Rule 25 – Special permissions for approved golfers with disability
There are four new sub-rules for golfers with disability that permit an “approved person” to perform certain actions that would result in a penalty if performed by a non-approved person. They are:
Rule 25.2: “Modifications for Golfers Who Are Blind” (which includes certain levels of vision impairment)
Rule 25.3: “Modifications for Golfers Who Are Amputees” (which means both those with limb deficiencies and those who have lost a limb)
Rule 25.4: “Modifications for Golfers Who Use Assistive Mobility Devices”
Rule 25.5: “Modifications for Golfers with Intellectual Disabilities”
The Modifications for Players with Disability (Rule 25) automatically apply for all approved players who are classified in the categories covered in Rule 25.
For example, a golfer approved to use the new Rule 25.2 for players who are blind will be permitted to ground their club in a bunker immediately behind the ball. As a result of the modifications, the new sub-Rules will create an even playing field by removing the Rules disadvantages that have historically existed for golfers with disability, thereby resulting in a more fair and fun golfing experience for everyone.
Clubs and facilities will not need to be involved in the approval process under which a player is deemed to be eligible to use these rules. A panel of international experts has been commissioned to make these determinations, and all applications will be lodged via a quick and simple-to-use online process. Once an Australian has been approved to use one of the new sub-Rules through this process, they will automatically be able to do so in any level of Australian competition, whether it be a club championship, or a state amateur championship, or the Australian Open.
When a person has been approved to use one or more of the new sub-Rules, this approval will be displayed on their handicap record on the GA website and App which is currently under construction and due for deployment in early February 2023.
What are the Modified Rules for Players with Disability?
What is the minimum eligibility standard?
Golf Australia is committed to enabling all Australians living with impairments within the four sub-rules to access the Modified Rules.
Players that fall into the four new sub-rules will only need to provide evidence of impairment through either;
A Medical Practitioner diagnosis / certificate or letter or
Evidence of diagnosis / support from a government agency (such as NDIS or other agency) which outlines the persons ongoing need for support
Why is Golf Australia creating an approval process?
This process has been established to remove the need for competition administrators to make determinations on eligibility for Rule 25 who in most cases will not have appropriate levels of expertise.
The process also ensures that players with disability will not need to provide multiple competition administrators with health information relating to their disability.
Who makes the decision on eligibility for Rule 25?
A panel of international experts has been commissioned to make these determinations through EDGA (formerly known as the European Disabled Golf Association).
EDGA is recognised by Golf Australia as the global body for people with disability. It is a recognised affiliate of the R&A, providing governance, strategy and eligibility standards for the game of golf.
The Central eligibility team that makes determinations for EDGA consists of internationally recognised experts from across the world. Click here for more information on the Central Eligibility Team.
How is my medical data stored?
EDGA is bound by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and is compliant with the requirements of the GDPR and Information Security.
EDGA stores data relating to a player’s contact details, medical information and other information that relates to participation in golf. This information is held centrally by EDGA with only the player’s contact details and eligibility code passed to Golf Australia. Golf Australia does not hold or have access to a player’s medical information.
How will I be notified if I have a successful or unsuccessful application?
A member of the central eligibility team will notify you via email once your application for Rule 25 has been assessed.
Do I need to notify Golf Australia once I have approval?
No. This information will be communicated directly to Golf Australia by EDGA and will automatically be displayed on your handicap record on the GA website and App.
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