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Should Professional Golfers with a disability be allowed to ride in a Golf Cart during Tournament Play?

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This weekend I played in a three day competition here in the heat of the ole south. Peak temperatures were north of 100 degrees. As I lugged my bag on my back over holes 50, 51, 52, 53 and 54 I cussed at those who believe fitness, muscular strength and muscular endurance are not major components in competitive golf. Images of John Daley chugging a beer while smoking a cig from his pimped out golf cart danced in my head.

 

I’m all for civil liberties and reasonable accommodations but I also believe anyone riding in a cart over an entire Golf tournament has an unfair advantage of most of the field.

 

What say you? What are your thoughts and opinions on professional golfers with disabilities being allowed to ride in a golf cart?

 

Things to consider:

 

1. Weather extremes are common

 

2. Terrain can include numerous changes on elevation

 

4. The length of a golf round at a PGA Tour event can be 5 plus hours

 

5. A professional golf tournament includes 72 holes plus practice rounds and a 18 hole ProAm Tournament.

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using MyGolfSpy

 

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Posted (edited)

Depends on the disability.

John Daly, no. He's just out of shape, and out of shape by his own doing. 

If you have a legitimate medical condition, then I might allow it. 

Edited by GB13
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2 minutes ago, GB13 said:

Depends on the disability.

John Daly, no. He's just out of shape, and out of shape by his own doing. 

If you have a legitimate medical condition, then I might allow it. 

But technically with his knee it is a legitimate medical condition, but also is probably 100% due to his health and life choices. 

It is a slippery slope did Casey Martin deserve to ride in a cart at the US open? Some will say yes due to his disability others will say no because his disability prevents him from competing on same level as other competitors. 

It is a very rare occurrence and has not had an affect on any tournaments results. 

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I believe everyone and anyone who wants to should be able to ride in a cart.

Honestly, who cares?  Make it available as an option for everyone and it would eliminate any possible advantage.  It works on the Senior, excuse me, Champions tour.  

The absolute only reason walking is considered tradition and part of the history of the game is because carts weren't invented yet when golf started.  And horses would tear up the course.

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29 minutes ago, THEZIPR23 said:

But technically with his knee it is a legitimate medical condition, but also is probably 100% due to his health and life choices. 

It is a slippery slope did Casey Martin deserve to ride in a cart at the US open? Some will say yes due to his disability others will say no because his disability prevents him from competing on same level as other competitors. 

It is a very rare occurrence and has not had an affect on any tournaments results. 

Yes, my argument is more that his knee shouldn't be called a legitimate disability by the US government or anyone else. But as the current law reads, it is a disability.

If I go out into my garage and use a chainsaw to cut off my hand, do I have a disability? No, I'm just an idiot. 

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6 minutes ago, GB13 said:

Yes, my argument is more that his knee shouldn't be called a legitimate disability by the US government or anyone else. But as the current law reads, it is a disability.

If I go out into my garage and use a chainsaw to cut off my hand, do I have a disability? No, I'm just an idiot. 

I agree completely.

I fear that this discussion will turn to something that is beyond what should be discussed in a golf forum. 

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1 minute ago, THEZIPR23 said:

I agree completely.

I fear that this discussion will turn to something that is beyond what should be discussed in a golf forum. 

I agree, I've said my piece here, and am going to step away now. 

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One point on JD's knee....it is exactly what caused me to undergo a total knee replacement surgery.  While his weight was likely a contributing factor to the severity and progression of his issue, osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects millions of individuals.  It occurs where the cartilage breaks down reducing the cushioning in the joint.  In the early stages, it is treated by weight management, physical exercise, medications.  As it progresses, it leads to total joint replacement.  In my case, osteoarthritis has led to 3 discs in my neck being fused, a toe being fused, and both knees replaced and prior to treatment in all cases, resulted in debilitating pain that significantly impacted my quality of life and ability to work or live my daily life.

So, yes, it is a legitimate medical condition and not a case of JD whining about his knees hurting.

Now, where the golf governing bodies choose to regulate who qualifies for a medical exemption is another story.  The American Disability Act exists to ensure people who have disabilities are not restricted from activities, be it playing golf or having a ramp provided to get their wheelchair into the store.

