To provide professional golf instruction to special people, with special needs. We focus on the “Ability” aspects within any disAbility, while integrating families and the community.
In the summer of 2009, Philip Argianas, PGA Certified Golf professional, instructed a program for junior golfers with physical and mental disabilities, which proved both challenging and rewarding. Upon seeing Philip’s dedication, The Florida Junior Golf Council suggested that with his teaching methods he forming a special needs organization that would benefit many.
GIG was founded by Suely and Philip Argianas to provide the gift of golf to those with physical, mental, emotional and social needs. The husband and wife team felt a need, and had a rare opportunity to give those with special needs, a chance to learn, enjoy and participate in golf. Suely’s background in business, photography and wellness is a key contribution to GIG’s growth. Working within their personal and social networks, they have been able to begin building a brand that can help communicate GIG’s mission outward.
In 2010, our inaugural year, the outpouring of community and financial support enabled us to provide continuous golf programs for kids with Autism, Down syndrome, Physical, Emotional and Mental disabilities. Special teaching techniques have been tailored to each individual student, and combined with modified SNAG golf equipment, GIG has been successful in introducing the game of golf to many students in an enjoyable and effective manner.
Our fun golf programs not only teach kids to play, but also improves their motor skills. Learning rules and etiquette help develop cognitive and social skills which lead to development of new friends, self-esteem, empowerment, confidence and self control. These programs have yielded results beyond expectations, and have been particularly rewarding for parents, teachers and volunteers.
Students with functioning abilities were able to enjoy and relate to the game, while excelling! Some kids starting off on modified equipment have been able to transition to standard golf equipment. Many experienced the thrill of going and playing on a golf course for the first time in their lives! Through the end of 2011, with the constraints of limited resources, dedicated volunteers and GIG have taught over 300 special needs kids!
Given our short history, our focus remains to propel GIG into a future that will allow for many more kids to experience and enjoy the gift of golf.
GIG – Gifts in Golf, wants to teach and go where no other golf organization has gone before!
GIG is expanding their unique techniques and golf programs to the special needs community throughout the USA. Our goal is to positively impact families and community, while growing the game of golf. We teach, they have fun, when ready, they transition and integrate into the community programs.
What’s the “GIG”? We envision continued growth of our golf programs by becoming part of many therapy programs, integrating and benefitting kids, adults, seniors and Veterans to the many neglected areas of our society.
We seek support from associations, foundations, corporations, schools, individuals and volunteers, to contribute making our vision and mission a reality.
Founders and Directors
Suely Argianas, Executive Director
Philip Argianas, Program Director
Board of Directors
Mr. Alix J.M. Apollon, Secretary
Ms. Elena Coello-Jemmali, Treasurer