MIDLOTHIAN, VA (WWBT) - Anthony Netto has played golf against some of the greats - Tiger Woods, Paddy Harrington, and Gary Player. He's beat them all, despite being paralyzed from the waist down. Now he's helping others to see they only need to worry about one kind of handicap when they're playing golf.
Netto has founded the "Stand Up and Play" Foundation which helps to get paraplegic golfers to actually stand to play. He has developed the "Paragolfer"- a three-wheeled motorized contraption, with an adjustable seat that actually extends upwards, so the golfer is strapped in and standing up.
The Paragolfer doesn't just help paraplegics to golf. Injured people can use it for flyfishing, skeet shooting, and playing tennis. In fact, the mere act of standing works muscles that most paraplegics don't use. It can also help to prevent pressure sores and relieve pressure on the lungs and stomach.
Netto, a South African native, travels all over the country giving tutorials on the Paragolfer, and spreading the world to paraplegics who don't realize that they can actually stand up to play golf.
Jennifer Bertram, a Richmond native, first met Netto last October. That day was the first time she had stood up since suffering severe brain injuries a year and a half earlier in a car accident. Now the former high school golfer, can enjoy the game that she's always loved, but she thought she could never play again.
Netto loves to see those types of success stories, but wants to get more of the word out about the foundation. He will be at the Brandermill Country Club in Midlothian until Saturday to share information about the Paragolfer. For more information, or to donate to the cause, call the Brandermill pro shop at 744.1185.