One could argue that the rules of the game include walking as an integral part of the game.  That's not an argument that I'm prepared to side one way or the other.  Casey Martin took that up with the courts and the courts ruled in his favor.  Right or wrong, that's the way it is.  So, under the current rulings, yes, players with disabilities should be allowed to compete using a cart.  Until those rules are further challenged, we have to accept it as legitimate, like it or not.

As it stands, it is not an easy task for someone to obtain the waiver from the USGA/PGA.  That it's JD, with the image a cooler of beer in his cart and a cigarette in hand, while pushing his big belly around, adds an element of twist into the mix.  

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If anything I think the tour caddies should be able to use a pushcart or motorized push-type cart. Those are the guys taking a beat down IMO. Look at those giant bags they all carry. For what purpose? So their sponsors can have their name plastered on them. I'd protest that with my sponsor to at least let my caddy use a lightweight carry/stand bag. Yeah... if you have a disability and need a cart then by all means. You should be able to use one. What's it going to hurt? Nothing. 

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Depends on the disability.
John Daly, no. He's just out of shape, and out of shape by his own doing. 
If you have a legitimate medical condition, then I might allow it. 

I'm with GB13 on this. JD is a poster boy for what not to do to your body and thus shouldn't get relief.


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I play better when I walk.

Now if we’re talking college competitions where players haul their own bags, maybe...

At the end of the day, anyone claiming an exemption to ride while someone else is lugging their bag isn’t really moving the needle for me.


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Would this be a question in ANY OTHER SPORT?

Baseball players wanting to ride a scooter around the bases because they have bad knees?

Football players wanting to ride a cart to catch that pass?

Traversing the terrain is part of the sport. If you can’t do it, you’re a recreational golfer, not a serious amateur or professional, even if you used to be.


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Yes a player should be allowed a cart if so desired and the governing body deemed it alright. Players use the rules to their benefit all the time. Players in carts are simply using the rules to play.
The sport is always evolving and changing.
Maybe the next thing allowed will be range finders during competitions.
🤞🏌️



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44 minutes ago, bluesmandan76 said:

Would this be a question in ANY OTHER SPORT?

Baseball players wanting to ride a scooter around the bases because they have bad knees?

Football players wanting to ride a cart to catch that pass?

Traversing the terrain is part of the sport. If you can’t do it, you’re a recreational golfer, not a serious amateur or professional, even if you used to be.

 

... Tough question really. I get your comparison and it certainly has merit, but many players already use a cart when they play. Even in competition, something that makes your examples above a little different. I am of the opinion that playing at the highest level takes a certain amount of conditioning and walking is an integral part of that equation. But like most things in life, until you have walked a mile in their shoes (pun intended) your perspective might be different.  I am guessing Casey Martins parents watched him work sooooooo hard to be the player he eventually became and qualified foe the US Open! His riding in a cart and playing were most likely more difficult than the walking for 4 days. His disability was no fault of his life choices. Daly's certainly is. No easy answers to this question imo ... 

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Yes they should. Anyone who wants to ride should, if riding is allowed in s competitive event and someone chooses to walk they made the choice to put themselves at the disadvantage 

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I agree completely.
I fear that this discussion will turn to something that is beyond what should be discussed in a golf forum. 


It was not intended to become a political discussion or even legal discussion. I was simply trying to point out there is more to Golf than hitting a little round ball in the desired direction of travel.

This is a relevant topic even if it does take a hard turn to the right. When played in its purity Golf is very demanding both physically and mentally.

Today I played with a really nice gentleman who I met at the GC. We tee’d off at approximately 11 am under sunny skies and 94 degrees. He rode in a cart while I walked with my bag on my back.

I’ve never played with a guy who’s game so closely matched mine. We were both good at the same things and we also struggled in the same areas. After the front 9 I was even and he was one under. I birdied the first two holes on the back 9 to go up by one. We played pretty even over the next few holes but I was struggling. As I became more and more tired breathing was labored. It not only affected full swings but also my touch around the green as well as putting. He, on the other hand, remained relatively fresh and displayed no signs of fatigue. Ultimately he beat me by three strokes.

This was just two dudes playing a friendly game. There was no real competition or money on the line. I didn’t have to drop my pants and sing “why did you leave me Lucille” after the round was over. Still, there is no doubt in my mind......the playing field was not fair.

I made the original post as a result of my feelings struggling to finish a 54 hole tournament the past week. Today those feelings were validated by an experience that could have been deemed a MyGolfSpy field test.

