The 2019 Level 3 Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar (TARS) – Asia, held at Tan Son Nhat Golf Course, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam from 1-4 October, was delivered by Doug Norval, Chairman of The R&A Rules Committee, Claire Dowling, Member of The R&A General Committee, Shona McRae, Assistant Director – Rules and Jin-Woo Kim, Rules Manager – Asia Pacific.
As the national governing body of one of the fastest growing golf countries in the world, the Vietnam Golf Association (VGA), has been active in delivering Rules seminars around the country since their first Level 1 Rules Seminar in 2011, which was delivered by a team from The R&A. As a result and with the amazing support from Tan Son Nhat Golf Course, VGA has successfully hosted the first Level 3 TARS in Vietnam, which was attended by 68 representatives from 16 different countries including Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, Egypt, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the host country, Vietnam.
The Seminar was aimed primarily at those who were already administering and refereeing tournaments or those who have a strong desire to do so in the future and have yet to attend a TARS. All delegates at the seminar were well prepared through national level Rules Seminars in their own countries, which has demonstrated in the pass rate of 98% at the Level 3 Exam, including the top scorer, Ji Danyang from China marking a 99%.
Vu Nguyen, Deputy General Secretary and Chairman of the Referee Committee at VGA said, “Hosting the highest level of The R&A’s Rules Education Programme is a huge step up for golf in Vietnam. We believe that this seminar will become a milestone in the Rules development in our country and we’re looking forward to carrying on with more Rules Seminars to educate the golfers in Vietnam.”
During the three-day seminar, delegates focused on practical demonstrations on the Rules of Golf and presentations on topics related to running tournaments such as course marking, course set-up, suspension of play, starting and recording, pace of play and other useful aspects of tournament administration. Jittisak Tamprasert, Director of Rules and Competitions – Asian Tour, presented the ‘Tour’s Point of View’ session, which was followed by a presentation on how the professional tour referees prepare and work at tournaments week in and week out. Delegates were also able to hear about Jittisak’s 22 years’ experience of refereeing and what it’s like to work as a professional tour referee.
Further demonstrating the significance of TARS to the region, the Seminar attracted media attention with TV and online coverage achieved throughout the week.
The next Level 3 TARS will be held in St Andrews in February 2020.