HOW TO GET STARTED IN BLIND GOLF
How Does a Blind or Vision Impaired Person Play Golf?
With two major exceptions, and a couple of minor ones, Blind Golf is played in the same way as sighted golf. However, Blind Golfers require a caddy (or guide) to assist them around a golf course. The golfer and their caddy form a “Team” with the caddy acting as the Blind Golfers “eyes”.
The golfer and their caddy will both need a reasonable knowledge of golf rules and etiquette, or be willing to learn, and both will also need a reasonable level of fitness.
A major difference between blind/sighted golf is that blind golfers can ground their club in a hazard, usually a bunker but in some circumstances a water hazard. Another major difference is that the caddy may stand behind the flag as the blind golfer putts.
In order to overcome unique problems that some disabled golfers encounter when playing golf, the R&A and the USGA has produced “A Modification of The Rules of Golf for Golfers With a Disability”. If you are interested in the full modifications for blind golfers please go to the following link:
What is required to play Blind Golf?
You may be vision impaired and looking for a sport you can play or you may be a current golfer with deteriorating sight making it difficult to play golf. If so, there is no reason you can’t immediately start getting involved in blind golf.
If you need coaching, Golf Australia in association with the PGA has a programme for coaching golfers with a disability. To date about 50 golf professionals throughout Australia have become accredited coaches under this programme. For further information, or to find an accredited golf professional in your area go to the following link:
Blind golf in Australia has 4 sight categories: B1-totally blind, B2 a sight acuity less than 2/60, B3 a sight acuity of less than 6/60 and (with some restrictions) B4 sight acuity of 6/36 to 6/60.
You will need to contact a State Blind Golf Association – contact details are below.
You will have to complete a sight classification form (the form can also be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org). This form has to be completed by your ophthalmologist or optometrist so that we can determine what sight category you belong in.
Blind golf has a standard handicapping system worldwide unlike sighted golf where different countries have different systems -this enables blind golfers to play in any blind golf event anywhere on a consistent basis. You will need 3 qualifying rounds before you obtain a blind golf handicap – the State Secretaries will advise you how to play these qualifying rounds.
Once all the “paperwork” is done, you can decide if you want to play with other Vision Impaired Golfers by competing in the regular events held in your state. For the more serious golfers, Blind Golf gives you the opportunity to play in state, national and international events.