MJ McColgan Uses Golf to Overcome Disability November 12, 2018 By Jordan Schwartz, USGA

MJ McColgan hasn’t allowed a disability to prevent him from playing – and excelling at – the game he loves. Born with cerebral palsy, which makes it difficult to walk, McColgan overcame the odds to become a champion golfer, winning 48 Special Olympics gold medals.

And his dad has been by his side the whole time.

“I introduced him to the game because the beauty of the game is friendship and meeting people,” Mike McColgan said. “You can go out as a single player, meet three people you’ve never met in your life and by the end of the round, be friends for life.”

Among the lessons MJ has learned from the game is perseverance.

“Golf taught me a lot,” he said. “The one thing is not to give up and go out there and play.”

You can help make golf more accessible to people with disabilities by giving a special year-end contribution to the USGA. Your meaningful gift will drive golf forward by:

...    Enhancing the on-course experience for all those who play the game, especially juniors, beginners and those with disabilities like MJ;

...    Creating a healthier relationship between golf courses and the environment to ensure the long-term sustainability of the game;

...    Celebrating golf’s traditions through the curation of stories about legendary champions, iconic venues and signature moments, as well as the preservation of the world’s most comprehensive collection of golf memorabilia;

...    Preparing golf’s future leaders by introducing a younger, more diverse generation of professionals to a career in golf.

The USGA works every day to make the game sustainable, accessible and enjoyable so anyone can experience the transformative power of play, competition and camaraderie. But the organization can’t do it alone. The USGA needs help from the golf community to keep this the greatest game ever played so future generations of parents and children – like MJ and Mike – can continue to enjoy it.

The USGA Foundation’s commitment to drive golf forward is critical for the game and the people with disabilities who play it.


Jordan Schwartz is the creative and content lead for the USGA Foundation. Email him at

The USGA Foundation secures resources to fulfill the USGA’s commitment to invest in programs and innovative solutions that best serve golf for all who love and play it.