GOLFERS with a disability will be able to compete in most Golf Union of Wales championships this summer, making it one of the first sports to be inclusive at the highest levels.
GUW Championships from 2017 will be incorporating modified rules of golf into its general conditions for the vast majority of events run under its banner.
Players can make use of the modified rules should they require them, enabling those players with disabilities to compete in any Championship which he or she is otherwise eligible.
The GUW Championship Team and referees will be equipped to implement the modified rules should they be required.
“We are delighted to announce that the modified rules will be available to players who require them,” said GUW Championship manager David Wilson.
“Our Championships are based around the premise of trying to provide an equitable playing field for all potential competitors and this without doubt enhances that ambition.”
The modification of the Rules of Golf is intended to provide a means by which golfers with disabilities may play equitably alongside golfers without, or having other types of disabilities.
The move has been backed by Golf Development Wales, who have been leading the way in making golf more inclusive at all levels.
“The Golf Union of Wales have become one of the first sports governing bodies in Wales to earn an insport Silver Award for their work in making the sport more inclusive for individuals with a disability,” said GUW director of Golf Development, Hannah McAllister.
“Over the past few years we have been focusing on providing quality inclusive, pan disability and impairment specific golf opportunities for more people to try the sport and supporting clubs in the processes in retaining individuals within coaching and club membership for life.
“Many clubs are embracing this, over 50 PGA professionals have been trained in Inclusive Coaching and we have 22 Disability/ Inclusive coaching hubs.
“Naturally the aim is to become the first sports governing body in Wales to earn the Gold Award and to show golf can be fully inclusive, so this next step is to ensure we provide more opportunities for all throughout the competition pathway but introducing the modification of the rules for golfers with a disability in our GUW championships is a big step forward
“We would also encourage all clubs to implement the modified rules in their club competitions and for clubs wanting more information please get in touch.”
The modified rules of golf include such changes as allowing a blind golfer to get help in alignment from a coach, equipment modifications for amputees, or other forms of extra on course assistance where appropriate.