SADGA – Becker Inspired by Physically- Disabled Golfer Maehler

Always striving to help people enjoy personal growth

Aspiring PGA Professional Chinell Becker has found coaching physically disabled golfer Emil Maehler to be both rewarding and inspiring. Coaching Maehler (who has severe Cerebral Palsy) has been a novel experience for the multi-talented Becker. How does someone who has complete command over their body – representing the Free State in five different sports at school – relate to and instruct someone whose movement and coordination is limited? By making every effort to simulate their reality as far as possible.

“To help him improve I practice with one hand so that I can teach him how to hit a perfect shot. I can tell you it’s not easy,” Becker admits.

2022 Kwazulu-Natal Disabled Open

Though the pair have only been working together for four months, the emphasis on developing Maehler’s short-game and putting has already paid rich dividends. At the 2022 Kwazulu-Natal Disabled Open, Maehler carded a two-round tally of 46 points which included 29 round-two points. He went two points better at the Cape Town Disabled Open, carding 48 points over 36 holes.

“He is improving after every lesson because of his positive mindset and great work ethic,” says Becker.

“Emil never gives up, just like us he gets frustrated but can practice for hours after a coaching session to perfect the shot or putt.” What makes Becker and Maehler’s progress all the more remarkable is the fact that Chinell is still in her first year as a PGA of South Africa student. Of everyone she has coached to date, Becker left no doubt over the impact Maehler has had on her.

“Don’t focus on being one of the few women in the field. Concentrate on making yourself invaluable and an expert in your area. Hold yourself to a standard of excellence and put in the hard work to be successful.”