Upstate Carolina Adaptive Golf
Upstate Carolina Adaptive Golf (UCAG) exists to create an environment where participants in the Carolinas have access to adaptive golf therapy that promotes inclusion, builds self-confidence and enhanced quality of life.
Executive director, Brandon Worley, a US Army Veteran who served in Afghanistan, knows firsthand the many challenges facing service men and women when they return home. After being introduced to adaptive golf programming during his graduate school research, Brandon decided to start UCAG. Founded as a resource to help Veterans in the Upstate, our mission has evolved across the Carolinas and focuses on people with physical, cognitive and emotional challenges including veterans.
WE KNOW THAT ANYONE CAN DISCOVER THEIR ABILITIES (NOT DISABILITIES) WHEN PROVIDED THE OPPORTUNITY. UCAG EXISTS TO PROVIDE THE SPACE FOR THAT OPPORTUNITY IN OUR COMMUNITY.
-Brandon Worley, Founder
UCAG fulfills its mission by serving as a positive champion for disability related issues, engaging individuals with applied positive psychology and golf therapy, while leveraging our collective resources to influence golf courses to become more accessible for inclusiveness.
UCAG has served veterans, adults, & children who are in the community and are overcoming challenges that may include but not limited to:
Autism Spectrum (ASD)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Amputation and Traumatic Paralysis
Spinal Cord and Brain Injuries
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Cerebral Palsy (and similarly debilitating disorders)
Individuals Overcoming Life Threatening Diseases
Focus: Disabled Veterans and Special Olympians
Youth and Veteran Programs
UCAG’s youth adaptive golf series uses the Els for Autism #GameOn coaching method to provide evidence based practices for teaching golf to individuals with cognitive, developmental, and physical special needs. Participants learn golf skills and build confidence and self-esteem in a fun, welcoming and supportive environment. We meet once a week for six weeks, starting at a local driving range the first four weeks to learn fundamentals and finishing up the last two weeks on local courses to put their skills on display with on-course time.
To learn more about programs available for veterans and youth, visit their website.
Partnership with Mary Black Foundation
In 2021 Mary Black Foundation awarded Upstate Carolina Adaptive Golf $5,000 through the Community Health Fund to expand services in Spartanburg County.
With this funding. since September of 2021 they have been able to provide adaptive golf services to over 30 Spartanburg youth and veterans.
Achieving health equity is a data-driven, reflective, and ongoing process that requires integrity, transparency, and accountability to understand the structures and systems that produce inequities. The Foundation will deepen our understanding of how community needs differ and then invest in community-specific resources. Residents of Spartanburg County deserve opportunities to participate, prosper, and achieve maximum health and wellness.
To advance health equity, Spartanburg will need to ensure it has: (1) high quality education & employment, (2) safe & supportive neighborhoods, and (3) accessible, affordable, & culturally relevant healthcare.
The work of Upstate Carolina Adaptive Golf falls in the Safe & Supportive Neighborhoods bucket of the framework.