Golfing continues for disabled

By Matt Cota KSBY-TV August 31, 2006

A new day for golfers who may have given up the game.

The Santa Barbara Golf Club joined dozens of other courses around the country in giving disabled and elderly golfers a second chance on the greens.

A player for 50 years, David Fishman was forced to put down his clubs when he had to pick up his crutches, but this disabled former golfer said he will soon be back on the course thanks to SoloRider.

SoloRider is a specialized golf cart designed to go on tees and greens without damaging the turf, and the hydraulic seat rotates to put the player in a position to swing away.

"I don't think I could do it without this cart, because I don't have enough stability in my legs anymore, and this cart would provide a solution, so I am excited, very excited," said Fishman.

Roger Pretekin, president of SoloRider said "it changes people's lives."

He also said, while the cart is designed for disabled players who thought their golfing days were over, seniors are using the carts in greater numbers as well.

"It's just a matter of time before things start to happen to us, we just get a little older and you start to feel aches and pains, and golf is an easy game to walk away from because it is hard sometimes," said Pretekin.

The SoloRider costs around $8,000, which is twice as much as a normal golf cart. Many public courses are purchasing them to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and avoid a lawsuit.

The City of Santa Barbara, which operates the Santa Barbara Golf Club purchased two SoloRider golf carts.