More public golf courses are being required to abide by Americans with Disabilities Act standards. The standards themselves are not new. However, in spring of 2012, the Department of Justice began requiring, “newly constructed and altered” golf facilities to be compliant with the 2010 ADA standards.

For the first time, ADA standards apply to tee boxes, putting greens, and driving ranges. The DOJ explains how ADA compliance relates to golf facilities that are open to play by the public:

“Newly constructed and altered golf facilities must have either an accessible route or golf car passages with a minimum width of 48 inches connecting accessible elements and spaces within the boundary of the golf course. An accessible route must be provided to the golf car rental area, bag drop-off areas, and other elements that are outside the boundary of the golf course. One or two teeing grounds (depending on the total number provided) per hole must be accessible.”

“If weather shelters are provided, a golf car must be able to enter and exit the shelters. Certain percentages of practice teeing grounds, practice teeing stations at driving ranges, and putting greens must be accessible.”

What exactly does “newly constructed and altered” mean? According to Jim Butler and the Global Hospitality Group, “Redesigning a clubhouse, parking lot, restaurant, bar or other public amenity is generally a code-trigger alteration requiring ADA compliance. Redesigning a tee box, fairway or green is considered to be a code-trigger alteration. General course maintenance or changing the pin location, or relocating a bunker are not considered alterations.”

If you are unsure if your course needs to be in compliance, we recommend you get a compliance audit done by a professional.

If you need ADA compliant pathway materials, but don’t want the unnatural look of concrete or asphalt on your course, Waupaca Sand & Solutions can help. Learn about TrailBlaze, our ADA compliant cartpath stone.