After four years in hiatus due to Covid-19 pandemic, the 13th World Deaf Golf Championship has resumed its biannual competition being hosted by the United States Deaf Golf Association in Lihue, Hawai’i. One of our Board members and Chairman Pono Tokioka was born and raised in Hawaii which is how we determine the venue for the WDGC 2022 with the great support from his Organizing Committee team. We are very proud to host the championships for the third time in 27 years of WDGC history (1998, 2014, 2022) which stands as the most championships hosted by a single country.
More than 200 people from 12 countries spent a week or more on Kauai, experiencing amazing golf at Wailua Golf Course, and the unique culture and traditions of Hawaii. So many of them have considered this tournament as the best WDGC event they’d ever attended including the members from World Deaf Golf Federation (WDGF) and International Committee Sports for the Deaf (ICSD). We are very pleased that this WDGC was a huge success despite making some very difficult decisions and uncertainties in the middle of a pandemic.
As for the USA teams, we have performed pretty well in this tournament where the Men’s team and Men Senior’s team has captured the 1st place trophy while the Women’s team came in second place by only 13 strokes behind. For the Men’s individual competition, three USA golfers finished inside the top 6 overall. In the Senior Men’s individual competition, five golfers from the USA have dominated the entire field by finishing in the top 5! For the Women’s individual competition, two USA golfers finished inside the top 5, including a high school standout who finished second place in Under 21 (Junior) women’s division.
Lastly but not the least, we want to extend our huge MAHALO (thank you) to all the volunteers, sponsors, local rules officials, Wailua Golf Course officials, and the Royal Sonesta Kauai Resort for their contribution in our event’s success!
The World Deaf Golf Championships was first played in 1995 in England at the Forest of Arden GC.
58 golfers from 8 nations took part and the championship was won by Doren Granberry USA.
Since then, the competition has grown and now includes ladies and seniors events. The largest turn out was in 2018 at Carlton House GC, Ireland with 115 players from 19 countries.
The event has become a stepping stone for top amateurs to make the transition into professional golf. World Champions Allen John (2016), Diksha Dagar (2018) and Paul Waring (2018) have all made this leap.
Deaf golfers compete in top amateur events at home and internationally as well as Deaf-only competitions. This makes the World Championships a highly valued prize amongst nations and the competition is very close and makes exciting viewing for spectators!
The Championships are owned by the World Deaf Golf Federation who give the rights to host the event every two years. England are the host for 2020 - a ‘coming home’ event to celebrate 25 years since the first event - again at the Forest of Arden.
Eric Brumm is the only current golfer who did participated at the first WDGC!
There are two new categories are making their debut this summer, Super Senior’s Men Team, with age 65 and up and Senior Women’s Team (age 50 and up)
Keith Worek is the defending Senior’s Men Championship and aims for his second straight win.
We have 32 golfers for the 2020 WDGC in England. It is the largest number of golfers from a country since WDGC was established. The USDGA Board members are excited to see the large number of participants in WDGC