As noted in the Miscellaneous Section of the Modification to the Rules of Golf for Golfers with Disabilities, there are many golfers who have physical limitations that may result in some degree of disability and that may have a significant impact on their ability to play. The local committee (e.g. tournament committee or golf club rules committee), on a case-by-case basis, may evaluate unique devices that are designed for use by individuals with such limitations and that do not conform to the Rules of Golf. After reviewing a device, as well as information regarding the individual's medical condition, the local committee determines whether the device could be permitted under Exception 1 to Rule 14-3 provided that the committee does not believe that the player's use of the device does not give the player an undue advantage ove other players. If the local committee determines that the individual does not gain any undue advantage over other players by using the device, the Committee may permit the player to use the device during a stipulated round.
General Guidelines For Obtaining Permission for USGA Championships
- All such requests and required medical documentation must be submitted to and received by the USGA within three days of submitting the entry application online. Phone submissions are not accepted. The request and associated documentation should be sent by overnight courier to the attention of the Director, Equipment Rules & Conformance, USGA Research and Test Center, 77 Liberty Corner Road, Liberty Corner, New Jersey, 07938 or via email at TestCenter@usga.org.
- If a player is diagnosed with a medical condition or is injured after the closing time and date of entries set forth on the particular entry form and the player wishes to use a device for medical conditions during a USGA competition, proceeding under Exception 1 to Rule 14-3, the player must submit a formal request, as specified below, to the Director, Equipment Rules & Conformance as soon as possible prior to the event. In addition to the information required below, the player must include proof that the condition was diagnosed after the entry submission date.
- Written requests should include the following information:
- Documentation from a treating physician, physical therapist or other medical professional describing the player's condition (i.e., medical record, letter, etc.) and how the device affects the player's ability to play golf.
- The product manufacturer and product name identified on the List that the player wishes to use, or if not a mass-manufactured device, the name and contact information of the maker of the device.
- Photographs, diagrams and/or product specifications of the device and photographs and/or diagrams of the device when used.
- If necessary, a sample of the device for physical evaluation (may be returned upon completion of the evaluation).
If you have any questions regarding the above, please contact the Director, Equipment Rules & Conformance, USGA Research & Test Center at (908) 234-2300.
Similar requests for local and regional competitions, other than local and regional USGA qualifiers, should be made directly to the local or regional competition committee.