Game On: Learn about the divisioning process that differentiates Special Olympics from other sport organizations.
Level 1: Individual Skills Competition
This competition allows Special Olympics athletes to develop sports skills in a competitive format designed to serve as a stepping stone towards course play. The individual skills offered for golf are short and long putt, chip shot, pitch shot, iron shot and wood shot.
Level 2: Alternate Shot Team Play (9 hole)
This competition allows Special Olympics athletes to compete in course play with a Unified partner that acts as a coach to the athlete. The partner teaches strategy along with golf etiquette while playing alternate shot to prepare the athlete for individual course play.
Level 3: Alternate Shot Unified Sports Team Play (18 hole)
This competition allows Special Olympics athletes with a strong concept of golf rules and etiquette to play with a Unified Partner of similar ability on an alternate shot team for 18 holes.
Level 4: Individual Stroke Play Competition (9 hole)
This competition allows those athletes who have improved golf skills from level 2 to compete as an individual for 9-holes. Athletes are allowed caddies to help advise on strategy.
Level 5: Individual Stroke Play Competition (18 hole)
This is the highest individual level of golf offered by Special Olympics, and is for athletes with a good understanding of the game and golf knowledge. Athletes must have an average score under 120 in order to be eligible for this level of play.
Click here to find your coach certification status.
- Golf Calendar
- Special Olympics Quick Start Guide – printable version
- Special Olympics Quick Start Guide – digital version
- Special Olympics Coaching Guide
- Quick Reference Coaching Guide
- Other SOI Coaching Resources
SONC is an affiliate club of the Carolina Golf Association (CGA) named the Special Olympics North Carolina Golf Club. Golfers competing at Level 4 and Level 5 only are required to have their coach enter all of their scores into the CGA GHIN system. Below you will find resources to make posting scores, and reviewing scores easier.
Always communicate with your local coordinator if you are interested in submitting registration for an event.
Fall Tournament/Invitational Registration Forms
Local program coordinators should submit entries along with the remainder of the Fall Tournament registration. Click here for a full list of Fall Tournament registration forms. These forms will be available closer to the event date.
For coaches’ use only – do NOT submit with registration.
2020 SONC Fall Tournament
SONC Fall Tournament will be held in fall 2020 in Charlotte.
Special Olympics Durham County will host a Unified 9-hole golf tournament on Sunday, November 17, at 1:30 p.m. at Wakefield Plantation’s 9-hole course in north Raleigh. There will be shotgun start. Level play offered will be 9-hole Unified alternate stroke. The cost for this event is $40 per team, which includes a golf cart, skills contest for athletes, awards, prizes, and picnic dinner. The athlete/delegation is responsible for securing a Unified partner. Day-of registration will begin at 12:30 p.m. Registration is due no later than November 13 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Athletes and Unified partners also have the opportunity and are encouraged to participate in various local invitationals. Check the golf sport calendar for upcoming invitationals being hosted by local programs.
Local programs are also encouraged to host and invite neighboring counties to participate in invitationals, scrimmages, or leagues. Click here for some basic steps on how to get started. If you are interested in hosting an invitational you can also contact the sports department at email@example.com.
About Golf: Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing golfers use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes. The game is played on golf “courses”, each of which features a unique design, although courses typically consist of either nine or 18 holes. After a clinic at the 1993 Summer Games in Greensboro, SONC offered golf as an official sport for the first time at the Fall Games in Charlotte.
Differences of Special Olympics Golf: Special Olympics offers varying events for competition, but in individual stroke play competitions, there are a couple of variations from the rules of golf. First, if a 10th stroke is played without holing the shot, the player shall record a score of “10x” and proceed to the next hole. In the place of a tie for first place, the winner can be decided by the number of “10x” scores on an athlete’s scorecard. The player with the fewest number of “10x” scores shall be declared the winner.
History: Golf became an official sport at Special Olympics North Carolina at the 1993 Fall Games following a clinic at Summer Games in Greensboro.
By the Numbers:
- In 1991, golf made its exhibition debut at the International Games in Minneapolis, MN.
Sport Development Teams (SDT) are responsible for assisting with local and state-level programs and competition, educating coaches and officials, and promoting active engagement among athletes throughout the year. Click here for more information.
Certified Clinicians receive additional training in presentational skills to conduct training schools in their community. In order to become a Certified Clinician one must have a Special Olympics North Carolina level 2 sport certification in this sport.
For more information on becoming an SDT member or a Certified Clinician, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.