Adaptive Golf

USGA moves to add qualifying events for U.S. Adaptive Open

Brian Bemis

Brian Bemis putts during the 2022 U,S. Adaptive Open.

Jeff Haynes

The first two times the USGA staged the U.S. Adaptive Open, it felt more akin to an invitational than a true “open.” Entries were taken and the fields for each division were based largely on handicap index. Some of that was due to the USGA not knowing what kind of interest in would receive for its newest championship.

Two editions down the line, the U.S. Adaptive Open has gained a strong following in the adaptive golf community, and the USGA has responded by adding qualifying for the first time this year. Six sites around the country will host 18-hole qualifiers in April and May that will be run by Allied Golf Associations. This year’s U.S. Adaptive Open will be played for the first time at Sand Creek Station in Newton, Kan., July 8-10. The first two editions were contested at the Pinehurst Resort's No. 6 Course.

“In order to satisfy demand, we’re excited to roll out this new qualifying model, which will ensure high-caliber players are provided ample opportunity to earn a spot in the field and provide the championship the opportunity to embrace the openness that is a hallmark of USGA competitions,” John Bodenhamer, USGA chief championships officer, said in a statement on Thursday.

The specific qualifying sites will be announced in February, with the associations identified as: Florida State Golf Association; Georgia State Golf Association; Indiana Golf Association; Metropolitan Golf Association (NY., Conn., N.J.); Southern California Golf Association; and Texas Golf Association.

Online entry applications on champs.usga.org will open on Feb. 22, at 9 a.m. ET, and close on April 10 at 5 p.m. ET.

A total of 18 players are fully exempt into the 2024 U.S. Adaptive Open based on performances over the past two years of the championship. There are men’s and women’s divisions for arm impairment, leg impairment, intellectual impairment, multiple limb amputee, neurological impairment, seated players, short stature and vision impairment.