The 2021 Conquistador Award Ceremony

Missing: Ryan Brenden, Michael Madsen

A heartfelt thanks to all of you who came to Tucson to attend this inaugural event. Looking forward to the next event this fall and next year’s Conquistador two weeks after the Masters.

TIU4ALL and UArizona Adaptive Golf announces new community and team members

First Adaptive Golf Program in Collegiate Sports

TIU4ALL and the UArizona Adaptive Golf program are proud to announce that both Kevin Holland and Norma Trujillo have joined our community golf programs with the intent of qualifying for our competitive team in the near future. Both Kevin and Norma personify the goals of TIU4ALL in building the most competitive collegiate and community program in the US today. Here’s a little info on our two newest members:

Norma Trujillo

My name is Norma Trujillo and I am a mother of 3 and an artist. I am also certificated as a lead advocate for the state of Arizona, with a peer visitor certificate.  I am a bilateral above the knee amputee, with a fused neck, an incomplete spinal cord and 3rd degree burns.  After four years, I have come across the sport of golf and have fallen in love with everything golf!

When am not playing, I create some art pieces, hang out with my kids and husband, and I work with local leaders to advocate for disability awareness. Additional interests include: hand cycling, community walking with other amputees and participating in virtual support meetings.

The latest news on Norma is that she had a major interview on ABC that will air on Sunday May 9. Here’s the link:

https://fb.watch/5o0Oy1CJQI/

We can’t begin to tell you how proud TIU4ALL and the UArizona Adaptive Golf team is to have this brave woman in our program….she’s an inspiration, she’s a competitor, and most importantly, she is FEARLESS!!! Norma will develop into a great golfer, sooner than you will believe!!!

Kevin Holland

Born December 24 1982 Born from birth with cerebral palsy Playing in my 4th season on the us amateur tour in 2020 I had 3 tournament wins and won the points race for my flight . Took 3rd in the 2019 usdga international tournament . Also in 2019 the mwaga all disabled open second place in wr4dg . 2019 in the usdga for division three champ . 

Showcase of Adaptive Golfers in Tucson, the New Epicenter of Adaptive Golf in the USA

For Immediate Release

Contact:           Matt Russell

                             Russell Public Communications

                             (520) 232-9840

                             mrussell@russellpublic.com

Spring Golf Events to Showcase Adaptive Athletics and Welcome World’s Top-Ranked Adaptive Golfers 

Tucson, Ariz. (March 28, 2021) – The University of Arizona’s Adaptive Golf program, the first and largest in national collegiate sports that showcases the talents of golfers with disabilities, will host two events in April and is inviting the golfing community to participate and sponsor one or both.  The proceeds from these events will provide much-needed funding to grow adaptive golf throughout Southern Arizona and provide these student athletes the support and benefits that the game of golf provides.

The first event, the 2021 TeeItUp Spring Shootout, will be held on Monday, April 19 at the Omni Tucson National Resort.  This 18-hole scramble will feature a fundraising event where Southern Arizona golfing enthusiasts can sponsor traditional foursomes, threesomes with one adaptive golf athlete, or engage in other associated activities and programs.  This tournament will benefit University of Arizona Adaptive Athletics.

The second event, the Conquistador Paragolf Championship, will kick off on Tuesday, April 20 at Sewailo Golf Club at Casino del Sol and will conclude on Thursday, April 22. Members of the University of Arizona’s Adaptive Golf team will participate in this event along with more than forty of the top world-ranked adaptive golfers including Billy Fryar, Jonathan Snyder, Tracy Ramin, John Bell, Steve Shipulski, Chris Biggins, and Sean Munn.  The tournament will feature a variety of exciting prizes such as equipment and golf wear from sponsors/preferred providers such as Cobra/Puma, Vice Golf, Desert Fox, Sqairz Golf Shoes, Ping, and Nike.  This tournament will benefit the University of Arizona Adaptive Golf team as well as other adaptive golf initiatives in Southern Arizona.

“We are excited to be hosting these stellar events for both our golfing community at large and for our adaptive athletes from the University of Arizona and from around the world,” stated Jon Moore, managing director, TIU4ALL.  “Our community has a proud history of strong support for such events, and together with our world-class golf courses and nearly-perfect, year-round weather, these events will raise much-needed funding as well as the profiles of our athletes and ultimately help us in making Tucson the epicenter of adaptive golf worldwide,” Moore concluded. 

To register to play, or to sign up for sponsorship opportunities for the TeeItUp Spring Shootout, please visit www.tiushootout2021.com

To register to play, or to sign up for sponsorship opportunities for the Conquistador Paragolf Championship, please click here.

