Martin's lawyer, Roy L. Reardon, contended walking is not an integral part of the game. Citing the Americans with Disabilities Act, a 1990 law that bans discrimination against the disabled in housing, employment and public accommodations; Reardon said the Act gives people 'like Casey Martin a chance to get to the game.'
However, PGA Tour lawyer H. Bartow Farr III argued that the Tour is not obligated to comply with the ADA, and that riding in a cart would fundamentally alter the nature of the competition.
The seven justices are expected to issue a ruling by July.
Martin, 28, suffers from Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber Syndrome, a circulatory disorder in his right leg that makes it painful to walk long distances.
Martin sued the PGA Tour in 1997 for the right to ride in a cart. A federal judge ruled in his favor; the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals then upheld the decision in 2000.
But the following day, a Chicago-based federal appeals court ruled against Indiana golfer Ford Orliger, who sued the USGA for the right to ride in a cart during U.S. Open qualifying. This became the basis for the PGA Tour appeal to the Supreme Court.