The R&A - Working for Golf

Olivia Kline at TARS

Held in February, almost 100 delegates from over 40 countries met at the Home of Golf for the annual Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar (TARS), organised by The R&A.

The Level 3 seminar, which has been running since the mid-1990s, is the last stage of The R&A’s three-tier qualification process designed to help candidates achieve the standard of tournament official or referee.

Amongst those who attended TARS were 22 delegates from Asia-Pacific countries and regions including Australia, Bangladesh, China, Chinese Taipei, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Pakistan, Singapore and Vietnam.

One of the participants, Olivia Kline from Golf Australia has summarised her experience…

“I was lucky enough to be selected as the Golf Australia representative to attend TARS 2020 in St Andrews.

It’s hard to describe the feeling of driving into St Andrews, looking out on to the 18th and the Swilken Bridge. It was then that I had a few nerves kick in for the four days ahead learning about Tournament Administration and Rules at the Fairmont Hotel.

There were 94 delegates from 40 different countries that attended, it was great to chat with everyone about all the different situations they face in their roles or while refereeing. Some were like what we experience in Australia while others included no playing access due to extreme weather conditions like snow.

As always, the biggest learning experience of the week was the role play sessions. The R&A have excellent props that aid with this part of the week. We embarrass ourselves in front of our new friends as we were given a ruling situation to deal with. Sometimes we did well and other times The R&A staff passed on feedback about how we can improve next time.

We were very lucky on the final night to have a dinner at the R&A clubhouse eating Scottish delicacies (yes haggis was consumed) with all the other delegates and R&A members.

I then headed to Adelaide to put into action the knowledge I gained at TARS as I refereed at the Women’s Australian Open for the first time.

I was blessed to be given the opportunity and it’s one that I would highly recommend to others working in the golf industry. It was fantastic to meet and network with so many like-minded people who share the same love for the game and at the Home of Golf.”

Delegates from the Asia-Pacific region were well prepared through national level Rules Seminars in their own countries, which has been proved by the pass rate of 91% at the Level 3 Exam, including Jiayue Kang’s (China) top mark at 94% with the top mark of the seminar being 96%.

The next TARS in Asia will be held in 2021.