Golfers: Accessibility and You

The ADA applies to golf courses…the general rule of the law states, “no individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the …services, facilities, privileges, advantages, …of any place of public accommodation by any person who owns, leases… or operates a place of public accommodation.”

If you are a mobility impaired golfer, you have a right to play golf. The ADA is about civil rights. If you are a mobility impaired golfer, it is your responsibility to be familiar with the ADA and your rights… and express them when it is necessary. We certainly do not advocate that anyone become offensive or argumentative. Most golf course owners and operators today are not familiar with the details of the law and what they need to do to accommodate you. There is confusion, and golf courses are trying to learn. They also do not understand your needs, and may actually be unsure about how to deal with you! Many will make an effort to accommodate you, and those that don’t usually don’t know what they are required to do. We strongly urge mobility impaired golfers to discuss the situation with the golf course owner or operator, letting them know what your needs are. If, after reasonable discussion, you are not accommodated, you have an option under the law to file a complaint with the Department of Justice or engage an attorney and file a civil action against the golf course.

These are certainly not preferred actions, but they are options. You can also let your local community service organizations such as Rotary International or organization knowing about the situation. Sometimes these organizations may be able to help.

We need to recognize that compliance with ADA is new to many, and progress can be slow… but progress is happening, and more and more golf courses are beginning to recognize they need to do something. So, while everyone is frustrated, we still need to exercise some patience. Accessibility in golf is not far away. Many organizations, including SoloRider, are starting to create a data base of golf courses that can accommodate mobility impaired golfers. The lists are growing every day. When you are looking for a place to play, call us. Soon we will have them listed on our web site.

Next: Amended Rules of golf