With 13.5% of the Irish population (643,131) having a disability (central statistics office 2016) we believe it is imperative to grow the opportunities available to those with disabilities in golf.  The R&A from a practical point of view have subdivided disabled golfers into groups, each of which has a need for different rules modifications.

These groups include:

  • Blind Golfers (54,810 of Ireland’s population are blind or visually impaired (CSO 2016))
  • Amputee Golfers
  • Golfers requiring canes or crutches
  • Golfers requiring wheelchairs
  • Golfers with learning disabilities


A Modification of the Rules of Golf for Golfers with Disabilities.

This below 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.


What are we currently doing?

We are currently examining our own inclusion practices as our vision is to become an organisation that leads by example in this field. We have begun work with CARA and to date we have:

  • Created a disability action plan to be completed by December 2020
  • Signed up to the CARA Inclusion Charter
  • Supported the deliver of Els for Autism training
  • Applied for Dormant Account Funding
  • Joined as members of the European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA)
  • Attended the R&A “Golfers with disabilities” conference
  • Provided education to all staff members around the area of inclusion by attending disability inclusion training
  • Developed a section on inclusion in our practical leader’s course
  • Supported the delivery of the Cork “Inclusion for all” programme
  • Set up a Disability & Inclusion working group

Both the GUI and ILGU currently grant aid to various organisations that deal with golfers with disabilities e.g. Irish Blind Golf, Irish Deaf Golf. They also provide free coaching, access to the GUI academy, uniforms to several individuals availing of the grant aid and to Special Olympics.

Phase Two Plans

Our commitments for phase two of our development plan is to:

  • Develop a section on the website that directs people to the relevant organisations and raises awareness of the amendments to the rules in relation to disability golf
  • Create a series of case studies that showcase the opportunities for golfers with disabilities
  • Increase awareness on how clubs could be taking steps to become more inclusive
  • Undertake an inclusion awareness survey to identify what golfers understanding of inclusivity is and use this to measure success by undertaking it in two years’ time
  • Support the delivery of a PGA CPD workshop

European Disabled Golf Association

The European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) was established in the year 2000 by organisations representing golfers with disability from seven countries. Today the association is made up of the National Governing Bodies from 29 countries. Although EDGA is focused on the European dimension, organisations from around the world regularly reference to EDGA for direction, advice and more specifically the definitions of impairment, eligibility and tournament criteria.

As a European organisation, EDGA is uniquely positioned to support the development of initiatives which promote, the development of golf for individuals with impairment across Europe, positively influence public perception and offer meaningful and relevant advice to golf’s ruling authorities.

“We help individuals with impairment to start, stay, succeed and enjoy golf. We advise and guide organisations on tournaments, training and services to golfers with disability.”

For further information on the EDGA, please visit their website.

How can I become a member of EDGA?

EDGA Access Pass

This application is for players who do not wish to obtain a world ranking status, but wish to play in EDGA access and relevant EDGA challenge events.

Send the completed form including any medical records and/or government endorsed disability evidence to: applications@edgagolf.com

World Rankings for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD) Pass

This application is for any player who wants to participate in any EDGA badged tournaments AND would like their scores to be included in the WR4GD.

To qualify for an WR4GD Pass, your disability has to have an influence on your golf game, as described in the Instructions for completing the EDGA WR4GD Pass application form.
Send the completed form along with any supporting documentation to applications@edgagolf.com

For a definition of impairments please see the following document:

World Ranking for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD)

The World Ranking for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD) ranks the top golfers with disability on the basis of their average performance in Counting Events over a rolling cycle of the previous 104 weeks.

WR4GD is offered by The R&A and the United States Golf Association as a global service to golf. Through incorporation and assessment of worldwide events, WR4GD encourages the international development of the competitive game.

To view the latest rankings please CLICK HERE

Frequently Asked Questions about the WR4GD Rankings can be viewed by CLICKING HERE

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