The event will see a team of 12 players representing the cream of Europe, battle it out over 3 days of competition in this the inaugural match against their counterparts from North America & Canada. The tension will of course mount on both sets of players as they strive to be the very first winners of the coveted trophy which is named after Don Fightmaster, a multiple former World Champion One-Armed golfer from the USA.
The match is to be held over 3 days from 12 – 14 September 2008, in Louisville, Kentucky where just a few days later the Ryder Cup competition itself will be played, featuring some of the worlds top professional players.
The European Team consists of the top 10 performers in the 2007 and 2008 World One-Armed Golf Championships held in Stirling, Scotland and Dunmurry, N Ireland respectively plus 2 wild-cards selected by a SOAG committee.
The 2008 team, which has SOAG immediate past-President Malcolm Guy from Ellon, Scotland as its non-playing Captain, is:
1. Nick Champness England Crawley Down, West Sussex, England
2. Brian Crombie Scotland Glenrothes, Fife, Scotland
3. Michael OGrady Ireland Kilbeggan, County Westmeath, Ireland.
4. Brendan Swan Ireland Trim, County Meath, Ireland
5. Robert Paul England Deal, Kent, England
6. David Waterhouse England Little Sutton, Cheshire, England
7. Hugh Ross Scotland Torrance Glasgow, Scotland
8. Douglas Jopp Scotland Edinburgh, Scotland
9. David Bailey England Litchfield, Staffordshire, England
10. Norman Kelly England Burton on Trent, Nottinghamshire, England
11. Darren Grey England Darlington, County Durham, England
12. Stuart Griffin Scotland Stirling, Stirlingshire, Scotland
Team Captain Malcolm Guy is honoured to be leading such a strong team into what will undoubtedly be a huge challenge and an unforgettable experience for all involved. He will be using the scheduled practice days to assess form, and identify the best player combinations for the crucial series of fourball and foursome matches which will get the competition underway, before the final days series of 12 singles matches which will determine the destination of the inaugural Fightmaster Cup.
Above all, Malcolm is delighted that this event provides a major opportunity to showcase and promote one-armed golf, and display the remarkable talent and impressive levels of achievement that can be attained through a combination of hard work, dedication and, perhaps most importantly, encouragement. SOAG regards this event as a major boost to its aims of raising the profile work in promoting one-armed golf, encouraging players with upper limb deficiencies to participate in golf, and to provide coaching opportunities.
The intention is that the Fightmaster Cup competition will be staged every two years, with venues at or near to those hosting that years Ryder Cup event (Celtic Manor, Wales in 2010).
Of course a significant amount of time, effort and financial resources will be involved in planning and organising such a major event, and SOAG would be pleased to hear from any potential sponsors / benefactors who would be interested in becoming involved in supporting this exciting event.
The Society website is www.onearmgolf.org.