This publication contains permissible modifications to the Rules of Golf for use by golfers with disabilities. This is not intended to be a revision of the Rules of Golf as they apply to able-bodied players. As is the case for the Rules of Golf themselves, these modifications, along with the philosophy expressed herein, have been agreed upon by the United States Golf Association and R&A Rules Limited.
It is important to stress that these Rules modifications only apply if they have been introduced by the Committee in charge of a competition. These modifications do not apply automatically to a competition involving golfers with disabilities.
In modifying the Rules of Golf for golfers with disabilities, the desired result should allow the disabled golfer to play equitably with an able-bodied individual or a golfer with another type of disability. It is important to understand that this critical objective will occasionally result in a modification to a Rule that may seem unfair at first glance because a more simplified answer may appear to exist when two golfers with the same disability are playing against one another.
From a practical standpoint, it is useful to subdivide golfers with disabilities into groups, each one of which has a need for somewhat different Rules modifications. Five such groups are easily identified. They are blind golfers, amputee golfers, golfers requiring canes or crutches, golfers requiring wheelchairs and golfers with intellectual disabilities.
What follows is an attempt to adapt the Rules of Golf to these groups of golfers with disabilities, using the objective noted above as the ultimate goal.
All terms in italics are terms defined in the Rules of Golf. Please consult the Rules of Golf for the text of the defined terms.