Sonny Ackerman, a retired US Marine who lost his leg in an unfortunate accident, founded what was known as the Adaptive Golf Foundation in 1995, as a way to bring golf to those in recovery or living with a disability that otherwise would not be exposed to resources essential to learn, play and enjoy the game.
An avid golfer and member of the Atlanta Athletic Club, Sonny refused to give up playing golf after having his leg amputated in 1984. Unable to find guidance or support to help relearn the game back then, Sonny had to adapt and overcome many obstacles himself to get back into the game he loved. He did this successfully, going on to win six Senior National Amputee Tournaments (3 U.S. and 3 Canadian) and was inducted into the Atlanta Athletic Club Hall of Fame where his featured plaque hangs just 4 spots over from that of the great Bobby Jones. Through his own life-enhancing experiences and appreciating the restorative values of the game, Sonny recognized the need to help individuals with physical challenges and provide them an opportunity to learn and play golf for both rehabilitation and recreation.
In 1997 with the support of the United States Golf Association, Sonny began conducting training workshops and clinics educating hundreds of students a year to include PGA Professionals, Physical Therapists and dedicated volunteers with a passion for golf and the heart to help others.
Sonny partnered with RiverPines Golf Club north of Atlanta to host monthly community clinics beginning in 1994. Although Sonny passed away in 2006, his dream of enhancing lives through golf has continued through the Adaptive Golf Association.
Retired Marine and Founder, Oliver “Sonny” Ackerman with PGA Professional David Windsor in Sarasota, FL; 2001