At the end of April 2022, Norwegian Fredrik Fjaeraa was in seventh place in the “Gross” division of the World Ranking for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD) after a series of successful tournaments. Thanks to this Fredrik qualified to play in the prestigious G4D @ Betfred British Masters hosted by Danny Willett in early May.
In the setting of The Belfry - in the English West Midlands and home to four Ryder Cups - Fredrik couldn't have had a bigger stage to play golf on.
Fredrik Fjaeraa, statements
This was the first tournament on the new DP World Tour G4D Tour calendar in 2022 for golfers with disabilities.
(There are seven such events organized this year, culminating in the G4D @ DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, in November.) Along with Fredrik himself, the lineup included the current top nine WR4GD Gross Strokeplay rankings and the first player.
Of course, Fredrik Fjaeraa is thrilled to have been part of this elite group of players for what is a landmark event in international golf. Even if the excitement didn't allow Fredrik to play his best golf at the Belfry, scoring a score of 85 and 83, the experience will surely stay with him.
“I was nervous but very proud to represent my country Norway,” he said. "It was incredibly exciting to play on this famous course and to be a part of it." “I've been playing for almost 35 years.
I was a very active golfer when I was young, and then I started playing again about 10 years ago. I have worked in construction for over 20 years and have also had some mountain bike accidents. That's why I'm now playing in events for golfers with disabilities ”.
Fredrik's home golf club is Gamle Fredrikstad GK, in Viken, about nine miles south of Oslo. He mainly plays in Norway, but loves EDGA events abroad, most recently the 2021 EGA Individual European Championship for golfers with disabilities in Portugal.
His impairment is orthopedic, having sustained injuries from both his work and a couple of serious mountain bike accidents. The surgeries helped him up to a point, but all of this caused Fredrik Fjaeraa to lose strength and limitation of movement in both his shoulders and back, making completing the swing a particular challenge.
Despite all this, the now 49-year-old uses his experience and skill and is still a very strong golfer with a handicap of +0.9. One of the best players in his club, he says he likes to be competitive despite his injuries, but he also really appreciates the social aspect of the game.
And what is it that you like most about golf? “Everything in reality. Above all the competitive aspect. You can always challenge yourself. You actually only have one person to play against and that is you, so you can always improve.
"Then there is another aspect of golf. And I like that too, the social side of golf. You can travel the world, meet new people " One of Fredrik's best memories is when he won his club championship for the first time, on the last hole.
He likes the friends he made at the club and at the EDGA tournaments, and playing with his wife is clearly special.
He smiles when he says his dream of him is to play with Seve Ballesteros, Arnold Palmer and Bobby Jones, at Augusta National no less. Sorry if it is little ... Even though Fredrik has a handicap of +0.9, he says he always tries to improve.
He wants to keep playing in these events and the G4D Tour is motivating him to keep working hard on his game. He qualified for the second G4D Tour event at the end of May, in Hamburg, Germany, the G4D @ Porsche European Open, and Fredrik said he was thrilled to have a second chance to play his best golf on this world stage.
. He hopes that the video clips and social media posts of Edga players can be seen by many other people with disabilities and their families, with the hope that they will be stimulated to try the game of golf. Fredrik Fjaeraa's swing is limited by damage to his shoulders and back, but in some ways his main joy is constantly challenging himself to improve.
Of course, he had to abandon his adventures in the wilderness with the mountain bike, but even the one of the G4D Tour is not a bad adventure.