The R&A - Working for Golf

Rules Education

The R&A’s jurisdiction is global (excluding the United States and Mexico), and it takes the educational aspect of its role seriously.

Golf is a self-regulating game and it is the responsibility of all golfers to know the Rules. The Rules provide the framework for the way the game is played. A sound knowledge of them will allow you to deal with most situations you encounter on the golf course and itmay even save you a few strokes. With the new Rules of Golf taking effect on 1 January 2019, the Education programme now focuses on these new Rules. 

The basics, the Rules that occur most often, such as taking relief from a cart path and what to do when your ball is in a penalty area, out of bounds or lost, are not as difficult to learn as you may think. They are all covered in the Player’s Edition of the Rules of Golf which is designed to help you, the golfer.

For those that want to know more than the basics, and for those that need to know more, e.g. referees, golf club officials and competition organisers, a more thorough knowledge of the full Rules of Golf and the Official Guide to the Rules of Golf is required. All of the information in these publications are here on the website. 

Rules Seminars

The R&A’s Rules Education programme consists of a three-tiered approach with the aim of graduating delegates through the stages to develop their Rules knowledge. The Seminars are tailored to provide basic instruction for those newer to the game, as well as meeting the demands of more experienced officials looking for tournament specific guidance.

The R&A’s Rules Education Programme

There are three levels:

  • Level 1 Rules Seminar
  • Level 2 Rules Seminar
  • Level 3 Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar

At each stage, there is the opportunity to sit an appropriate exam. The exams are recognised throughout The R&A’s jurisdiction. Ideally, delegates should successfully complete each stage before progressing to the next level, attaining and building a comprehensive Rules knowledge in the process. It is also vital that practical experience is obtained in order to become an effective exponent on the Rules, refereeing and running competitions.

Explore the panels opposite to find out more.

Level 1

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Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Introduction to the Rules

Level 1 focuses on the Player’s Edition of the Rules of Golf Level 1 Rules Seminar.

Level 1 Rules Seminar

This one day Seminar is taught by experienced instructors from many national golf associations and federations. The Seminar uses R&A materials and combines text, diagrams, photos and videos of Rules situations.

An invaluable on-course practical demonstration is the highlight. Also included is the Level 1 Rules Exam.

To check for Level 1 Seminars in your area, see the table of upcoming Rules Seminars.

Rules Academy

The Rules Academy is an online version of the Level 1 Rules Seminar and provides an interesting and easy way to learn the basics of the Rules of Golf. Test your knowledge by taking the review questions at the end of each section and try to gain an official R&A certificate by taking the online Level 1 Exam.

Learn more

Level 2

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Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 2 Rules Seminar

Level 2 consists of a two and a half day Seminar conducted by The R&A or, by a national governing body. 

The Level 2 Seminar looks at the more important playing Rules in detail, e.g. Course Played as it is Found (Rule 8) and both penalty and free relief situations (Rules 15-19).  Further explanations found in the Official Guide to the Rules are introduced along with an explanation of the role of the Committee in competitions.  An on-course demonstration forms an important part of this Seminar.

It should be remembered that the Rules do not only exist on the page of a book - they must be applied on the golf course.  The last part of the Seminar, therefore, concentrates on the practical aspects of refereeing.

Knowledge required

Ideally attendees would have successfully completed a Level 1 Seminar(either an actual Level 1 Seminar or the online equivalent) and, in any case, attendees would be expected to know the basics of the Rules as covered in the Player’s Edition of the Rules of Golf. 

Target Audience

  • Individuals with an involvement in tournament administration at any level of the game or a desire to have such an involvement, e.g. club managers, committee members, club professionals
  • Individuals with a desire to progress to Level 3.

To check for Level 2 Seminars in your area, see the table of upcoming Rules Seminars.

 

 

Level 3

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Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar

This three day Level 3 Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar (TARS) is conducted by The R&A.

A TARS in St Andrews is held annually, usually in February, and it is The R&As leading Seminar.  All of The R&As Affiliates are invited to send a maximum of two delegates to this Seminar. Additional TARS courses are held around the world, e.g. South America, Africa, Australasia and Asia to meet demand.

The purpose of a TARS is to give guidance and practical advice on running tournaments and refereeing. There is no lecturing on individual Rules of Golf at a TARS and so delegates are assumed to have a very good knowledge of the Rules before attending.

The Seminar includes sessions on course set-up, course marking, pace of play, suspension of play and starting and recording. Delegates are also given an opportunity to test their refereeing skills by giving rulings to R&A instructors during a role play session.

Target Audience

As a Level 3 TARS is generally by invitation only, we would recommend that you speak to your National Golf Union or Federation if you are interested in attending.

Upcoming Rules Seminars

With the new Rules of Golf taking effect on 1 January 2019, many national governing bodies will be holding Rules Seminars in the coming months.  A list of these is available from the link below:

Upcoming Rules Seminars