RI Golfers With Disabilities Now Allowed to Use Golf Carts

Rhode Island golfers with an ADA-recognized or medically documented disability are now permitted to use golf carts, according to the latest guidelines set by the Department of Business Regulations. 

“No golf cart usage permitted, except that a golf cart (one person per cart, sanitized before and after each round of play) will be made available for use by any individual with an ADA-recognized or medically documented disability who requests it. The golf course may verify disability status through the tee time registration process by inquiring if the golfer has a DMV issued parking placard,” writes the Department of Business Regulation (DBR). 

Read the Regulations Here

Previously, golf carts were banned for everyone in the state. 

“I want to report that there is a lot of hard work going on to help the golf industry. Hopefully we will be able to provide guidance in the next few days so we can all plan properly for May 9 or sooner.  We are currently working to have tee time intervals reduced, golf carts reinstated and practice areas open,” writes Rhode Island Golf Association Executive Director Bob Ward in an email to clubs. 

Governor Gina Raimondo is expected to make an announcement on reopening the state around May 9. 

Those with disabilities now allowed to use golf carts. PHOTO: Rich/Flickr Commons

Restrictions on Golf 

With the new cart rule added on, here is the update list of regulations and restrictions for golfers and golf courses. 

Many of them are the same as before. 

  • Out of state residents are not allowed to play golf in Rhode Island. 
  • All food and beverage must be take-out only. 
  • Groups of 5 or more must not congregate anywhere on the property before or after playing according to the Governors executive order. 
  • New Tee Time Policy must be 15 minutes between groups. 
  • Please communicate with your members or customers they must stay in their car until 5 minutes before tee time check-in and go directly to the first tee. 
  • Practice putting green, driving range, and chipping areas must be closed. 
  • No golf cart usage permitted, except that a golf cart (one person per cart, sanitized before and after each round of play) will be made available for use by any individual with an ADA-recognized or medically documented disability who requests it. The golf course may verify disability status through the tee time registration process by inquiring if the golfer has a DMV issued parking placard. These accommodation provisions will be included in the golf course’s written procedures with respect to COVID-19 protocols. 
  • Personal push carts are allowed only if brought by the golfer; club push carts are not allowed. 
  • Groups of players are restricted to no more than 4 players at one time. 
  • All golfers must use their own golf clubs. Sharing golf clubs or rental golf clubs is not allowed. Parking lots must be monitored by the club to ensure that tailgating does not happen. 
  • Flag sticks must remain in the hole. It is recommended that hole liners be raised, or pool noodles be added to the stick so picking a ball out of the hole doesn’t occur.
  • Bunker rakes must be removed, and ball washers must be removed or covered. 
  • Retail stores/shops should not be open, in-person retail sales are not allowed. 

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