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TIU4ALL Spring Shootout 2021

ATTENTION ALL GOLFERS AND WILDCAT SUPPORTERS:

University of Arizona Adaptive Athletics department is excited to be the major recipient of this years 2021 TIU4ALL Spring Shootout golf benefit tournament.  Two years ago our Adaptive Athletic department, which is committed to the success of any disabled athlete attending the University of Arizona regardless of the sport, committed the time and efforts to build the first ever collegiate adaptive golf program in the nation, offering scholarships and competition support for adaptive golfers as they attend our University seeking academic success and athletic glory.  Starting with 2 players, we are now excited to introduce a team of six at this year’s event, with more coming soon! Partnering up with the newly formed TIU4ALL Foundation, whose mission is to make golf accessible to everyone regardless their abilities, this event will allow you the unique opportunity to support adaptive athletics at the University of Arizona while playing next to and with some of the best adaptive golfers in the world as we continue to build our programs and offer opportunity to all.  We will be spotlighting these talented athletes on our social media in the next coming weeks so stay tuned and sign up today…You do not want to miss this.  Space is limited for participants and we are actively seeking sponsors. 

GOLF FUNDRAISING TRENDS & PREDICTIONS FOR 2021

There’s no doubt about it: COVID-19 has changed the way we live, work, and fundraise. Its long-term impact remains to be seen, but as health and safety restrictions and guidelines remain in place heading into the end of the year, organizations large and small are tasked with the challenge of planning amid the uncertainty of the year ahead. Here are eight predictions for golf fundraisers in 2021 and how to prepare so you’re ahead of the curve.

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1. GOLFERS WILL BE EAGER TO PLAY

For years, the golf industry has reported incredibly high latent demand (that is, tons of people who report that they want to golf, but haven’t or don’t regularly). The pandemic, almost at its immediate onset, poured fuel on the fire—challenging folks to get out and play. In fact, the industry as a whole has reported a record season with tee times booked consistently by golfers of all skill levels. This is good news for charity golf outings. Golf fundraisers traditionally use the scramble format, which means golfers don’t necessarily need to be extremely skilled at the game to participate in a charity tournament. 

With a huge uptick in rounds played by both new and experienced golfers in the 2020 season, event organizers can expect to have an easier time filling teams, especially by spring, when winter will be clearing up and folks will be eager to get out of the house.

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2. EXPECT TO SEE MORE TOURNAMENTS ON THE CALENDAR

With many organizations forced to cancel their other fundraising events, a lot was riding on golf fundraisers in 2020 and many long-standing annual events were able to safely press on thanks to some creative modifications and the use of technology. At the same time, many organizations that ended up making the difficult decision to cancel will have high expectations for 2021. Coupled with first- and second-year events born out of necessity during this time, organizations can expect to see not only a renewed interest in golf from donors and sponsors, but a renewed interest in golf fundraising events across the board and more events taking place overall. 

This makes early planning more important than ever. You’ll need to get save-the-dates out with enough time for players and sponsors to act. That means, if you’re planning a spring event, you should get a quick notice out to supporters ahead of year end (especially sponsors, who will be planning budgets). It’s also a good idea to get an event website for your golf outing set up so you can list available packages and supporters can start to actually commit. If you end up needing to postpone or modify the event, an event website designed around the nuances of the golf outing also makes it easy to do so.

3. SOCIAL DISTANCING & OTHER SAFETY PROTOCOLS WILL LINGER

No one can predict with certainty what’s ahead, but there’s definitely some merit in the old adage: Plan for the worst and hope for the best. It’s likely that event organizers and golf facilities will need to continue to modify events to meet capacity limitations, mitigate contact, and ensure social distancing. For golf events, this means using online registration, modified formats where necessary (i.e. tee times as needed), touch-free mobile scoring, and other adaptations that keep your event safe.

4. EXTENDED PLAY & MULTI-COURSE EVENTS WILL BE MORE COMMON

Virtual golf outings are another trend that has taken root in 2020 and will likely continue into 2021. Instead of an on-screen gaming experience like many virtual events, virtual golf outings are played remotely. The event is extended over multiple days and/or across multiple courses so players can essentially donate their round and participate in an aggregate leaderboard without being in the same place at the same time as 100-plus other golfers. One benefit of these modified virtual outings is that they’re particularly convenient for participants, who sometimes can’t make a one-day event due to busy schedules. Virtual events also broaden the scope of the outing so it can include more supporters (i.e. there’s a much larger field size limit). Lastly, these events often require minimal overhead and less planning—making it possible to hold them without a ton of costs, time commitments, or months of advanced notice.

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5. LEADERBOARDS WILL BECOME MORE COMMON

Mobile scoring solved the problem of paper scorecards and the need to touch and pass them around, and there’s likely no going back. Live leaderboards allow tournament participants to score their round in real-time, so players and spectators can see standings at all times. The benefits are numerous: the event becomes instantly more competitive, golfers playing remotely in virtual outings are connected by a central scoreboard, and event organizers are able to sell exposure on the live leaderboard at a premium. What’s more, event leaderboards are a great place to collect additional online donations from event participants and those following along.

6. SPONSORS WILL BE EAGER FOR DIGITAL EXPOSURE

With virtual elements and the adoption of technology, there comes digital advertising and opportunities for sponsor exposure. Digital logo placements are helpful for event organizers in that they’re easy to manage (just plug in a logo on a website, in a mobile app, or on leaderboards) and often have little to no overhead costs compared to signage or branded merchandise. Sponsoring businesses have also shown a propensity to support the technology that helps nonprofit organizations run more efficiently and effectively, making digital sponsorships a key opportunity for events that are evolving to leverage technology.

