The needs of the golfer with intellectual disabilities will be unique to that individual and dependent upon the severity of the disability. If it is elected to play by the Rules, this group of individuals should be able to do so, although some players may require on-course supervision to facilitate some or all aspects of play, including etiquette. In that regard, the on-course supervisor would, in some cases, be somewhat analogous to the coach used by a blind golfer. In other situations, where someone is present on an as needed basis this person would be classified as an “overseer.” An overseer’s function is more general in scope. An overseer is there to assist any player requiring assistance and is not specifically assigned to one player. The following Definition is recommended:


An “overseer” is one employed by the Committee and assists with the conduct of the competition. He is not assigned to a specific player nor is he part of a side. An “overseer” is an outside agency.

The status of the “supervisor” and the duties that he may perform should be defined clearly. Without this clarification it would be difficult for a golfer with learning disabilities to determine how he should proceed in a variety of Rules situations that may arise, e.g., seeking advice, or if his ball were to strike his or another player’s supervisor after a stroke. The following Definition is recommended:

A “supervisor” is one who assists a golfer with learning disabilities in his play, the application of the Rules and etiquette. A supervisor has the same status under the Rules as a caddie.

Note 1: A player may ask for and receive advice from his supervisor.

Note 2: A player may have only one supervisor at any one time.

Rule 6-4 (Caddie)

The supervisor of a golfer with learning disabilities would, in some ways, be analogous to the coach of a blind golfer and, as such, the role of the supervisor may conflict with Rule 6-4 (Caddie). Therefore, there should not be a prohibition against a golfer with learning disabilities having both a supervisor and a caddie. In these circumstances however, the supervisor may not carry or handle the player’s clubs, except in assisting him as permitted by analogy to Decision 6-4/4.5. Otherwise, the player would be subject to penalty under Rule 6-4 for having more than one caddie.

Rule 8-1 (Advice)

In view of the Definition of “supervisor,” it is suggested that Rule 8-1 be modified as follows:

8-1. Advice

During a stipulated round, a player must not:

a. give advice to anyone in the competition playing on the course other than his partner, or

b. ask for advice from anyone other than his partner, either of their caddies or, if applicable, their supervisors.

While the above language may provide the basis for handling the difficulties that golfers with learning disabilities face in dealing with the Rules and etiquette, there may be additional problems if the golfer has both learning and physical disabilities. In this case it is suggested that a combination of the Modification of the Rules of Golf for both golfers with learning disabilities and golfers who are physically disabled, if applicable, should be applied.

Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.

Rolex image

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website,, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit

AmEx image

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit

AmEx image
American Express

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit

AmEx image