Budding young golfers test 'World-First' Koalaa prosthetic arm at Woburn Golf Course

Home > News > Budding young golfers test 'World-First' Koalaa prosthetic arm at Woburn Golf Course
UK-based Koalaa and EDGA have collaborated to develop a new and innovative tool to aid inclusivity in golf.
Posted on
May 24, 2024
by
Jack Lumb in
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

A prosthetic arm made by Koalaa, considered to be the first of its kind globally, was recently trialled by primary-school-age children during a unique coaching session at Woburn Golf Club in Milton Keynes.

UK-based Koalaa is collaborating with EDGA, a non-profit organisation committed to making golf accessible to all, to develop a one-of-a-kind tool that aids the ability of players with upper limb differences.

The innovative prosthetic helps to enhance a player’s capacity to use a golf club effectively, helping to grow the game’s inclusivity.

And, while the testing process is still in its infancy, following months of research and development, the special coaching session at Woburn was the first time that younger golfers were invited to trial the prototype.

Each child who tested the prosthetic had congenital below-elbow limb difference — meaning their arm did not develop fully at birth — and was given their Koalaa prosthetic free of charge through a charitable initiative called Project Limitless, which supports children aged 18 and under living in the UK, with roughly 600 children having already received a prosthetic through the scheme.

Joanie hitting the ball with her Koalaa prosthetic
10-year-old Joanie using her Koalaa prosthetic to play golf

Under the supervision and expert guidance of golf coach Mark Taylor, EDGA’s Head of Instruction & Education, the younger golfers used their prosthetic for the first time to play four holes on a bespoke short course designed just for them on the day.

Coinciding with the G4D Open, an inclusive tournament attracting skilled golfers with disabilities from across the globe, the event also provided the budding youngsters with the opportunity to meet some of the world’s best players.

Mark Taylor commented: “It was brilliant to welcome the children along to Woburn and they all picked it up really quickly! Tools, like the one we’re developing with Koalaa, are so important for aiding inclusivity and making golf accessible for all. We want everyone, no matter what age, ability or experience level, to know that golf is for them.”

Mark added: “From a player perspective, one crucial and unique benefit of Koalaa’s prosthetics is that they make it possible to connect the limb to the golf club in a functional position which complements maximum player interaction with the club and enhances the motion and force generation inside the swing - something that is just not possible without the new device.”

Freddie gets a lesson at Woburn Golf Club with his Koalaa prosthetic
Freddie having a golf lesson with his new Koalaa prosthetic

Unlike conventional prosthetics, Koalaa’s are crafted from a breathable fabric that fits snugly against the arm, making them lightweight, comfortable and ideal for the younger golfing generation.

The practicality and design mean the brilliant devices can be sent around the world in volume for a fraction of the cost, achieving a global reach for those who need it.

Koalaa prosthetics are currently available for those with below-elbow and partial hand-limb differences and feature interchangeable tools specially tailored to user feedback, allowing for adaptability and a versatile range of activities.

Nate Macabuag, founder of Koalaa, commented: “It’s fantastic to be working with the team at EDGA on this development project. Together, we hope to inspire people with limb differences of all ages to pick up a club and hit the golf course! Regardless of whether you’re a complete novice, or an elite in your field, at Koalaa, our mission is to make prosthetics and tools for people that support them to do the activities they want to do - and this is another exciting example of our commitment to that goal.”

The G4D Open is held in partnership between The R&A and the DP World Tour and supported by EDGA. Formally the European Disabled Golf Association, the EDGA is a non-profit organisation that supports individuals with a disability at every stage of the player journey, from ‘sampler’ to ‘participant’ to ‘competitor’, and works with 50 National Golf Federations as it aims to welcome 500,000 players into the game.

***

For more information, you can visit Koalaa's website here.

About Jack Lumb

Jack is the editor of Golf Today. Having spent ten years playing competitively at a high amateur level and five years at county, he has carried his knowledge of the game into the world of journalism. He once set the course record at his home club, only for it to be beaten a month later.

Updated: ago Related content:

Read Next

Cameron Young reacts after making a putt on the 17th green during the third round of the Travelers Championship

Tom Kim still leading at Travelers Championship, Cameron Young hits 59

Young made two eagles and seven birdies at the TPC River Highlands course for the first sub-60 score in nearly four years on the PGA Tour.
Nelly Korda hits on the fifth tee during the second round of the Womens PGA Championship

Nelly Korda crashes out of Women’s PGA Championship after 81

The world number one said there ‘no words’ for how she is playing as Sarah Schmelzel and Amy Yang claimed the halfway lead.
The clubhouse at TPC River Highlands

The Travelers - golf's go to event

M. James Ward outlines the rise of Connecticut's PGA Tour event and how a strict attention to details has proven to be a bonanza for all involved.
magnifiercrossmenuchevron-downcross-circle
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram