A PGA professional with cerebral palsy hopes his achievement will encourage more players with a disability to follow in his footsteps.
Gregor McDonald recently graduated from the PGA’s degree programme to become a fully qualified professional, successfully completing modules ranging from coaching and club repairs to sports science, business principles and finance.
McDonald’s physical limitations meant that he effectively had to perform club repairs with one hand, but the 27-year-old did not ask for any accommodations to be made for his condition.
“I’m very proud of myself,” McDonald, who is based at the Cluny Clays facility in Kirkcaldy, told the PA news agency.
“It was a massive weight lifted off my shoulders when I found out I’d passed and a massive achievement for myself. I didn’t think I would get there when I was younger so it’s good to be able to do something I’m passionate about as my job.
“I don’t actually know any other disabled PGA pros at the moment so I hope it inspires a lot of people to do this. There’s no limits on what you can and can’t do. You can always achieve what you want to.
“I’ve proved that a disability shouldn’t stop you from pursuing your goals.”
McDonald was introduced to golf by his father Steve and had to make numerous adjustments to his game due to his condition.
“My dad took me to a local driving range and taught me all the basics,” McDonald said.
“I wouldn’t say I was a natural, but my dad worked hard with me in terms of getting everything correct. There were a lot of compensations in how I hold the club and I play cack-handed.
“There’s very little strength in my right arm so it’s mainly all left-hand power. My right hand basically just holds on to the club and I have lighter shafts in my clubs to help me get a wee bit of extra distance.
“I went on to get lessons from Craig (Donnelly), who is now my boss, and then did a college course in professional golf at Elmwood and then the natural progression was to go on and do the PGA course.
“Graduating from that is a nice reward for all the hard work I’ve put in, as well as for those who have helped me.”