Gender Policy for USGA Championships

Authorization For Release of Information
Authorization For Release of Medical Information

I. Purpose

In March 2005, the United States Golf Association announced the adoption of a new gender policy for its championships. The policy is referred to in the Conditions of Competition set forth in the Eligibility section of entry applications for all relevant USGA championships beginning with the 2006 championship season. The policy sets forth the procedures by which a transgendered player may participate in a USGA championship. The policy seeks to assure fair competition for all entrants in a USGA championship.

II. Proof of Gender

In any USGA championship in which it is required that a player is a specific gender (male or female), the player must identify himself or herself during the entry application process as a person of that particular gender. Failure to provide proof of gender when gender has been reassigned, and to comply with the process and procedures set forth in this policy, may result in disqualification from the championship. In the event that a player has had gender reassignment surgery at any point after puberty, that player must provide certain documentation to the USGA in accordance with the procedures set forth below. Gender reassignment prior to puberty is not subject to these requirements.

III. Prerequisite for Eligibility

A player who has had gender reassignment must have had a gonadectomy no less than two years prior to the entry deadline for that specific championship.

IV. Procedures and Documentation for Submitting Proof of Gender (First-time Applicants) 

  1. As set forth in the championship entry application, each applicant must comply with this policy and these procedures. Eligibility to play in a USGA championship will only be evaluated in connection with a player who has submitted an entry application to play in that USGA championship. The specific USGA championship must be identified in writing with the accompanying documentation specified below.
  2. Gender reassignment documentation must be submitted in triplicate via overnight or first class mail in an envelope marked "Confidential" and addressed to Chief Legal Officer, United States Golf Association, 77 Liberty Corner Road, Liberty Corner, NJ 07931 and received at the USGA no later than five (5) days after the close of entries for the specific championship. The documentation, which will be reviewed by the USGA's medical panel, must include the following:
    1. Identification of physician who conducted pre-operative psychiatric evaluation, including name, address and phone number;
    2. Hospital records confirming completed surgical gonadectomy;
    3. All office records documenting related follow-up treatment;
    4. Executed waiver allowing members of USGA medical panel to contact all treating physicians if deemed necessary (Download above).

In the event that hospital records have been purged or lost, or are other otherwise unobtainable, a current physical examination performed by a physician experienced in this type of surgery, a report from that physician, and the documentation referenced in (i) and (iii) above, will be considered and reviewed.

V. Procedure for Applicants who have been Previously Approved Under this Policy 

If eligibility for entry in a USGA championship has been previously approved under this policy, subsequent USGA championship entry applications, whether in the initial or subsequent years, will be accepted without the documentation required in Section IV, paragraph B.

VI. Additional Considerations 

If questions relating to a player's compliance with this policy arise, either prior to or after commencement of a competition, or after a competition has been completed, the USGA may contact the player for verification, and request that the player provide appropriate documentation in accordance with this policy. A player has seven (7) days after receipt of such a request within which to provide the required documentation to the USGA at the above referenced address. If the competition has commenced, a player may be permitted to continue in the championship until a determination has been made on the player's eligibility in accordance with this policy. If it is determined that the player should be disqualified, any award, prize and/or ranking arising from participation in the championship shall be forfeited. The player shall not be banned from future championships so long as the player satisfies the requirements of this policy in connection with future Championships.

Questions regarding the process and procedures can be addressed to Chief Legal Officer at (908) 234-2300.

VII. Privacy 

The USGA will maintain such information and documentation in confidence, with only counsel, the USGA medical panel, the Chairman of the Championship Committee, and limited USGA staff members having access to such information and documentation. If the player wants the USGA to release to any golf association or other similar entity information confirming that the player has followed the procedures of this policy and was deemed eligible to play in a particular USGA championship, the player must 1) execute the USGA's Authorization For Release of Information (available for download at the top of the page) and 2) forward the executed Authorization for Release of Information to the USGA, 77 Liberty Corner Road, Liberty Corner, N.J. 07931, to the attention of Chief Legal Officer in an envelope marked "Confidential".

The USGA expressly disclaims any ability to limit or prevent third party inquiries made directly to the player or to others. In the event that a third party, (other than one specified by the player in accordance with the provisions noted above) including media representatives, makes an inquiry with respect to a particular player's eligibility to play in a particular championship, the USGA will respond simply that the player was deemed eligible to compete in the championship.