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:
- Visually impaired 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
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
- Received Dormant Account Funding
- Joined as members of the European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA)
- Attended the R&A “Golfers with disabilities” conference
- Attended the EDGA and IGF International Eligibility Consensus meeting 2020
- Provided education to all staff members around the area of inclusion by attending disability inclusion training
- Delivered practical leader’s training to volunteers who will be running sessions for people with a disability
- Supported the delivery of the Cork “Inclusion for all” programme
- Supporting various local sports partnerships in the delivery of disability awareness days
- 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.
Caption: Volunteers from Donaghadee GC taking part in activities during their practical leaders training delivered by CGI.
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
- 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 inclusive workshop
Cara is a national pan-disability sport organisation providing a collaborative and partnership platform to increase sport and physical activity opportunities for people with disabilities across Ireland. Cara coordinates, develops and delivers inclusive training and education workshops across the Sport sector. All their workshops are designed to equip participants with the knowledge, competence and skills necessary to include people with disabilities in sport and physical activity, and increase quality provision. If you would like more information on Cara or to book one of their workshops visit their website.
Cara have designed a number of disability factsheets to provide information and guidance to becoming a more inclusive coach. They have also designed an inclusive communications document to ensure your activities and information is accessible to everyone. To view these documents please visit the disability resources section of our website.
Disability Sport NI
Disability Sport NI (DSNI) is Northern Ireland’s main disability sports charity working to improve the health and well being of people with disabilities through sport and active recreation. DSNI provides sport and active recreation opportunities for people with disabilities and supports talented sports people with disabilities. They also provide training for coaches, leaders and teachers whilst promoting positive attitudes towards people with disabilities through educational projects. For more information on available training click here.
DSNI have designed a number of disability factsheets to provide information and guidance to becoming a more inclusive coach or volunteer. To view these documents please visit the disability resources section of their website.
Child Birth Injuries
The Birth Injury Center is dedicated to supporting anyone who has been affected by birth injuries, brain injuries, cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, and other developmental disabilities. They strive to provide answers and guidance to ensure that families receive the assistance that they need to help improve their overall quality of life.
If you would like more information on Child Birth Injuries visit their website.
Deaf Golf Ireland
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 play in EDGA badged events?
In order to participate in any EDGA badged tournaments, all players must be either assessed by an EDGA approved eligibility assessor or in certain circumstances be able to prove that their disability qualifies. There are two types of pass available as described below depending on the severity of the players disability:
World Rankings for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD) Pass
This pass enables players to participate in any EDGA badged tournaments including the Premier Series with all results to be included in the WR4GD world rankings.
EDGA Access Pass
This for players who’s disability is not severe enough to qualify for the WR4GD pass but would like to play in EDGA Access and relevant EDGA Challenge Events. Any event results will not be included in the WR4GD world rankings.
1) Register with EDGA
Complete the simple registration form with your name, email address, password and agree to the EDGA GDPR policy. CLICK HERE
2) Logon to your EDGA control panel
After you’ve verified your email address, you’ll then be able to logon to your personalised EDGA control panel.
3) Add your basic contact information
In order to apply for an EDGA player pass, you will need to add your basic contact information, country of residence, gender and date of birth. You will also be able to add (optional) additional information such as dietary requirements, next of kin along with the country you will be playing for if applicable.
4) Add your photo ID
In order to apply for an EDGA player pass, you’ll also need to add a recent head & shoulders photo. This will be used to help identify you at EDGA approved events and may also be used in our media especially if you win an event or do well in the world rankings.
5) Apply for your pass using a simple online form
Simply tick the category/s that best descibes your disability, upload any supporting documentation (if applicable), tick the consent boxes and submit your application.
Irish Blind Golf
Irish Blind Golf are a voluntary organisation supporting blind and visually impaired people who wish to learn or continue playing golf in Ireland. Visit their website for more information and contact details.
Society of One-Armed Golfers
Founded in 1932, the Society of One-Armed Golfers welcomes golfers of all ages and abilities, playing golf with one arm, to take part in competitive competitions and social events. For more information and contact details visit their website.
Special Olympics Ireland is a sports organisation for people with an intellectual disability. They support over 8,000 athletes across the 32 counties in Ireland who participate in 15 different sports. Following the 1995 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Minneapolis-St Paul USA, golf was introduced to Special Olympics Ireland. In 2019, 631 Special Olympics Ireland athletes participated in Golf
To contact and/ or find a Special Olympics golf programme near you, use the find a club section on their website. You can filter the selection by region and also by choosing golf from the dropdown menu.
If you would like more information on Special Olympics Ireland visit their website.
The Handigolf Foundation
The Handigolf foundation is a UK charity for golfers with a physical disability who have to be seated to play golf shots. If you have a physical disability or injury, you may require an adapted buggy in order to get out and play or practice. The Handigolf Foundation have adapted buggies to rent and purchase.
They also run a number of events for golfers with a disability.
For more information on events or equipment, you can visit the handigolf website.
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