1. Aim of Policy
1.1 This Policy is the Transportation Policy referred to in the 2013 Conditions of Competition (Section B of the England Golf Hard Card) for all Somerset Golf Union Championships. It sets out the circumstances in which golf buggies may be used in events organised and managed by Somerset Golf Union.
1.2 Somerset Golf Union wishes to encourage the participation in golf of all players regardless of disabilities. This Policy is in accordance with Somerset Golf Union’s obligations under the Equality Act 2010.
1.3 Other associations and golf clubs should take separate legal advice in the event that they wish to put in place a transportation policy different to this policy or appropriate for their specific needs.
2.1 “Disability” shall have the same meaning as the Equality Act 2010. A person has a disability if he/she has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his/her ability to carry out normal day to day activities.
2.2 Any reference to “golf buggy” shall include any vehicle deemed to be a golf buggy by the Somerset Golf Union Competitions Committee.
2.3 Any reference to “Committee” shall refer to the Somerset Golf Union Competitions Committee which has responsibility for taking a decision on the use of a golf buggy and “member of the Committee” shall be construed accordingly.
2.4 “Valid medical confirmation of disability” shall mean a valid medical certificate from a registered general practitioner or consultant registered with the Health Professions Council that the player or caddie is suffering from a disability.
3. Persons who may use a golf buggy
3.1 It shall be a condition of any competition organised by Somerset Golf Union that players must walk at all times during a stipulated round, unless permitted to use a golf buggy by a member of the committee, in accordance with this policy. The penalty for a breach of this condition is detailed under the Specimen Condition on page 142 of the English edition of the 2012-15 Rules of Golf as published by R&A Rules Limited.
3.2 A golf buggy may be used by a player or caddie who can provide a valid current medical certificate of disability in accordance with this policy and has requested permission to use a golf buggy by the closing date for any competition they seek to enter or in which they seek to caddie. Where the disability prevents the player from driving the buggy, he/she may nominate a third party to drive the buggy for them who must be approved by the Committee in the event that permission is granted.
3.3 The Committee may not without good reasons refuse a request for permission to use a golf buggy if the criteria in paragraph 3.2, above, are met.
3.4 Where a player is under the age of 18 years and has met the criteria in paragraph 3.2, above, a member of the Committee shall reserve the right to specify that the golf buggy is driven by another person of that Committee member’s choice, in the event
that a person having parental responsibility for the player is unable or not competent or qualified to do so.
3.5 In cases where a member of the Committee refuses to permit the use of a golf buggy then they shall inform the player of the decision, the reasons for it, and the right to appeal this refusal to the Appeals Committee in accordance with this Policy.
4. Conditions in which use of a golf buggy may be permitted
4.1 Where a determination is made that the use of a buggy may be permitted by a player or where appropriate a caddie or third party to use a golf buggy, a member of the Committee shall have regard to the following additional health and safety
considerations before granting approval:
(a) Any relevant weather conditions;
(b) The topography and ground conditions;
(c) The condition of and suitability of the golf buggy; and
(d) Any other relevant considerations which could impede the safe use of a golf
buggy or impact on the safety of others.
4.2 In the event that a member of the Committee believes that for reasons of health and safety a golf buggy should not be used by players, caddies or third parties at a particular time he/they may:
(a) Refuse to grant permission for the use of a golf buggy, and shall inform the player, caddie or third party of this decision; or
(b) Revoke any such permission in the event of new health and safety considerations having come to light since the granting of the initial permission to use a golf buggy;
4.3 It will in any event be a requirement of any player, caddie or other third party granted permission to use a buggy to complete and sign a Transportation Policy Consent prior to use.
5. Conditions for use of golf buggies
5.1 A player, caddie or other third party permitted to use a golf buggy must agree to the
following terms and conditions of use:
(a) Any person operating a golf buggy must do so with the utmost courtesy, care and consideration for the safety and convenience of others and in accordance with any relevant golf buggy operating guidelines;
(b) The Committee may require that a golf buggy must not exceed walking pace and/or must not have a covered roof;
(c) A golf buggy shall be for the sole use of the player and his/her equipment, unless a member of the Committee has deemed that for reason of age or disability a third party is required to drive the golf buggy;
(d) A golf buggy must not impede or interfere with normal pedestrians or vehicular traffic flow on roadways, ramps and pavements;
(e) A player who has been granted permission to use a golf buggy (or any caddie or other third party who has been permitted to drive the golf buggy) must remain seated in the golf buggy at all times while the vehicle is in motion;
(f) Drivers of golf buggies must comply with directional signs and not use prohibited areas including public highways and pavements;
(g) A player who has been granted permission to use a golf buggy (or any caddie or other third party who has been permitted to drive the golf buggy) must accept responsibility for any losses or injury sustained as a result of his or her fault whilst using a golf buggy; and
(h) A player who has been granted permission to use a golf buggy (or any caddie or other third person who has been permitted to drive the golf buggy) must have adequate personal and third party insurance and must provide a copy of the certificate of insurance to Somerset Golf Union prior to use.
5.2 Failure to agree to the terms and conditions contained in clause 5.1 by signing a Transportation Policy Consent Form may result in the player, caddie or other third party being denied permission to use a golf buggy.
6. Appeals Procedure
6.1 Any decision by a Committee Member refusing a player or caddie permission to use a golf buggy may be appealed by the player or caddie to the Appeals Committee which shall comprise of three members of Somerset Golf Union Competitions Committee.
6.2 An appeal shall be made in writing to the Appeals Committee within 5 working days of the date of the initial decision.