Friday, November 6, 2020
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The Villages

Thousands of golfers in The Villages on verge of losing ‘reasonable accommodation’

A new limit on “reasonable accommodation” has upset many golfers in The Villages.

For years, Villagers were able to ask their physicians for a note explaining whatever disability they may have suffered, particularly anything that might limit their ability to walk. The doctor’s note would enable a Villager to receive a “reasonable accommodation” tag which was valid for up to one year. It allows golfers to drive their carts up near the greens and in places where other people cannot drive their carts. 

A “reasonable accommodation” tag is attached to this golf cart in The Villages.

It is estimated that are are thousands of these tags in The Villages.

Those tags will no longer be honored after Jan. 1.

Director of Executive Golf Mitch Leininger said golf course usage in The Villages has soared since the Coronavirus hit earlier this year. With increased usage, the golf courses are seeing greater degradation.

More golfers and more and more requests for reasonable accommodation tags are taking their toll.

A system which mirrors that of the Department of Motor Vehicles is aimed at discouraging residents from submitting doctor’s notes and medical records which the District does not want to store as public records. Storage of those records by a governmental agency would mean that they are public documents, potentially opening them up for public scrutiny.

Some carts have been damaging the greens.

The new rule means that the only way to receive the reasonable accommodation permission is by having a handicapped plate on your motor vehicle.

Villagers recently clashed with the golf management professionals concerned about the degradation of the courses. Villagers rebelled when a policy change was announced in an attempt to stop up to four golf carts from being used by a group, due to fears of the spread of the Coronavirus. After hearing from angry Villagers, that policy was relaxed. 

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