Golf Prosthesis Final Design Report (P4)

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List of Applicable Standards

USGA Limitations for Modified Equipment

14-3. Artificial Devices, Unusual Equipment and Unusual Use of Equipment

The United States Golf Association (USGA) reserves the right, at any time, to change the Rules relating to artificial devices, unusual equipment and the unusual use of equipment, and make or change the interpretations relating to these Rules.

A player in doubt as to whether use of an item would constitute a breach of Rule 14-3 should consult the USGA.

A manufacturer should submit to the USGA a sample of an item to be manufactured for a ruling as to whether its use during a round would cause a player to be in breach of Rule 14-3. The sample becomes the property of the USGA for reference purposes. If a manufacturer fails to submit a sample or, having submitted a sample, fails to await a ruling before manufacturing and/or marketing the item, the manufacturer assumes the risk of a ruling that use of the item would be contrary to the Rules.

Except as provided in the Rules, during a stipulated round the player must not use any artificial device or unusual equipment, or use any equipment in an unusual manner:

  • That might assist him in making a stroke or in his play; or
  • For the purpose of gauging or measuring distance or conditions that might affect his play; or
  • That might assist him in gripping the club, except that:
    • plain gloves may be worn;
    • resin, powder and drying or moisturizing agents may be used; and
    • a towel or handkerchief may be wrapped around the grip.


  1. A player is not in breach of this Rule if (a) the equipment or device is designed for or has the effect of alleviating a medical condition, (b) the player has a legitimate medical reason to use the equipment or device, and (c) the Committee is satisfied that its use does not give the player any undue advantage over other players.
  2. A player is not in breach of this Rule if he uses equipment in a traditionally accepted manner.

Penalty for Breach of Rule 14-3: Disqualification.

Note: The Committee may make a Local Rule allowing players to use devices that measure or gauge distance only.

Design Development

Initial Concept Overview

After contacting both John Lawson and Jim Taylor we realized how much they rely on the use of their prosthetic hook attachments. In the initial emails we had with John he stressed how important his hooks are to him, that his hooks are essentially his “hands.” Jim Taylor confirmed this statement. As a result, we knew we now had to design our solution to incorporate the capability of their prosthetic hooks.

With this in mind, we decided to head in a new direction, removing our initial concepts of the pre-set wrist, the magnetic wrist, and bevel gear designs. The initial concept development, selection, and specification satisfaction can be viewed in Appendix A.

Conceptual Designs

Adaptive Golf Sleeve

The adaptive golf sleeve is a concept derived from the TRS Grip, a terminal device used for single arm amputee golfers. The concepts we developed before meeting John Lawson and Jim Taylor incorporated the TRS grip, and as a result we were familiar with its functionality and application. After our interview with John he stressed that using a device independently is more important than how easy it is to use. With these new design targets in mind we wanted to develop a device allowing the bilateral amputee to keep their hook attachments on the entire time.

A hand drawing of our initial golf sleeve concept is shown below in Figure 9. The shape of the sleeve is similar to that of the TRS Grip. But unlike the TRS Grip we don’t want the sleeve to directly attach onto a prosthetic arm. We want the user to be able to apply the sleeve on to a golf club shaft and use their hooks to hold on to the club as if they were gripping the club with their hands. The sleeve is approximately twice the length of the TRS Grip providing more stability during the golf swing.

Golf Prosthesis Final Design Report (P4)

In order to make the sleeve entirely independent, a ring extends from the front of the sleeve so the user can use their hook to slide and pull the sleeve up the shaft of the club. The sleeve also has inlets on each side where the users hooks are inserted, simulating a golf grip. The sleeve would be made from polyurethane, similar to the TRS Grip, allowing some flexion when a bending moment is applied.

One design consideration for the golf sleeve is how the user will be able to keep the club in a single plane during the swing. The hook inlets will need to be adjusted so the user has more control of the club. Another consideration for the golf sleeve is how well the sleeve will be able to slide up the shaft of the club and the grip without encountering large amounts of friction. This was a concern for us when testing the capabilities of the TRS Grip. Applying the TRS Grip onto the shaft is simple but sliding it high enough onto the grip proved extremely difficult. In order to avoid this complication we will need to design the sleeve with a larger inner diameter, making it easier to apply onto a golf club.


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