The Conquistador Update

Hello, everyone….it’s update time again!!!!! Well, after the great blizzard of 2021 last night (yup, we get snow in Tucson one or two days a year) with a record breaking 1.5″ of snow when we got up this morning, we felt it was time for a quick update on the Conquistador and the TIU Shootout.

On the Shootout on 4/19, we are officially sold out with 144 registrants and 13 on the waitlist. The response for this year’s benefit for UArizona Adaptive Athletics has been just ground breaking. Many of our local and regional sponsors have stepped up to the plate and we are on track to raise four times more than we did in the last one in 2019 (2020 was cancelled for obvious reasons). After extremely generous donations by Mr. Robert Rowlings and Omni Hotels, the Dick Luebke Family, and Jim Click (our champion), we moved the event to Tucson National (same course as the Champions Cologuard Classic) and are expecting a really great event with some awesome golf.

On the Conquistador on 4/20, we’re getting a great response for this initial adaptive major event. As of today, we still have about 40 spots still open and we’re also adding daily to our sponsors roster.

Due to COVID restrictions, Casino del Sol (our host hotel) has banned all large gatherings and catering events until late May. Therefore ( as many of you are aware) we have moved our player reception and awards event to an offsite location (Trak Tucson, a working equestrian center in the Tucson city limits) for a unique experience while still maintaining the protocols necessary for current times.  FireTruck Brewery, will be catering both events. We’ll have live music at the player reception and some special guests for the awards event.

On hotels, Casino del Sol is close to selling out our reserved room blocks, so if you wish to stay on property, you need to reserve today. To get our guaranteed rate, you need to call the resort (do not use the website) and reference the Conquistador tournament. We still have plenty of rooms available at the Doubletree located at the Tucson Airport (15 min away). Be aware that there is no shuttle service from the Airport to Casino del Sol, so your alternatives are Uber ($22) or car rental (actually rentals are pretty cheap here in Tucson). All of the food venues at the Casino will be open and operating normally (all twelve of them!).On the tournament, we will be making the decision soon on the tees that will be used and which classifications will being teeing off from respective tees. For all of you who wish to maintain your World Rankings, if EDGA gets us approved in time, we will submit scores accordingly (Premier and Challenge). Everyone’s scores will also be submitted to USAGR as well. We will be announcing beneficiaries for the event within the next two weeks.

On a couple of housekeeping issues, if you don’t remember submitting your wearable sizes during registration, we will be posting an online form (this weekend) to fill out so we can make sure you get your Swag!!!

SoloRider has been kind enough to allow us to use four demo carts for our event and we will be hauling them up to Mesa for Jason’s event. We have an additional two here in Tucson as of today. Based on what we know today, we still have two available for our event and I’m sure Jason can update you on the USDGA event in Mesa. Also, if any of you have special dietary needs, make sure you notify us at least two weeks before the event so we can accommodate you.

Finally, we will be utilizing a “touchless” scoring process this year with Golf Status. Both iOS and Android versions are available for free in your respective app store.

That’s about it until next week. Remember to tell all your contacts about the event and let’s get this sold out!! Appreciate all of you.
Jon – jon@TIU4ALL.org

TIUTP Event Updates

The TIU Shootout 2021

We are pleased to announce that as of 3/5/2021, the TIU4All Shootout to benefit UArizona Adaptive Athletics is officially sold out with 144 golfers committed to play.  While we still have a couple of sponsorships available, we have exceeded expectations and will be proud to post the results of the biggest single day benefit golf tournament ever in Southern Arizona.  This benefit will feature many of the most prominent business leaders in the Tucson market and will show case the Ambassadors of the Adaptive Golf Players Association, who showcase and demonstrate the unique abilities that world ranked adaptive golfers possess.

The Conquistador Paragolf Championships

We have been making tremendous progress on the participant and sponsor fronts, but we need to “up our game” in getting more signups as we’re getting close to cutoff dates on the room blocks as well as golf entrants.  We are extending the registration cutoff date from 03/12/21 to 03/26/21 for both tournament registration and hotel room blocks at Casino del Sol.  If you register after this date we cannot guarantee the rate or availability. In conjunction with our competition committee, we will be making decisions on the applicable tee boxes for each group of classifications within the next month. If you need further information, please email us at sales@tiu4all.org.  

