Rules and Rants
Where did 2012 go?
Golf Canada’s Cam Crawford reflects upon what was a busy 2012 for Golf Canada.
Cam Crawford, Golf Canada's Coordinator of Rules/Competitions
Published on Tuesday, Jan. 08, 2013 11:39AM EST
Following a brief holiday-hiatus from Golf House, the Golf Canada team is back at it and looking forward to another exciting year and season in 2013.
Looking back on 2012, there were numerous highlights for the game in Canada, including Rules, Amateur Status and Handicap changes, amongst a full-calendar of championship events.
To kick-off 2012, Golf Canada, in conjunction with the R&A and USGA, released the 2012-2015 revisions to the Rules of Golf and the Rules of Amateur Status. Among the most noted amendments were Rules 6-3a (Time of Starting), 13-4 (Ball in Hazard; Prohibited Actions) and 18-2b (Ball Moving After Address). Additionally, a 2012-2013 revised Decisions Book on the Rules of Golf was also released in Canada, providing an official interpretation to the Rules of Golf, which includes over 1,100 situations in question/answer format.
Falling in line with the revisions to the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status and Decisions on the Rules of Golf were changes to Golf Canada’s Handicap Manual. Perhaps the most significant change to the Handicap System was the change to the long-standing Equitable Stroke Control (ESC) method, bringing it into equivalency with current ESC calculations employed by the United States Golf Association (USGA). The new ESC method went into effect March 1, 2012, coinciding with the release of the 2012-2015 version of the Handicap Manual.
With changes to the Rules, Amateur Status and Handicap codes in 2012, Golf Canada’s Rules Education curriculum also underwent changes. Among these included the introduction of a new Level 1 Rules of Golf platform, a great foray into the Rules Education program, even for those unfamiliar with the Rules of the game. In addition to the Level 1 and Level 2 programs delivered online, Provincial Associations engaged a number of students in Level 3 Seminars across the country, while provincial and nationally certified officials attended one of five Level 4 (national) seminars conducted by Golf Canada Staff and our Rules Committee.
It is with the assistance of these certified officials that we are able to conduct our championships (as well as those of our fellow associations) each year and assist players in various on-course Rules situations. At the conclusion of each season, we review the Rules situations our Officials have come across from their documented 2012 Incident Cards, which are specific to each championship. Reviewing these documents assists us in keeping thorough records, adjusting our education curriculum for ‘common situations’, and to ensure our Officials stay occupied on those quiet summer days!
Do you know how many rulings occurred in 2012? Any idea which championship generated the most rules inquiries? Or, which Rule/situation was most commonly referenced in 2012? Upon a review of rulings from 2012, our Rules Officials assisted competitors in over 700 situations, with the Men’s Amateur (our largest field) and the Junior Boys Championships having the leading proportion of rules inquiries. As for the most commonly referenced Rule of Golf in our 2012 events, that distinction goes to Rule 26-1 (Relief for Ball in Water Hazard).
In addition to Rules and Handicap changes, Golf Canada Staff, Volunteers and Host Clubs worked in conjunction to conduct over 20 Golf Canada Championship events and qualifiers, as well as working with many outside events at the local, regional, provincial and professional levels. Among these events, Golf Canada is proud to have 14 amateur championships on the calendar, which are official Counting Events for the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR). An official announcement regarding our 2013 Championship Schedule will be released later this month.
Thanks for reading and look for our 2013 outlook in next week’s edition of Rules & Rants
For more information, please consult our Rules of Golf publications – for purchase in Golf Canada’s eStore, or at your local book retailer. In addition to reading our various publications, you can begin your Rules of Golf Education anytime, beginning with our online curriculum; to start your Rules Education, click here. As always, our ‘Ask an Expert’ tool can be utilized and accessed via our website, where we would be happy to answer your Rules-related inquiries.