Golf Cart Decision Could Change Game
Posted February 12, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST
CARY — Golf is a game where rules are tradition, and tradition rules. Now, a young man and the courts are forcing a change that could be felt on golf courses around the world.
A federal court ruled this week that the PGA has to allow golfer Casey Martin to ride in a golf cart during tournaments. Due to a circulatory disorder in is right leg, Martin says that he suffers serious pain if he plays without a cart.
For golf pro Vance Heafner, the Martin ruling has left him wondering what could have been. Heafner played on the PGA Tour for ten years. He says he suffered through back and foot problems, taking months off at a time to recover.
In the end, a bad back sidelined his career. He calls the new cart rule unfair.
So, how integral is walking to the game of golf? Most golfers with whom we talked say that the tradition of the game could have been upheld. Golfer Steve Sterin says he has sympathy for Martin, but a line must be drawn somewhere.
Using the Americans with Disabilities Act, Casey Martin was the first athlete has sued to compete in sports.