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Totally Blind Division | Vision Impaired Division | The Golfer | The Coach

Buckey Walters Award | Board Members



The United State Blind Golf Association (USBGA was established in 1953 for the purpose of encouraging and enhancing opportunities for blind and visually impaired golfers to compete in the game of golf.

Blind and visually impaired golf is played with the assistance of a sighted coach. As a team golfers and coaches are expected to follow the established rules of golf with the exception of being able to ground a club in a hazard and have the coach stand behimage_002ind the golfer when lining up a put.

USBGA conducts an annual national tournament in different parts of the country each year along with several regional events.

Full membership is open to men and women who meet a specific set of sight guidelines ranging from no vision at all to legal blindness or specific field restrictions. Perspective members must demonstrate the ability to meet established scoring guidelines set forth by USBGA. Yearly membership dues is established by the board of directors.

Support membership is available to any individual who wishes to support the game of blind golf at a reduced rate from full membership.

USBGA is pleased to sponsor clinics for blind and visually impaired children throughout the country. Such clinics are usually put on with assistance from a variety of First Tee programs.

USBGA is directed by a 6 person board of directors who report to the membership and is responsible for conducting an annual meeting at each national championship.

As a Not for profit 501C3 organization, USBGA conducts a variety of fund/raising opportunities including, but not limited to grants, corporate donations along with donations from individuals.



Sight Categories

These sight categories are accepted and recognized by the International Blind Golf Association IBGA and the United States Blind Golf Association USBGA.  You sight category is determined and approved by the IBGA after completing the Eye Sight Classification form on the Membership page


Totally Blind Division (B-1 Category):

No light perception, or light perception which is not functional, central or peripheral, with or without light projection, up to the inability to differentiate between a blank sheet of white paper and a sheet of white paper with a black symbol on it.
(The black symbol is displayed on the IBGA/USBGA Sight Form and is used as part of the exam.)

Vision Impaired Divisions (B-2 & B-3 Categories):

B-2: From the ability to recognize the shape of a hand up to visual acuity of 20/600.
B-3: From the visual acuity above 20/600 up to visual acuity of less than 20/200.

All classifications are in best eye with best correction.

For membership information, click here

The Golfer - How to play Blind Golf

The golfers compete with other golfers within their sight classification. The sight classifications include: B-1 no vision, B-2 little usable vision and B-3 better usable vision. To be eligible to become a member of the USBGA you must have corrected vision less than 20/200 in both eyes. This must be documented on the USBGA sight form by an Ophthalmologist or Optometrist.

Every golfer has a sighted person to assist them and we call these folks Coaches. The coach gives the golfer course description, gives correct yardages, and helps with club selection and proper alignment.

USGA Rules & Modifications for Blind Golfers Govern USBGA Competitions Click here .


The Coach - Coaching a Blind Golfer


All blind and vision impaired golfers, bar none, will tell you they owe their game, their scores, their enjoyment and their mobility to their coach.  It takes a special person to have just the right combination of skill, patience and impatience.  Somebody's got to keep things moving, and that's the first job of every coach.  Especially at tournament time, it's a game where we all line up, and follow one another.  The lead horse, which changes from tournament to tournament and day to day, has got to stay out front and keep moving.  But this is so for all contenders, as playing golf blind puts us far too often in difficult lies and behind imposing obstacles, where the only shot is to chip out and hit it again.  Speed of play is imperative.


Secondly, and no less important, is communication skills, both verbal and tactile.  The coach sizes up the shot that his man or woman is facing, and then must communicate it in the most intelligent way possible.  What is the yardage to the pin?  Is the terrain between us and the green up hill, or down, by one club or more?  Should we be going for the stick, or lay up short of the traps?  All of these are decisions that take thought and care, as what comes intuitively with sighted play needs concise conversation when coaching.  And the same goes for describing shot outcomes.  For the golfer, there's nothing worse than hitting a shot and not getting any feedback from the coach.  What feels good at first is often all you need to know, but just as often not.  Telling your golfer the precise outcome, that the ball went 30 yards right or 30 yards left is crucial, as your golfer will want to make grip or set-up adjustments on his or her next similar shot.


Buckey Walters Award

Dennis Cone, the Founder of the Caddie HQ-the Caddie Foundation, honored Kevin J. Sullivan by presenting him with the Buckey Walters Award at a special ceremony held at the Guiding Eyes for the Blind Classic, on Monday June 25, 2007.

With this Award, Kevin became the first Caddie/coach to enter into the special section of the Professional Caddie Hall of fame.

The Buckey Walters Award was established to recognize Coaches of the Challenged golfer, who enjoy the game, while managing special needs of all kinds. Sullivan has coached Bill McMahon in numerous Blind Golf competitions, since 1991.

Other USBGA coaches to receive this honor are Gerry Berouse and Joseph McCourt.


Current Officers and Board Members

USBGA Board of Directors


Greg Hooper
Atlanta, GA


Vice President

Chad Nesmith
Nasville, TN


Board Members

B1 Representative
Mario Tobia
Mt. Laurel, NJ
B1 Representative
Curtis Jones

Battle Lake, MN
B1 Representative
Chad NeSmith
Brentwood, TN
B2 Representative
Jeremy Poincenot
San Diego, CA
B2/B3 Representative
Diane Wilson
Port Ludlow, WA
B3 Representative
Greg Hooper
Powder Springs, GA

Sighted Representative
Lynne Lazaro
Weston, MA


Past President - Board Advisor



USBGA Senior Rules Official

Tom Mirus (B3)
Kissimmee, FL


USBGA Handicaps Chairman

Phil Hubbard
Orange City, FL


USBGA Communications Chairman Ty Thompson
Lexington, KY
USBGA Membership Charperson Sheila Drummond
Lehighton, PA
USBGA Treasurer

Denise Forsyth
Ontario, OR


USBGA is a member of the International Blind Golf Association


The USBGA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.Social Media Icons - Twitter, Facebook and Instagram


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USBGA National Championship
ISPS Handa U.S. Open
USBGA Regional Tournaments
ISPS Handa International Events
ISPS Handa Vision Cup
Guiding Eyes Classic



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