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Page Updated Monday, February 7, 2022

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Modifications for Blind Golfers



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Definition of "Coach" - The status of the coach and the duties which he may perform should be defined clearly. Without such clarification, it would be difficult, for example, to determine how a blind golfer must proceed if his ball were to strike his or another player's coach after a stroke. Therefore, the following definition is suggested:


A "coach" is one who assists a blind golfer in addressing the ball and with alignment prior to the stroke. A coach has the same status under the Rules as a caddie. NOTE: A player may ask for and receive advice from his coach.

Rule 6-4 (Caddie) - There is nothing in the Rules which would prohibit the coach of a blind golfer from functioning as his caddie. For a variety of reasons, however, a coach may not be able to perform the duties of a caddie. Therefore, there should not be a prohibition against a blind golfer having both a coach and a caddie. In such circumstances, however, the coach may not carry or handle the player's clubs except in helping the player take his stance or align himself prior to making the stroke, or in assisting him as permitted by analogy to Decision 6-4/4.5. Otherwise, the player would be subject to disqualification for having more than one caddie.



Rule 8-1 (Advice)

In view of the Definition of "Coach," it is suggested that Rule 8-1 be modified as follows:

8-1. Advice

A player shall not give advice to anyone in the competition except his partner. A player may ask for advice from only his partner, either of their caddies or, if applicable, their coaches.

Rule 13-4b (Grounding Club in Hazard) - The following additional Exception under Rule 13-4 is suggested:

Provided nothing is done which constitutes testing the condition of the hazard or improves the lie of the ball, there is no penalty if a blind golfer grounds his club in a hazard preparatory to making a stroke. However, the player is deemed to have addressed the ball when he has taken his stance.

Rule 16-1f (Position of Caddie or Partner) - Due to the complexities involved in aligning a blind golfer on the putting green, it may be difficult or unreasonable to expect the blind golfer and his coach to comply with Rule 16-1f. Therefore, there should be no penalty if a player's coach positions himself on or close to an extension of the line of putt behind the ball during a stroke played from the putting green provided the coach does not assist the player in any other manner during the stroke.

However, given the intent of Rule 16-lf, it may be appropriate to prohibit a coach who is simultaneously functioning as a double caddie from remaining in a position which contravenes this Rule.

For more information regarding these rules contact the USGA:

P.O. Box 708

Far Hills, NJ  07931-0708

tel: 908-234-2300  fax: 908-234-9867



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