So to bring this full circle I’d like to apologize for pulling folks into what some have stated as a political and or legal discussion. I just wanted to make the point there can be other components to Golf in addition to simply hitting a hard round ball with a stick into a hole.


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>>If I go out into my garage and use a chainsaw to cut off my hand, do I have a disability? No, I'm just an idiot. 

 

Careful, I’ve met and played with some of those “idiots”, including one who lost his arm when it was caught up in the fan blade while he was working on his truck. There was nothing idiotic about him. He was just caught up in an accident.

 

Despite his new found disability he was out there playing the game we both enjoy with a full set of limbs.

 

Think about it before you paint with a wide brush

 

 

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, toehold57 said:

[quote post="544573" timestamp="1559684312" name="GB13" userid=".
If I go out into my garage and use a chainsaw to cut off my hand, do I have a disability? No, I'm just an idiot. 


Careful, I’ve met and played with some of those “idiots”, including one who lost his arm when it was caught up in the fan blade while he was working on his truck. There was nothing idiotic about him. He was caught up in an accident.

Despite his new found disability he was out there playing the game we both enjoy with a full set of limbs.

Think about it before you paint with a wide brush emoji848.png


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I believe you may have misunderstood me.

I completely believe those accidents happen. I was saying if I did that to myself knowingly and then tried to collect disability it would be idiotic (and illegal at that). If it was truly an accident, there is nothing idiotic about it. 

Edited by GB13

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30 minutes ago, SteddyGolf said:

 


It was not intended to become a political discussion or even legal discussion. I was simply trying to point out there is more to Golf than hitting a little round ball in the desired direction of travel.

This is a relevant topic even if it does take a hard turn to the right. When played in its purity Golf is very demanding both physically and mentally.

Today I played with a really nice gentleman who I met at the GC. We tee’d off at approximately 11 am under sunny skies and 94 degrees. He rode in a cart while I walked with my bag on my back.

I’ve never played with a guy who’s game so closely matched mine. We were both good at the same things and we also struggled in the same areas. After the front 9 I was even and he was one under. I birdied the first two holes on the back 9 to go up by one. We played pretty even over the next few holes but I was struggling. As I became more and more tired breathing was labored. It not only affected full swings but also my touch around the green as well as putting. He, on the other hand, remained relatively fresh and displayed no signs of fatigue. Ultimately he beat me by three strokes.

This was just two dudes playing a friendly game. There was no real competition or money on the line. I didn’t have to drop my pants and sing “why did you leave me Lucille” after the round was over. Still, there is no doubt in my mind......the playing field was not fair.

I made the original post as a result of my feelings struggling to finish a 54 hole tournament the past week. Today those feelings were validated by an experience that could have been deemed a MyGolfSpy field test.

So to bring this full circle I’d like to apologize for pulling folks into what some have stated as a political and or legal discussion. I just wanted to make the point there can be other components to Golf in addition to simply hitting a hard round ball with a stick into a hole.


Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

 

I agree that walking in a tournament is more difficult than riding, especially when heat and humidity are higher or course has large elevation changes. 

I played in a qualifier last year that was walking only. I had never seen the course and it was about a month after I threw my back out. Elevation changes were so severe that on one hole I had to recompose myself for a couple minutes just to putt.  I missed by 3 and shot 44 on back 9. Nothing more than fatigue. If I was in a cart I qualify. 

Bringing the disabilities into it is where I can see this getting off the rails. However I may have jumped to a conclusion as from what I have read here our fellow spies steer right around what could become an issue. Again this forum is the best. 

Now if the question was merely is walking in a tournament more difficult then I would agree that it is. And I always use a push cart rather than carrying when I walk. May not be 100% pure but I have seen too many instances of people carrying cause problems. 

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I completely believe those accidents happen. I was saying if I did that intentionally to collect disability it would be idiotic (and illegal at that). If it was truly an accident, there is nothing idiotic about it. 


Fair enough.

Do you think JD planned to put himself in the situation he’s currently in? Hindsight is 20/20. Maybe he would have made different choices had he known. Or maybe he lives with demons that neither you or I can fathom?

Do we kick those to the curb who are down? Or do we lend a helping hand to all who are in need? We’re not talking about feeding the guy, just allowing him to play.


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