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Golf & Bowls

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Both Deaf Golf & Bowls are available to all individuals Hearing Impairments in South Africa. Hearing disabilities are no obstacle to playing Golf & Bowls. There is a minor difference is the level of noise during the deaf sports and the main-stream game is huge. The number of decibels is also a main factor. The players involved in these teams should be able to encode up to 55 decibels of sound. Both sports are played at social, club & Provincial level, as well as at International level.


Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing players (or golfers) use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes. The game is played on golf courses, each of which features a unique design, although courses typically consist of either nine or 18 holes.

Disability golf classification is used to guarantee that no matter your disability, you can compete on an even footing. It is used for deaf golf, blind golf, amputee golf, golf for the mentally challenged, paraplegic golf and other forms of golf involving the disabled.

Disabled golf in South Africa is run by the South African Disabled Golf Association (SADGA)

South African Disabled Golf Association (SADGA)

The South African Deaf Golf Association caters for all deaf and hard of hearing people. The SADGA, is organized:

  • to increase the popularity of golf among the Deaf
  • to educate the public about the specific needs of Deaf golfers
  • to address the problems confronted by Deaf golfers and the need to make the physical conditions of golf courses, nationally and internationally, user friendly and accessible to the Deaf
  • to raise money to support organizations of and for the Deaf, as well as for other charitable purposes.

To qualify for deaf golf you will need an audio-gram with a hearing limit of 55 decibels. All golfers that play in a Championship must do so with out the use of any  hearing aid.

The Association holds an annual SA Deaf Golf Championship  to choose the South African team.  The competition is run by the SA Disabled Golf Association as they have the man power to stage these events.

Every two years there is a World Deaf Golf Championship around the world. The last one was held in Scotland at St Andrews in August 2010. To Qualify for this Tournament , the men need a handicap of 12 or better, the Ladies 22 and the Seniors 16.

The Deaf Golf Association is a curently coached Elsabe Hefer , who is based at Swartkops Country Club, who assists the golfers at training camps to get ready for the World Championships.

SADGA was incorporated as a Section 21 Company in July 2004.Through golf they pride themselves on being a unique community that produce strong & courageous persons that can effectively handle adversity and face any challenge that comes before them.

Their aims include:

  • Encourage every South African with a permanent disability to play golf.
  • Promote golf as a viable form of rehabilitation and recreation for the disabled.
  • Bring together able and disabled golfers to share their love for the game, in the spirit of friendship and competition.
  • Create public awareness of challenges facing disabled golfers, and to highlight their achievements.


International Bowls for the Disabled has its origins in the family of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), one of the largest sporting organisations in the world and the peak international body governing sport for athletes with a disability.

Formerly a sport on the programme of the Paralympic Games, bowls was excluded from this high profile world event in 1996.

Paralympic Games

Competitors with cerebral palsy classifications were allowed to compete at the Paralympics for the first time at the 1984 Summer Paralympics. Bowls has dropped at the 1992 Summer Paralympics,returning on 1996 Summer Paralympics,and dropped again in 2000 Summer Paralympics,blind, wheelchair and amputee disability types were eligible to participate, with classification being run through the International Paralympic Committee, with classification being done based on wheelchair and blindness. The sport was not on the Paralympic programme as of 1999.

Disability classification

Bowls classification is the classification system for lawn bowls where players with a disability are classified into different categories based on their disability type. Classifications exist for blind bowlers. Bowls was played at the Paralympics.

Bowls has rules that were designed specifically with people with disabilities in mind. Classifications for this sport are based on functional mobility. The blind classifications are based on medical classification, not functional classification.

Visualisation of functional vision for a B1 competitor

Visualisation of functional vision for a B2 competitor

Visualisation of functional vision for a B3 competitor


The visual impairment classification was part of the 1994 Commonwealth Games. Several classes in this sport were included in the 2002 Commonwealth Games.



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