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B-1 Category Totally Blind | B-2 Category Vision Impaired | B-3 Category Vision Impaired

Join USBGA | Dues Payment | Rules & Modifications | Definition of a Coach | Role of the Coach

 




The United States Blind Golf Association (USBGA) offers a great opportunity for golfers who are blind or vision impaired to play golf with others who have the same or similar vision loss. It has many benefits including: the chance to play golf and travel to spectacular places, meet some very interesting people and have a great time.
 Image showing golfer Jeremy Poincenot and coach swinging from the tee box
We play golf by the USGA Rules of Golf and the Modifications of the Rules of Golf for Golfers with Disabilities. This includes grounding the club in a hazard plus permitting the coach to stand in the line of play while the golfer is executing the shot.
 
The golfers compete with other golfers within their sight classification. The sight classifications include: B-1 no vision, B-2 little usable vision and B-3 better usable vision. To be eligible to become a member of the USBGA you must have corrected vision less than 20/200 in both eyes. This must be documented on the USBGA sight form by an Ophthalmologist or Optometrist.
 
Every golfer has a sighted person to assist them and we call these folks Coaches. The coach gives the golfer course description, gives correct yardages, and helps with club selection and proper alignment.
 
The organization is always looking for new members, volunteer Coaches, support members and people or businesses to be sponsors. To learn more about the USBGA, go to the specific links on this web site.


 

Become a Member


Members must meet the specific visual guidelines accepted by the International Blind Golf Association in order to compete in all USBGA and International Blind Golf events. Prospective playing members must understand that a visual acuity of 20/200 will not qualify under the sight classification standards set by the International Blind Golf Association. Visual acuity in best eye with best correction must be less than 20/200 i.e. 20/201 or below. For clarification of this standard, please contact the USBGA Office. The official sight categories are as follows:

B-1 Category Totally Blind


No light perception, or light perception which is not functional, central or peripheral, with or without light projection, up to the inability to differentiate between a blank sheet of white paper and a sheet of white paper with a black symbol on it.
The black symbol is displayed on the IBGA/USBGA Sight Form and is used as part of the exam.
 

B-2 Category Vision Impaired

From the ability to recognize the shape of a hand up to the visual acuity of 20/600.
 

B3 Category Vision Impaired


From the visual acuity above 20/600 up to visual acuity of less than 20/200.
 


Steps to Join

Step 1 - Print, complete and sign the sight form.  Have your Doctor sign.  This determines your sight category.

Step 2 – Print, complete and sign the application form OR use the online application.

Step 3 – Mail both completed forms to the address below. We send your forms to the International Blind Golf Association for approval, so there is no need to include your payment.  However, if you want to save some time, you can include your check for $100.00, made payable to the USBGA with your sight forms.  It will be held until approval is received from the IBGA and then cashed. It will be returned to you if your sight form information does not qualify according to IBGA regulations.

US Blind Golf Association 
c/o Membership Chair Person
125 Gilberts Hill Rd
Lehighton, PA 18235

 
 
 

Payment Options

 

  • Annual Player Dues / Renewals $100
  • Coach / Support Member $25
  • Friend of USBGA $50
  • Small Business $100
  • Corporate $250


To pay Player dues, Renewals, Friends of USBGA or Business memberships, please use one of the two options below. 

 

1)  Online using PayPal

 
Membership Dues
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 PayPal payment options
 

2) Mail

Mail your check made payable to USBGA:

US Blind Golf Association
c/o Treasurer
540 SE 9th Ave
ONTARIO,OR 97914

 

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Rules & Modifications for Blind Golfers Govern USBGA Competitions

The United States Blind Golf Association follows the Rules of Golf including the Modifications for Blind Golfers at all tournaments sanctioned by the Association. Modifications include:

 

Rule Modifications for Blind Golfers


1. Rule 6-4 (Caddie)
There is nothing in the Rules that would prohibit the coach of a blind golfer from functioning as his caddie. For a variety of reasons, however, a coach may not be able to perform the duties of a caddie. Therefore, it is permissible for a blind golfer to have both a coach and a caddie. In these circumstances, however, the coach must not carry or handle the player’s clubs except in helping the player take his stance or align himself prior to making the stroke, or in assisting him as permitted by analogy to Decision 6-4/4.5. Otherwise, the player would be subject to penalty under Rule 6-4 for having more than one caddie. Likewise, if a player has more than one coach at a given time, he is subject to penalty under Rule 6-4.
 

2. Rule 8-1 (Advice)
During a stipulated round, a player must not:
a. give advice to anyone in the competition playing on the course other than his partner, or
b. ask for advice from anyone other than his partner, either of their caddies or, if applicable, their coaches.


3. Rule 13-4b (Touching the Ground in Hazard)
The following additional Exception under Rule 13-4 is permissible:
Exception:
Provided nothing is done that constitutes testing the condition of the hazard or improves the lie of the ball, there is no penalty if a blind golfer grounds his club in a hazard preparatory to making a stroke. However, the player is deemed to have addressed the ball if the club is grounded immediately in front of or immediately behind the ball, whether or not the player has taken his stance.


4. Rule 14-2b (Position of Caddie or Partner)
Due to the complexities involved in aligning a blind golfer, it may be difficult or unreasonable to expect the blind golfer and his coach to comply with Rule 14-2b. Therefore, there is no penalty if a player’s coach positions himself on or close to an extension of the line of play or the line of putt behind the ball during a stroke, provided the coach does not assist the player in any other manner during the stroke.

However, given the intent of Rule 14-2b, it may be appropriate to prohibit a coach from remaining in a position that contravenes this Rule if he is performing the duties of a coach or a caddie for two different players simultaneously.

 

Definition of a “Coach”


A “coach” is one who assists a blind golfer in addressing the ball and with alignment prior to the stroke. A coach has the same status under the Rules as a caddie.

  • Note 1: A player may ask for and receive advice from his coach.

  • Note 2: A player may have only one coach at any one time.

  • Note 3: A coach may also be referred to as a “guide.” For the purpose of applying these modifications, a guide has the same status under the Rules as a coach.

 

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