolfer and it does not include the training. If you require training, please contact Ben.

Long Reef Golf Course
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Gripping Solutions

For people with limited hand function or upper limb amputation, there is a vast array of gripping solutions that can be employed to enable or improve the player’s hold on the golf club.

In our experience, we have managed to provide a solution for any level of hand and wrist function, including Empower Golf’s founder James Gribble (C4-5 incomplete quadriplegic with minimal wrist and hand function) who has had to road test many solutions including those below.

The simplest gripping solution is to use a broad strip of reinforced elastic with sturdy velcro fastening to firmly strap a player’s hand to the club.

Although this solution provides a solid grip, depending on the player’s overall hand function, assistance from a caddy or helper could be required.

An alternative is a customised glove with a gripping tube.

The club is inserted into the tube.

The customised glove firmly holds the club in a consistent manner.

As each person is different, there may be a period of trial and error to find a solution that you are comfortable with.

And like any golf swing, there will be days when the griping solution will seem to work better than other days.