Successful Rules Education Schools Take Place in South America

R&A Rules staff travelled to South America in February to lead three interactive Rules schools for a total of 87 delegates from South and Central America and the Caribbean.

Los Lagartos Country Club in Bogota, Colombia was the host venue for the R&A’s Tournament Administrators and Referees School (TARS) where 64 participants from 13 countries received three days of comprehensive Rules education.

Participants came together to further their knowledge of the Rules of Golf, and to receive training to reach the standard of tournament officials and referees. The TARS is the third level of the R&A’s three-tiered Rules Education programme that guides participants through the Rules of Golf, and includes sessions on topics such as on course set-up, pace of play, suspension of play, and starting and recording.

Practical demonstrations on the golf course were an engaging component of the event, with instructors leading participants through a number of possible scenarios. Role playing sessions gave participants the chance to provide rulings in realistic on-course situations.

“The TARS is a great way for someone with a strong knowledge of the Rules to take it to the next level by becoming a referee, and for referees, it is a great venue to become a better referee and tournament administrator,” said Claudia Camargo, a delegate from the Chilean Golf Federation.

She continued, “To me, the practical and role-playing sessions are the most important part of the event. The students have an opportunity to act as referees and their performance is reviewed by the R&A staff and by the other delegates. Although this can be a difficult experience, the staff always makes you feel at ease, even if you make a mistake. Learning by doing is a great teaching technique.”

Videos from past events showing different rulings were used for Rules discussion, and participants had the opportunity to write the Level Three Rules Exam to test their knowledge of the Rules.

“There was a nervous atmosphere before the exam amongst the attendees that was a funny reminder for us of old memories from college,” said Cesar Carrasco, of the South American Golf Federation.

“But TARS is really all about becoming more knowledgeable in the Rules, getting better acquainted in course set-up and in running a competition, as well as developing better skills as a referee.

“It is a must for all people that wish to learn more about the rules of golf and about the art of refereeing,”

Delegates also had a chance to socialise and learn from each other’s experiences in golf, with participants representing R&A affiliates from countries such as Brazil, Guatemala, Jamaica, Panama and Uruguay. A large number of participants came from the Colombian Golf Federation, which provided organisational assistance for the event.

Next, 25 delegates from TARS stayed on for a further two days of training in the R&A’s Teach the Teachers programme, designed to expand the teaching capability of affiliate countries in South America.

Over the two days, participants shared ideas and discussed best practices for teaching the R&A’s Level 1 and Level 2 Rules Schools. Teaching objectives were set for individual countries as well as the region as a whole, in order to expand knowledge of the Rules of Golf and generate interest in the sport.

“The Teach the Teachers sessions will empower affiliates to conduct the R&A’s Rules Education Level 1 and 2 programmes on their own, which will help to increase the general golf knowledge of the average player,” said Kevin Barker, The R&A’s Assistant Director – Rules.

“Golf will be on the forefront in the region in the coming years, with the new Latin America Amateur debuting in Argentina in January 2015, golf’s return to the Olympics in Brazil in 2016 and the expansion of the PGA Tour Latinoamerica. This means that there is an increasing demand for Rules education.

“The Teach the Teachers programme allows us to work in partnership with our affiliates to ensure that a consistent message is delivered across the board.”

The final event held in South America took place in Lima, Peru at the Lima Golf Club. The Level 2 Rules School was organised in partnership with the Peruvian Golf Federation and was attended by 23 delegates from Peru and Bolivia.

The Level 2 Rules School expands on the Level 1 introduction to the Rules, and provides a mixture of classroom and practical demonstrations on the golf course as well as review of televised incidents. Participants in Peru had the opportunity to cover the majority of the Rules and to write the Level 2 Rules Exam.

While in Peru, R&A staff brought the Claret Jug along for a visit to San Bartolo public golf course. With the support of The R&A, the course is being developed in the desert south of Lima, with plans for grass to be installed on the fairways in June 2014.

50 young golfers were using the practise range and putting green when the Claret Jug arrived, and the trophy was widely admired by all at San Bartolo.

The golf course is the foundation of the Peruvian Golf Federation’s “Golf for All” programme which gives children aged 8 to 15 from low income households the opportunity to play golf.

For more information on Rules education, please click here.