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Stand Up and Play: Reno adds Paramobile to golf community

Published: Apr. 29, 2021 at 11:16 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. -

Press Release from First Tee Northern Nevada/Mazz Management:

The Paramobile will be available this season at both Sierra Sage and Wildcreek Golf Courses thanks to a generous grant from the William N. Pennington Foundation to First Tee Northern Nevada. It will be used as a teaching and game access tool in the PGA HOPE program which offers free golf clinics to all veterans, disabled or able-bodied, in order to enhance their mental, social, physical and emotional well-being. It will also be used to increase access for disabled youth participating in First Tee Northern Nevada youth golf programs.

“The Paramobile is the missing link for those with impaired mobility to get back into the game they love, or begin their journey into golf,” said Chris Dewar, Executive Director, First Tee Northern Nevada.

“This could not have happened without the Pennington Foundation and our others partners at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Reno, the Northern California PGA Foundation and First Tee Northern Nevada,” said Mike Mazzaferri , President of MAZZ Golf Management, which operates both Sierra Sage and Wildcreek courses for Washoe County. “Our teaching staff is eager to bring this tool to the course and help give access to a sport that many believed was out of their reach.”

Originally from South Africa, Netto is an international ambassador for challenged golf and has been a Master Golf Teaching Professional since 1999. Netto, a veteran of Desert Storm, was on his way to play in a professional golf tournament in his native South Africa in 1994 when his car was hit by a drunk driver, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Determined to return to golf, he found that attempting the swing from a traditional wheelchair was too confining and set about inventing a device that would allow him to basically stand while playing, just like able-bodied golfers. (Video: Media – Stand Up And Play Foundation)

He is the co-inventor of the Paramobile, which rides like a normal wheelchair with the exception that the seat and seatback lift up and puts a person in a standing position. It puts less pressure per square inch on the ground as compared to a normal foot-print. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Paramobile is welcome at facilities all across the country.

Netto now resides in Las Vegas and spends his time training PGA professionals and veterans how to use the game of golf as therapy; he also serves as a consultant for handicapped golfers worldwide. A few of his accomplishments include initiating the European/American KidSwing program, training the German Disabled Golf Team and the USA Golf Team/Invictus Games. He holds the current Paralong Drive World record of 350 yards.

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