Rules Education - Rebecca Hudson

A number of Ladies European Tour members completed the three-tier Rules education programme run by The R&A at the LET headquarters at Buckinghamshire Golf Club this April.

Four-time LET tournament winner and former Curtis Cup player, Rebecca Hudson of England, was one of the members who took the Exam.  

“It’s been very hard work but I am delighted to have passed!  This is obviously going to add another string to my bow and the opportunity was too good to miss,” she said.

Hudson is also a member of the Ladies European Tour Board and Chair of the LET Player’s Council.  We took the chance to speak to Rebecca during the School.

What have you learned from taking the R&A Rules and Tournament Administrators & Referees courses? 

That the Rules of Golf, even though they are written down, are complex and to understand them, you do need to spend some time reading them. As I play on Tour, completing this course has also given me an insight as to the challenges faced by our tournament directors and referees. I understand now what they do each week and what they have to contend with in respects to course set up and course marking.

Do you think completing the Level 3 Tournament Administrators & Referees School has been useful as a player?

Yes. I think that as players we can use the information to help provide constructive feedback to our tournament directors. We can give them a player’s point of view on the course set up with a new understanding of what the limitations are and what they are trying to achieve.

What do you expect from a Referee? 

With regards to being a referee on a Professional Tour, we expect the highest level of confidence and accuracy in a referee’s decision. Most pros have a basic understanding of the Rules, which can make us difficult to referee for. We know how to put pressure on the referee, as of course, we want the best outcome to the situation that we are facing. Therefore, the referee has to be strong, confident, decisive and clear.

Do you now have a different understanding as to the Rules and refereeing?

Yes, it's very stressful! I now know that when I ask for a ruling on Tour and I question it, I understand the confidence the referee has to have in his/her knowledge of the Rules to stand by it. Recently, I was at my golf club and I told a member of the Club that I had passed my Rules exam. He immediately told me of a tricky situation that he had been in. I didn't have my Rule book with me at the time so could not look it up so I could not give him an answer immediately. The pressure I felt at that moment gave me a quick insight as to what it would be like on the golf course faced with a real live situation.

Would you ever consider refereeing yourself?

Yes, I would love to! It’s been a great experience to be more involved with the Rules and something that I have studied for and would like to use.

If you could change any Rule, what Rule would it be?

When you have a free drop in a bunker for an abnormal ground condition, I think you should be able to place the ball and not drop it. There is no option but to drop it and it usually plugs! Also, I would disallow any evidence that is reported from TV viewers watching on HD and/or recorded coverage. If TV coverage is not available for every golfer it shouldn't be allowed.

[Editor’s Note: A ball is dropped in a bunker under Rule 25-1b(ii) to create the random lie that the player would have got if the abnormal condition was not there. The issue of reports of TV evidence is a topical subject following several high-profile cases and is currently being reviewed by the Rules of Golf Committee – click here to read more.]