Golf is a sport for everyone. Regardless of age, gender, physical condition or physical challenge, it is a great way to build friendships and to exercise, while providing an opportunity for personal challenge and growth.
There is no reason why the sport shouldn’t be enjoyed by all, including those with disabilities. The R&A wants to encourage all golfers to play the game, regardless of any disability that they may have. There are many organisations for disabled golfers throughout the world offering opportunities for disabled athletes to learn the game, to play and to compete.
In order to overcome certain unique problems that some disabled golfers encounter when playing golf, The R&A and the USGA have produced A Modification of the Rules of Golf for Golfers with Disabilities. This publication contains advice and permissible modifications to the Rules and they provide a means by which disabled golfers may play equitably with able-bodied golfers or golfers with other types of disabilities.
From a practical standpoint, it is useful to subdivide disabled golfers into groups, each of which has a need for somewhat different Rules modifications. Five such groups have been identified for the purposes of modifications to the Rules:
- Blind golfers
- Amputee golfers
- Golfers requiring canes or crutches
- Golfers requiring wheelchairs
- Golfers with learning disabilities
In addition, in order to assist with the requirements of specific disabilities, some disabled golfers use equipment and devices that do not conform to the Rules of Golf. The R&A can review, on a case by case basis, such equipment and devices and determine whether they should be permitted as an exception under the Rules.
The R&A has also produced an audio version of the Rules of Golf, including the modifications, for blind golfers and others that require this format. Copies of this audio version can be ordered by contacting The R&A. They are free of charge for blind players.