Saskatoon’s Holiday Park Golf Course has recently introduced the SoloRider golf cart, specifically designed to render the game of golf accessible for individuals dealing with physical disabilities. This innovation is set to open up new opportunities and experiences for Saskatoon residents and visitors with physical limitations, encouraging them to engage in the time-honoured sport.
Golf Saskatchewan’s Executive Director, Brian Lee, emphasized that this accessibility feature allows injured or physically-disadvantaged individuals to partake in the golfing experience with friends and family. Given the social nature of golf, this opportunity presents an inclusive platform for everyone to enjoy the sport.
Kyrell Sopotyk, a keen athlete and golfer prior to his spinal injury in 2021, has used the SoloRider on multiple occasions at different courses. His verdict: the golf cart is reasonably simple and user-friendly. Hand controls for throttle, an easy-to-use lever for swinging out, and a mere button push to adjust height make the equipment approachable. Though some getting used to is required, certain shots become simpler with practice.
A unique feature Sopotyk enjoys is driving the SoloRider, which can be driven directly onto the green. With its balloon tires, it does not cause any damage – a capability that regular carts lack. Endorsing this unique feature, he called attention to the convenience it offers by enabling golfers to finish their putts.
Alongside the Silverwood Golf Course, the addition of the SoloRider at Holiday Park advances Saskatoon’s mission to enhance accessibility on its golfing greens. Looking ahead, the city envisions expanding its current fleet of accessible carts. As Lee divulged, a third cart is expected to find a home soon and possibly another SoloRider around 2024-2025, contingent on the demand.
The consensus between Lee and Sopotyk is clear: regardless of how many bad shots there are, the pleasure of golfing with friends is irreplaceable. They both reiterated the essence of golf is in the enjoyment of playing, whether or not you are in tip-top shape or savoring a few beverages while playing, and ensuring a safe ride home afterwards – in short, everything in keeping with the spirit of golf.
Barring any major weather disruptions, Saskatoon’s golf courses are slated to close for the season from mid to late October.