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Casey Martin: Cart or Not?

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This site didn't exist the first time this debate was raging.

Casey Martin will get to use a cart at the U.S. Open.

Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and others say that walking (at the PGA Tour level) is an integral part of the sport.

On the flip side, Casey Martin is a really rare exception, so allowing him to use a cart isn't going to open the floodgates or anything. Most people who have a disability like Martin don't qualify for and reach the upper levels of golf.

So add a comment if you'd like, but the poll is anonymous and unless you post to share your vote, nobody will know which way you voted.

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Like you said, these cases are so rare and are evaluated on a case by case basis.  I like that he qualified like everyone else (+cart) and will be playing in the US Open.  I'm all for it.

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I voted yes.  I believe that a lot of guys on the senior tour use carts, don't they?  I assume that somebody has won before while using one and I have never heard anybody qualify a victory with an asterisk or even mention that he won using a cart.  I don't think it really makes any difference, and good for him that he qualified.

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I voted that he should get to use a cart, but I can understand the concern of re-visiting such a precedent.   If John Daly blows up another 100lbs and declares that his obesity is a disease that prevents him from walking 18 holes would he qualify for an exemption?  Would Ben Hogan have been allowed to use a cart after his car accident?   Can Tiger claim his damaged left knee makes it too difficult for him to walk 18?

Even though cases are evaluated on a per case basis there's nothing from stopping someone that's denied from suing the PGA Tour as Martin did given the precedent has been set.

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I voted yes. He's disabled.

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So what? Should we let someone with muscular dystrophy compete from tees measuring 2000 yards because they're disabled? Maybe next the NFL can put in special rules so people in wheelchairs can play wide receiver or inside linebacker - some high-powered motorized wheelchairs might make for some good speed rushers, no? It's a sport. If you don't have the physical ability to play the sport the way everyone else plays it then suck an egg and find something else to do (like coaching golf, good for you). I hear hes a good guy, and good for him that he gets to play, but I wouldnt have it that way, and I think Jack and Arnie and Timmy Finch were right in trying to say that walking was an integral part of the sport. What if Monty had gotten to use a cart because he was obese in that Open at Oakmont when it was 100 degrees? [quote name="zipazoid" url="/t/58810/casey-martin-cart-or-not#post_722256"]I voted yes. He's disabled. [/quote]
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Originally Posted by Phil McGleno

So what? Should we let someone with muscular dystrophy compete from tees measuring 2000 yards because they're disabled? Maybe next the NFL can put in special rules so people in wheelchairs can play wide receiver or inside linebacker - some high-powered motorized wheelchairs might make for some good speed rushers, no?

It's a sport. If you don't have the physical ability to play the sport the way everyone else plays it then suck an egg and find something else to do (like coaching golf, good for you). I hear hes a good guy, and good for him that he gets to play, but I wouldnt have it that way, and I think Jack and Arnie and Timmy Finch were right in trying to say that walking was an integral part of the sport. What if Monty had gotten to use a cart because he was obese in that Open at Oakmont when it was 100 degrees?

So which way did you vote?

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Originally Posted by Golfingdad

So which way did you vote?

I haven't voted yet (honestly, I can see it both ways, so I'm going to vote later) but it's 7 Yes 3 No as of this moment.

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I don't see the advantage for him competing with the use of a cart especially against the talent that he has to play against. I do see a disadvantage with him walking. The comment about Tiger with his bum leg and John Daly/Colin Montgomery with the weight is absurd, Tiger can take time off and heal, John Daly/Colin Montgomery can loose the weight. But Casey can't take time off and heal like the rest. That's just my opinion, though.

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I voted yes.

The essence of the game is about getting the ball into the hole.

And, while I appreciate the other perspective, I am swayed by the notion that golf is a gentlemen's game.

It seems like a "polite" thing to do - recognizing the talent and desire that someone has for the game and allowing them to showcase their abilities because we see the "big picture" of life.

A mutual love for the game. Accomodating a physical disability. Inviting them to play!

My 2 cents.

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Originally Posted by Phil McGleno

So what? Should we let someone with muscular dystrophy compete from tees measuring 2000 yards because they're disabled? Maybe next the NFL can put in special rules so people in wheelchairs can play wide receiver or inside linebacker - some high-powered motorized wheelchairs might make for some good speed rushers, no?

It's a sport. If you don't have the physical ability to play the sport the way everyone else plays it then suck an egg and find something else to do (like coaching golf, good for you). I hear hes a good guy, and good for him that he gets to play, but I wouldnt have it that way, and I think Jack and Arnie and Timmy Finch were right in trying to say that walking was an integral part of the sport. What if Monty had gotten to use a cart because he was obese in that Open at Oakmont when it was 100 degrees?

So lemme get this straight. Cuz I say Martin's disability should allow him to ride in a cart during tournaments, this somehow means I believe MD victims should play a different course, or wheelchairs are in the NFL?

Whatever, dude. That's you saying that, not me.

The goal in golf is getting the ball in the hole in the fewest amount of strokes. The person that does that wins. Everything else is irrelevant.

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No. I'm a huge fan of Casey, and sympathetic to his condition, but once you open the floodgate of exceptions, you can never go back.
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The guy in your picture disagrees with you. [quote name="zipazoid" url="/t/58810/casey-martin-cart-or-not#post_722302"] So lemme get this straight. Cuz I say Martin's disability should allow him to ride in a cart during tournaments, this somehow means I believe MD victims should play a different course, or wheelchairs are in the NFL? Whatever, dude. That's you saying that, not me. The goal in golf is getting the ball in the hole in the fewest amount of strokes. The person that does that wins. Everything else is irrelevant. [/quote]
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The goal in golf is getting the ball in the hole in the fewest amount of strokes. The person that does that wins.

......as long as everyone is playing by the same rules.

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No. I'm a huge fan of Casey, and sympathetic to his condition, but once you open the floodgate of exceptions, you can never go back.

I think the argument against that is that those floodgates were opened 14 years ago (or before that), when he was allowed to use a cart at the 1998 U.S. Open at Olympic and we have not seen an influx of cart-users since. Not saying I would make that argument, but I can see its worth.

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Originally Posted by Phil McGleno

The guy in your picture disagrees with you.


So? I'm good with that. And Jack, being the gentleman that he is, I'm sure would respect my opinion. How about you?

Wait, scratch that last question. I don't really care whether you do.

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I think the argument against that is that those floodgates were opened 14 years ago (or before that), when he was allowed to use a cart at the 1998 U.S. Open at Olympic and we have not seen an influx of cart-users since. Not saying I would make that argument, but I can see its worth.

That's my point. Allow an exception to the rules once, and it's hard to go back....for anyone. Rules are rules. Were he to win, it would be with an asterisk next to his name.....sorry, this one is black and white for me.

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That's my point. Allow an exception to the rules once, and it's hard to go back....for anyone. Rules are rules. Were he to win, it would be with an asterisk next to his name.....sorry, this one is black and white for me.

But an exception was allowed, and we still haven't gone back. As far as I know Casey Martin is the only one to use a cart (albeit many years apart).

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