Despite living with advanced arthritis, Frank Cougan, 84 from St. Andrews Scotland, will be celebrating his life presidency of the golfing ‘Tain Stotters’ thanks to a new type of folding TGA scooter.
Golf has been in Frank’s blood since he was a baby. He was born in Carnoustie close to the historic Links course which has just hosted The Open Championship. He began playing regularly as a junior and developed into a very proficient player with a handicap of 7. At the age of 32 he joined the original founders of ‘The Stotters’ – formed by a group of holiday golfers who were visiting Tain Golf Club for the Open Golf Week. They challenged local members to a 12 v 12 Greensome match; a game that has been subsequently repeated every year since 1966. New generations of Stotters, including children and grandchildren of the original 12, continue to keep the tradition going and a group of 68 will be celebrating their 52nd game in August. Frank, the last remaining original member, has now retired from golf due to restricted mobility, however thanks to a different type of golfing ‘Plus 4’s’, a TGA Minimo Plus 4 mobility scooter, Frank can attend this remarkable anniversary event with greater independence.
Frank explains: “I have played golf all over the UK for over 75 years and been lucky enough to win a competition or two such as the 1981 Diners Club International Trophy held at Turnberry. I managed a shirt and tracksuit manufacturing business in Belfast for over 20 years so enjoyed playing in Ireland too. I have lived in St. Andrews for 30 years and have experienced a varied career around the world in the RAF and as a commercial traveller selling biscuits, clothing and property. Add to this the Guest House my wife and I ran for several years – without these I would have been on the course or at the 19th hole all the time! Now moving around is not so easy however my Minimo Plus 4 keeps me independent. With our 52nd anniversary Stotters event coming up on 3rd August, my daughter will be putting it in her car so we can take it to Tain.”
Franks continues: “My neighbour showed me an advert from TGA and I thought a folding Minimo Plus 4 might be the answer. Harry from TGA came to see me and let me try it at home and on a bus at the bus depot. I also tried the new WHILL Model C powerchair from TGA, both were so easy to get on board but I decided the scooter was better as I wanted pneumatic tyres. There are so many potholes around these days and I wanted something that gave more stability and was smooth. The fact the 4-wheel Plus 4 has its front wheels wider apart than 3-wheel designs means I feel more in control with better balance. Getting on and off the local buses is easy, they have ramps, I just show my bus pass and I drive on. The scooter has to be under 40” long to comply, my Minimo is 37”. If I go on a bigger bus say to the Airport, the Minimo will fold up and can be stored by the driver.”
Frank concludes: “I am 84 going on 48. My driving licence may have been revoked however with my Minimo Plus 4 I can still get out. I can go to the shops and storing it at home in my retirement accommodation is no problem. TGA have been very good to me, always listening to what I need and Harry is excellent. He lives reasonably near me and pops in now and again to see if I am ok. Thank goodness I got my Minimo as my other brand of scooter had just broken down, without it my 55th time at Tain would simply have not been the same.”