7. ORGANIZATIONS WILL FOCUS ON CAPTURING EVENT & DONOR DATA

Data has been the big buzz word in the sector for years, but there are some events and programming that seem to escape data capture and tracking mechanisms. The golf tournament has historically been one of those events, but it shouldn’t be. Indeed, the golfer demographic is, statistically, an affluent one. When golfers field a team, they tend to call on their networks and sphere of influence to do so. Perhaps most importantly, the golf outing can be a key entry point for corporate sponsors and partnerships. But none of this works if you don’t know who’s fielding teams, who’s being invited to play as a guest, who’s sponsoring your organization, and where the tournament falls into that supporter’s larger giving history.

The easy fix here is to use a platform that offers an event website with online registration and secure payment processing so you can capture and export that crucial information into your donor CRM. If your organization is fortunate enough to be the beneficiary of peer-to-peer fundraising or events run by third party organizers, capturing this data can be even more tricky, but it’s a huge missed opportunity if you’re not doing it. And, it’s still possible so long as your supporting events use the right technology.

8. TIME SAVINGS WILL BE A CRUCIAL CONSIDERATION

With many organizations facing budget cuts and staff consolidations, fundraising professionals have more on their plates than ever before heading into a high-stakes year. That means constant cost-benefit analyses, it means the ability to delegate is more important than ever, and it means organizations have to get creative to adopt technology to save time without adding more line-item expenses.

Another first for the University of Arizona

The University of Arizona (UArizona) Adaptive Athletics Program continues to challenge the status quo with the addition of the first collegiate adaptive golf program in the U.S. “We have over a 40-year history [of adaptive sports] here at UArizona and now we are trying to expand our reach even more,” said Peter Hughes, UArizona Adaptive Athletics Director. Golf is a popular sport in Tucson, Arizona due to the weather and cost of living. Although Hughes didn’t know much about adaptive golf, he recognized the sport was popular in Tucson and catered to visually-impaired athletes. “We haven’t had adaptive sports for many, many years regarding visually impaired individuals,” said Hughes. “There are a lot of golfers and golf events in Southern Arizona, including the U.S. Blind Golf Association Open in Green Valley. I felt like our program should be furthering this cause. ”In collaboration with local golf simulator business, TeeItUp Enterprises, UArizona’s adaptive golf program was launched in September 2019. Jon Moore, co-founder of TeeItUp, sparked an initial conversation with Hughes about adaptive sports on an airline flight seven years ago. Four years later, Moore’s son, Christopher Schmidt, lost his vision and stumbled upon the U.S. Blind Golf Association. When Moore’s son started competing in tournaments throughout the country, a fire was ignited within the pair to increase participation in adaptive golf.


First Adaptive Golf Program in Collegiate Sports

Moore remembered his conversation with Hughes several years prior and gave him a call to pitch the idea of starting a program at UArizona. Golf marks the seventh sport added to UArizona’s Adaptive Athletics program. The golf team has recruited five athletes, including the newest recruit Bailey Bish.

“It means a lot to me that the University of Arizona has an adaptive golf team. I grew up playing sports, and I have dreamed of playing sports in college ever since I can remember,” said Bish. A Tucson native, Bish grew up on the fifth hole of the Forty Niner Country Club with her younger sister and parents. She joined the Tanque Verde High School golf team during her freshman year. “I fell in love with golf because I get to be outside, and it’s very peaceful and quiet,” said Bish. “It was something I was able to do with a weak right side. My right leg and right arm were the problems and with golf, you just need a strong left side to transfer [weight] onto. Bish is a freshman at Pima Community College studying logistics and supply chain management. She plans to transfer to UArizona to pursue a degree in organizational leadership or regional commerce.

Other original team members such as Jesse Williamson and Christopher Schmidt, as well as other adaptive golfers, will be featured in future posts on our blog. Each has a unique story to tell and are indicative of what adaptive golf holds for the development of adaptive sports and the growth of the sport of golf.

Our new venture to provide lessons and clinics to all of those who wish to enhance their lives through the game of golf.

With the addition of adaptive golf at UArizona, Moore and Hughes plan to help other universities across the West Coast develop programs of their own. “We’ve got proposals on the table right now with four major universities on the West Coast, and it’s our intention to set up a western adaptive golf conference,” said Moore. Moore also indicated that the concept could soon make its way to the Midwest and Southeast US with the intention of one day creating a national conference.

“The more people we can have playing golf, the better it is for our game. The more things we can do to reduce barriers to entry regardless if it’s finances, access to courses or disability, it’s a great thing for everyone who plays golf,” said Jim Anderson, head coach for UArizona men’s golf team. “I think what the adaptive athletics program is doing is pioneering another opportunity for a market of golfers to exist and hopefully figure out a way to provide people with an opportunity or at least attract people to the University of Arizona thanks to this program.”