The association is organized and operated for the purpose of benefiting blind and vision-impaired persons and promoting the public good through programs that advance and increase public awareness of golf among the blind and vision-impaired throughout the United States.
The United State Blind Golf Association (USBGA) was established in 1953 for the purpose of encouraging and enhancing opportunities for blind and visually impaired golfers to compete in the game of golf.
Blind and visually impaired golf is played with the assistance of a sighted coach. As a team golfers and coaches are expected to follow the established rules of golf with the exception of being able to ground a club in a hazard and have the coach stand behind the golfer when lining up a put. USBGA conducts an annual national tournament in different parts of the country each year along with several regional events.
Full membership is open to men and women who meet a specific set of sight guidelines ranging from no vision at all to legal blindness or specific field restrictions. Perspective members must demonstrate the ability to meet established scoring guidelines set forth by USBGA. The yearly membership dues are established by the Board of Directors.
Support membership is available to any individual who wishes to support the game of blind golf at a reduced rate from full membership.
The USBGA is pleased to sponsor clinics for blind and visually impaired children and adults throughout the country. Such clinics are usually put on with assistance from a variety of community programs such as First Tee.
The USBGA is directed by a 7 person Board of Directors who report to the membership and is responsible for conducting an annual meeting at each national championship.
As a Nonprofit 501 (c) (3) organization, the USBGA seeks a variety of fundraising opportunities including but not limited to; grants, corporate and local sponsorships along with individual donations.
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 provides the golfer: course description, correct yardages, and helps with club selection and proper alignment.
The USGA Rules of Golf and the Modifications of the Rules of Golf for Golfers with Disabilities govern USBGA competitions. Read more .
All blind and vision impaired golfers, bar none, will tell you they owe their game, their scores, their enjoyment and their mobility to their coach. It takes a special person to have just the right combination of skill, patience and impatience. Somebody’s got to keep things moving, and that’s the first job of every coach. Especially at tournament time, it’s a game where we all line up, and follow one another. The lead horse, which changes from tournament to tournament and day to day, has got to stay out front and keep moving. But this is so for all contenders, as playing golf blind puts us far too often in difficult lies and behind imposing obstacles, where the only shot is to chip out and hit it again. Speed of play is imperative