The Tip of the Spear to benefit fallen Special Forces Veterans

New to TIUTP tournament schedule this year is the Tip of the Spear Corporate Golf Clinics and 18 hole benefit tournaments (organized by the Invisible Shield) .  In partnership with Dormie Networks, we will be starting out with our first event at Briggs Ranch in San Antonio, TX with a second benefit this fall to be held at a Dormie Network course yet to be chosen.  The format of each event will be a corporate sponsored golf clinic presented and operated by the Patriot Golf Foundation, with an 18 hole shotgun tournament operated by TIU4ALL the day following. Net proceeds from both events will be donated to qualified charities and foundations in the immediate market.

The Invisible Shield National Championships – updates coming this next week.

Another first for the University of Arizona

The University of Arizona (UArizona) Adaptive Athletics Program continues to challenge the status quo with the addition of the first collegiate adaptive golf program in the U.S. “We have over a 40-year history [of adaptive sports] here at UArizona and now we are trying to expand our reach even more,” said Peter Hughes, UArizona Adaptive Athletics Director. Golf is a popular sport in Tucson, Arizona due to the weather and cost of living. Although Hughes didn’t know much about adaptive golf, he recognized the sport was popular in Tucson and catered to visually-impaired athletes. “We haven’t had adaptive sports for many, many years regarding visually impaired individuals,” said Hughes. “There are a lot of golfers and golf events in Southern Arizona, including the U.S. Blind Golf Association Open in Green Valley. I felt like our program should be furthering this cause. ”In collaboration with local golf simulator business, TeeItUp Enterprises, UArizona’s adaptive golf program was launched in September 2019. Jon Moore, co-founder of TeeItUp, sparked an initial conversation with Hughes about adaptive sports on an airline flight seven years ago. Four years later, Moore’s son, Christopher Schmidt, lost his vision and stumbled upon the U.S. Blind Golf Association. When Moore’s son started competing in tournaments throughout the country, a fire was ignited within the pair to increase participation in adaptive golf.


First Adaptive Golf Program in Collegiate Sports

Moore remembered his conversation with Hughes several years prior and gave him a call to pitch the idea of starting a program at UArizona. Golf marks the seventh sport added to UArizona’s Adaptive Athletics program. The golf team has recruited five athletes, including the newest recruit Bailey Bish.

“It means a lot to me that the University of Arizona has an adaptive golf team. I grew up playing sports, and I have dreamed of playing sports in college ever since I can remember,” said Bish. A Tucson native, Bish grew up on the fifth hole of the Forty Niner Country Club with her younger sister and parents. She joined the Tanque Verde High School golf team during her freshman year. “I fell in love with golf because I get to be outside, and it’s very peaceful and quiet,” said Bish. “It was something I was able to do with a weak right side. My right leg and right arm were the problems and with golf, you just need a strong left side to transfer [weight] onto. Bish is a freshman at Pima Community College studying logistics and supply chain management. She plans to transfer to UArizona to pursue a degree in organizational leadership or regional commerce.

Other original team members such as Jesse Williamson and Christopher Schmidt, as well as other adaptive golfers, will be featured in future posts on our blog. Each has a unique story to tell and are indicative of what adaptive golf holds for the development of adaptive sports and the growth of the sport of golf.

Our new venture to provide lessons and clinics to all of those who wish to enhance their lives through the game of golf.

With the addition of adaptive golf at UArizona, Moore and Hughes plan to help other universities across the West Coast develop programs of their own. “We’ve got proposals on the table right now with four major universities on the West Coast, and it’s our intention to set up a western adaptive golf conference,” said Moore. Moore also indicated that the concept could soon make its way to the Midwest and Southeast US with the intention of one day creating a national conference.

“The more people we can have playing golf, the better it is for our game. The more things we can do to reduce barriers to entry regardless if it’s finances, access to courses or disability, it’s a great thing for everyone who plays golf,” said Jim Anderson, head coach for UArizona men’s golf team. “I think what the adaptive athletics program is doing is pioneering another opportunity for a market of golfers to exist and hopefully figure out a way to provide people with an opportunity or at least attract people to the University of Arizona thanks to this program.”