Rules School Diary: 29 January 2010 Santiago, Chile
By Kevin Barker:Assistant Director - Rules of Golf
I didn't know what to expect from Santiago, but what an impressive city it is. Lots of tall, shiny new office blocks and apartments, side-by-side with older homes. Tree lined streets. Lots of good restaurants and city squares. Very nice indeed.
The School was held at Los Leones Country Club in the middle of the city. The Club was the scene of the first ever Copa Los Andes - the prestigious, R&A-supported South American amateur team championship - and it will host the event again in November this year. A good course, tree-lined, and in good condition.
Just over 40 delegates at this School and it was hot, over 35ËšC at times. The temperature meant that finding some shade to conduct three hours of practical demonstration, and one-and-a-half hours of role-play, was of paramount concern to the instructors and the delegates. As this was the third School on this trip, set-up for these sessions was quite quick. Chris, Alan and myself knew exactly what we needed to do, what would work and what wouldn't. The short pitch-and-putt course gave us plenty of scope for all our Rules scenarios.
The role-play session went particularly well, my favourite part of the School. It is one thing to read the Rules, to watch video clips and to listen to people teaching the Rules, but there is no substitute for actually conducting a ruling and trying to guide a player calmly and simply through a situation, whether that be a ball in ground under repair, in a water hazard, or whatever. Full credit to the delegates who entered into the spirit of it and did very well, indeed.
At the end of the School we took the opportunity to sit down with representatives from the golf federations of Chile, Brazil and Ecuador, and also from the regional South American Golf Federation. It was clear from our conversations in Costa Rica, Colombia and Chile that there were some common themes, including the development of junior golf, etiquette, and golf in the Olympics. There's lots of work still to be done…
And that was it. Three weeks. Three different countries. Three different Rules Schools. And a lot of fun.