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Medical Classification for Tournaments

We welcome anyone to join SADGA and learn to play and enjoy the game of golf. However, it is important to note that to be able to qualify for any South African disabled golf tournament you need to:

  • Be a member of a golf club
  • Have an official golf handicap
  • Be medically eligible according to the SADGA medical eligibility

If you are interested in taking part in a disabled golf tournament, please fill in the appropriate report below and submit to us at: SADGA

         Fax: 086 6046888

         Email: info@sadga.co.za

Instructions for filling in the report can be found on the following links:

Visually Impaired Classification Form -PDF of attachment downloaded


Physically Disabled Medical Eligibility Form:


Qualifying factors for participating in disabled golf tournaments:

  • The only requirement is to decide whether the disability is severe enough to qualify for the competition based on the issue if it is really a lot more difficult for the person to play golf than anyone else.  
  • Qualifying factors for participation are the types and the magnitudes of  impairment  with  regard  to leg  range  of motion  and  strength,  grip,  arm  length,  two hands, shoulder range of motion and strength, elbow   range   of  motion  and  strength,  back range of motion, vision, balance and neurology.
  • Major impairment in any of these functions, or in combinations, will qualify for participation.
  • If a player, previously approved, for any reason has a changed impairment, it must be reported to the authority giving the licence immediately.

Muscle Testing

Power scale

0 - Total lack of voluntary contraction
1 - Faint contraction without any movement of the limb (trace, flicker)
2 - Contraction with very weak movement through full range of motion when gravity is eliminated
3 - Contraction with movement through the complete joint range against gravity
4 - Contraction with full range of movement against gravity and some resistance
5 - Contraction of normal strength through full range of movement against full resistance

Spasticity Grade Scale for Muscle Tone (spasticity/stiffness)

Ashworth scale

0 - No increase in tone
1 - Slight increase in tone giving a ‘catch' when the limb is flexed or extended
2 - More marked increase in tone, but limb is easily flexed
3 - Considerable increase in tone with passive movement difficult
4 - Limb rigid in flexion or extension

Disabilities qualifying for disabled golf:




Amputees of lower limbs and leg length

Amputee of any part of the Lower Limb with minimal disability to be eligible as follows:

  • Amputation of 2/3 of 1 foot (part of foot covering ground must be 1/3 or less of non-amputated foot.
  • Leg length difference should be at least 20cm.

Amputees of upper limbs and arm length

In a grip the primary fingers are the thumb, index finger and middle finger. Amputee of any part of the Upper Limb with minimal disability to be eligible as follows:

  • 2 Digits of 4 fingers amputated in 1 hand.
  • 3 fingers on 1 hand amputated with 2 two being primary fingers.
  • 2 Digits of 6 fingers in 2 hands amputated of which 4 fingers has to be primary fingers.
  • Arm length difference should be at least 15cm

Joint and Muscular disorders


  • A complete stiff hip joint in neutral position with no movement in any direction or flexion contracture of 35 degrees or more on at least one side will qualify.
  • Strength in abduction, extension and flexion below 3 in a scale of 0-5, will be eligible.
  • At grade 3, the sole weight of the extremity can be overcome and is therefore not eligible.


  • A complete stiff knee in extension with no movement in any direction or flexion contracture of 40 degrees or more on at least one side will qualify.
  • Strength reduction in both flexion and extension below 3 in a scale of 0-5 will be eligible.
  • At grade 3, the sole weight of the extremity can be overcome.



If the only disability is a stiff ankle, the player is not eligible for DISABLED GOLF.



Complete lack of grip on one side due to joints stiffness or lack of muscle power and function will be eligible but the final decision is made by the classification team.


  • Dorsiflexion on the right side of less than 10 degrees together with of no more than 5 degrees radio-ulnar deviation will qualify for the right-handed player and the same on the left for the left-handed player.
  • Reduction in strength below 3 in dorsiflexion and radio-ulnar deviation in the right hand of the right-handed player and left hand for the left-handed player will be eligible.


  • Range of motion in either shoulder is less than 30 degrees in adduction and abduction, flexion less than 25 degrees as well as rotation less than 45 degrees will be eligible.
  • Impaired extension does not qualify.
  • Reduction in strength below 3 in a scale of 0-5 of abduction, adduction, rotation and flexion, will be eligible. At grade 3 the sole weight of the extremity can be overcome.


  • Flexion contracture of more than 45 degrees on at least one side with movement into pronation and supination less than 30 degrees on the same side will be eligible.
  • The right-handed player who cannot flex the right elbow beyond 90 degrees on the right side or beyond 60 degrees on the left side and less that 30 degrees of pro and supination on the affected side, is eligible. Reverse for the left handed player. 
  • Reduction of strength below 3 in a scale of 0-5 in flexion, extension, pronation and supination in the same elbow will be eligible.

Back and Neck range of motions

  • Rotation of the back and neck is fundamental in a golf swing whereas other trunk movements are of less importance. Rotation in the entire thoracal and lumbar regions of less than 10 degrees and a stiff cervical spine or movement less than 10 degrees, will be eligible.
  • Other impairments such as back and forward, and side to side movements do not qualify.

Neurological disorders


Neurological disorders with impairments such as spasticity tested according to Ashworth Scale, athetosis or other impairments that cause severe difficulties to perform a normal golf swing will be eligible as follows:


  • Hemiplegia - Spasticity Gr 2+ in upper limb and marked movement and balance problems in lowerlimb on affected side.
  • Diplegia - Spasticity Gr 2+ in lower limbs but able to stand and swing and walk. The player not able to walk long distances between shots in the same time as other players, will be expected to be pushed by a helper between shots.
  • Athetoid - Due to the inability to control the swing and balance not falling over, the player with athetosis will only be eligible for competitions if the player can play 7/10 balls 100m+ - 30m width in a desired/pointed direction in 10 min.


Permanently Wheelchair Bound


The player permanently in a wheelchair with a normal grip and swing in at least one hand and arm is eligible for disabled golf. The player must have a helper to push him between shots.

Mental Capabilities, Cardiopulmonary Disorders and Normal Ageing


 DO NOT qualify for DISABLED GOLF.

Changed Impairment



If a player, previously classified, for any reason has a decreasing impairment it must be reported and the player must be re-classified before the next disabled golf competition the player wishes to compete in.


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