R&A break new ground in South Africa

Group discussion with an R&A Official at Steenberg Golf Club in Cape TownThe R&A, the governing body for the rules of golf in over 130 countries, commenced with the first ever Referees School, to be held on the African continent, when just over sixty delegates gathered at Steenberg Golf Club in Cape Town for the first of a three day course today.

“The course is aimed at those people who have a good knowledge of the rules of golf,” explained Colin Burger, senior vice president of the South African Golf Association (SAGA), under whose auspices this course is conducted.

“The intensive three day course is aimed at improving the art of refereeing”, explained Burger. “All participants in this course have already passed the R&A Rules Exam.”

“Knowing the rules of golf is a good start, but this in itself does not make a good referee,” pointed out Grant Moir, Director of Rules of Golf with The R&A. “We aim to impart techniques and approaches that experienced referees around the world apply successfully. It is an intensive three day course. By the end we hope that the lessons learnt will assist in making participants more confident on the golf course.”

The first day involves lectures and practical lessons on the course, a review of contentious rulings recorded on television during high profile professional tournaments and setting up conditions of competition and local rules. The second day, on Saturday, involves an exam in the morning followed by practical examples of rulings which will involve decision making by participants. This will continue into the final day (Sunday).

“The Rules of Golf can be difficult and complex. Interpreting them in the heat of the moment, when one is called for a ruling, takes both a good knowledge of the rules and experience. This course will certainly assist participants greatly in their confidence and thus in their approach in dealing with complex rulings,” said Colin Burger.

According to the SAGA the course was oversubscribed, with participants coming from as far afield as Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia and even one delegate from Taiwan. In addition both the SAGA, Womens Golf South Africa and Sunshine Tour, administrative bodies of both amateur and professional golf, have good representation at the school.

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