SATURDAY APRIL 28
BY ANDREW NORFOLK
MANY golf clubs across Britain may be forced to end blanket bans on the use of motorised carts after a disabled player won a discrimination test case.
Vernon Roper, who has multiple sclerosis and can only walk short distances, asked a court to order the Singing Hills Golf Course in West Sussex club to allow him to use a buggy. A judge ruled that Mr Roper, who plays off a 23 handicap, had been the victim of unjustified discrimination.
The ruling has implications for any club whose rules penalise golfers with mobility problems. The Disability Rights Commission, which supported Mr Roper, has received similar complaints from other golfers.
Mr Roper, 53, a self-employed electrician, is hoping the ruling by a county court in Haywards Heath will enable him to fulfil his ambition of playing on every course in Sussex. He has already played on many others, using a buggy.
Singing Hills, at Albourne, near Brighton, said that it banned buggies because the course’s layout and landscape was unsuitable and the vehicles would cause irreparable damage to the turf. Shirley Hunt, a club director, said in court that she disliked buggies.
Copyright 2001 Times Newspapers Ltd.