Confusion is rife about new rules affecting buggy and trolley bans on golf courses, says the National Golf Clubs‘ Advisory Association (NGCAA).
The Disability Discrimination Act means golf clubs must remove any physical barriers preventing a disabled person from using a course. Failing to do this will make the club liable for damages for unlawful discrimination, which could run into thousands.
However, Michael Shaw, national secretary of the NGCAA says many clubs are confused about how the Act affects buggy and trolley bans that already exist.
“We‘ve had a surge of queries from clubs concerned about the legality of buggy and trolley bans on their courses,” he says. “There is definitely confusion. What is clear is that courts no longer approve a blanket ban.
“However, clubs are entitled to impose a ban which restricts access to those parts of the course it is necessary to preserve. They must also implement a ban if the health and safety of any individual is at risk due to weather and ground conditions.”
“It is vital that clubs are able to justify any ban they impose and they must have documentation in place to explain the reasons behind it,” added Shaw.
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