The Special Olympics golf program is centered on two educational phases designed to encompass all skill levels: learning to swing a golf club and learning to play the game. Athletes may participate in individual skills, 3-hole unified or individual play, or 9-hole unified or individual play.
Special Olympics Minnesota currently offers three levels of golf competition: Individual Skills competition, 3-hole competition and 9-hole competition. In order for athletes to advance to 9-hole competitions, they must achieve a total of 40 points in a sanctioned Individual Skills event. Athletes who score less than 40 have the opportunity to compete in 3-hole competitions.
In addition to traditional events, athletes can participate in Unified Sports® Team Play. Unified Sports® is a program that assigns Special Olympics athletes and athletes without intellectual disabilities (Unified Partners) to the same teams for training and competition. In Unified Sports® golf, teams consist of one Special Olympics athlete and one Unified Partner and the team plays in the Unified Team Play competition event and alternate shots.
Individual Skills Competition: Short Putt, Long Putt, Chip Shot, Pitch Shot, Iron Shot, Wood Shot
3-hole Individual Stroke Play Competition
9-hole Individual Stroke Play Competition
3-hole Unified Team Play Competition (Alternate Shot)
9-hole Unified Team Play Competition (Alternate Shot)
Handbook & Rules
- Golf made its debut at the 1995 Special Olympics World Summer Games in New Haven, Connecticut.
- 25 Minnesota delegations currently offer their athletes the opportunity to train and compete in golf.
- Participation in golf at the state level has grown from 89 golfers and Unified partners in 2000 to 311 in 2010.