PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin

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PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued January 17, 2001
Decided May 29, 2001
Full case name PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin
Citations 532 U.S. 661 (more)
Prior history Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Subsequent history 204 F. 3d 994, affirmed.
The PGA Tour is required to adhere to the Americans with Disabilities Act
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority Stevens, joined by Rehnquist, O'Connor, Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer
Dissent Scalia, joined by Thomas
Laws applied
Americans with Disabilities Act

PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin, 532 U.S. 661 (2001), was a United States Supreme Court case in which disabled golfer Casey Martin asserted that the PGA Tour could not lawfully deny him the option to ride in a golf cart between shots. Prior to this case, the PGA Tour required all golfers to walk between shots, and argued that this policy constituted an important aspect of the game of golf. The Supreme Court found for Martin in a 7–2 decision.


The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Martin in a 7–2 decision. The court found that the PGA Tour should be viewed as a commercial enterprise operating in the entertainment industry for the economic benefit of its members rather than as a private club. It agreed with the Magistrate Judge, Thomas Coffin, that the statutory definition of public accommodation included a "golf course," rejecting the Tour's argument that its competitions are only places of public accommodation in the areas open to spectators. The operator of a public accommodation could not, in Judge Coffin's view, create private enclaves within the facility "… and thus relegate the ADA to hop-scotch areas." The finding was originally upheld by the United States Court for the Ninth Circuit.

Justice Antonin Scalia wrote a dissent that drew upon Kurt Vonnegut's story "Harrison Bergeron."


Martin has failed to make it through the PGA Tour Q-school since 2000. He has played in several PGA Tour events, notably in 2004.[1] He resides in Eugene, Oregon and is the men's head golf coach at the University of Oregon.


  1. ^ "PGA Tour profile - Casey Martin". Retrieved 2012-07-16. 

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