International golf referees school held in St Andrews

The annual R&A Tournament Administrators and Referees School in St Andrews brought together 78 delegates from 36 countries around the world.

The event was held at the Fairmont St Andrews Resort and referees and tournament officials representing golf federations spanning the United Kingdom, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and Canada received three days of comprehensive Rules of Golf education.

The School began with practical demonstration sessions that used specially constructed indoor golf settings including a lateral water hazard, bunker, putting green and temporary immovable obstruction. The interactive sessions allowed delegates to brush up on their Rules while discussing different scenarios with the instructors.

Delegates also worked through sessions and presentations on subjects including course marking, starting and recording, pace of play and Amateur Status and had opportunities to discuss different video rulings and current Rules issues.

On the second day, participants sat the Level Three Rules Exam, a component of the R&A’s three-tiered Rules Education programme that guides people from a basic knowledge of the Rules to the standard of a tournament official or referee.

The European Tour’s Senior Referee Andy McFee gave a presentation about refereeing at the professional level before participants took part in a role play session on day three, giving individual rulings on different on-course situations. Delegates also learned about course set-up and different equipment rulings.

The event culminated with a reception and dinner at The Royal and Ancient Clubhouse on the final evening, giving delegates a chance to see inside the historic building.

“Visiting St Andrews has always been a dream, and it was a tremendous opportunity and privilege to be invited to participate,” said Jean Stone-Seguin, a senior rules official from Canada.

“The Tournament Administrators and Referees School is an educational experience that will leave even the most accomplished Rules Official with a greater understanding and appreciation for the Rules of Golf. “

Delegate Tom Kennedy added, “The Tournament Administrators and Rules School was of huge benefit to me in my role as a Director of Golf in Ghana. I found the topics presented very useful and informative while it was also extremely beneficial to meet more members of The R&A team and representatives of golfing bodies from around the world.”

David Rickman, Executive Director – Rules and Equipment Standards at The R&A, said, “The School is a wonderful opportunity to bring together people from all over the world to gain a broader understanding of the Rules and learn more about the many different aspects of refereeing and administering tournaments. The interactive sessions give delegates a real opportunity to learn from the instructors and from each other, and the diversity of the participants reflect golf’s increasing global reach.”

For more information about the R&A’s Rules of Golf Education programmes, please click here.