Sample Management Case Study on Casey Martin Decision

Casey Martin Decision

Like any other sporting activity, golf comes with its own rules and regulation that governs the mode of the game. There are rules that are developed and implemented by the organizers of a particular golfing event. There are also the underlying rules that govern the basics of the game. A problem arises when the organizers’ rules disagree with those of the governing body. Such a circumstance is illustrated in the Casey Martins’s case where the ADA requirements conflicted with those of PGA Tour incorporation (Brown, & O’Rourke, 2003).

Martin Casey lived his life as a professional golf player. However, unlike most other players, he had a rare disease that limited his ability to move freely within the golfing course. His medical condition required him to limit walking in order to avoid pain and any other health repercussions including hemorrhage. These precautions were a prescription by his medical doctor.

The defendants in this case were the PGA Tour Inc., which, was an association of professional golf players. PGA Tour Inc. sponsored three tournaments where the participants were taken through a series of golfing tours. The tournaments involved a series of qualification and elimination stages. Martin Casey participated in the qualifying tournament. He qualified for the second level after attaining the required point giving the opportunity to be included in the next tournament.

Most players in the tournament used carts in the first two stages since they were allowable. PGA Tour Inc. implemented a rule requiring all participants to walk in the third stage and all the succeeding tournaments. In the third stage and both the PGA Tour and Nike tour, the players were required to walk. Martin qualified for the third stage of the qualifying tournament after using a cart in the first two stages. His request to use a cart in the final stage was denied (Vaughn, 2003).

Martin went to court claiming that his medical condition greatly limited his ability to participate in the game given the tough conditions. He argued that if forced to play under such conditions, he would be forced to endure great pain and health risks. His motion was to be granted the opportunity to move around using a cart in the qualifying stage and in the PGA Tour and Nike Tour if he qualified for any of them. His motion was duly granted by the court and he was allowed to play the third stage using a cart. He attained adequate points to proceed to the next tournament, the PGA Tour.

PGA Tour appealed against the district court’s decision. In their arguments, they asserted that they were a private club and were, therefore, not bound by the ADA requirements. They even went ahead to try to define what is meant by the term public. In their arguments, they claimed that the walking rule that they had implemented was meant to create fatigue on the participant. Martin would, therefore, gain undue advantage if he was allowed to use a cart.

The Appeal’s court judges unanimously agreed to uphold the District court’s decision. It was argued that Martins condition already meant that he had to strain and endure limits in order to sustain the game requirements. Subjecting him to the standing rule would add more unwarranted fatigue and pain. The court argued that PGA’s rule was discriminatory under Tittle III (Abrams, 2010). They went ahead to ascertain that if granted the consideration, PGA would hinder all persons with disabilities from participating in the tournament. They instructed PGA to make adjustment to allow Martin and any other person with disability to take part and compete fairly in the tournament (Ivers, & McGuire, 2004).). This decision was arrived at after the court determined that PGA Tour Inc. was not as private as they claimed to be.




Abrams, R. I. (2010). Sports justice: The law & the business of sports. Boston, Mass: Northeastern University Press.

Brown, R. S., & O’Rourke, D. J. (2003). Case studies in sport communication. Westport, Conn. [u.a.: Praeger.

Ivers, G., & McGuire, K. T. (2004). Creating constitutional change. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press.

Vaughn, J. (2003). Disabled rights: American disability policy and the fight for equality. Washington, D.C: Georgetown University Press.