Rules and Rants

Golf Canada to adopt R&A’s Rules Education program in 2019

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(Photo: Chuck Russell/Golf Canada)

With the Rules Modernization Initiative set to take effect in January 2019, Golf Canada is in the midst of preparing resources and educational material for all golfers, member clubs and referees. Our Rules Education will begin in the fall of 2018 to prepare everyone for the changes for next year.

New for 2019, Golf Canada will be adopting the R&A’s Rules Education system. One of the main objectives of the Rules Modernization Initiative was to create consistency around the world in many facets of the Rules of Golf, including educating and training referees. The exams that Golf Canada will use and the designation by marks achieved will be consistent throughout the countries allied to the R&A, such as Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

While Golf Canada traditionally has employed a four-level system, the R&A’s Rules Education program consists of a three-tiered approach. In order to align the programs, Golf Canada’s current Levels 1 and 2 will be consolidated into just one level (the new Level 1). We will maintain separate programs for individuals to continue through our Rules Education Pathway at the provincial and national level, which will be the new Level 2 and Level 3.

The chart below compares the Levels from 2018 to what will be in place for 2019:

2018 2019
Level 1 (Online) Level 1 (Online)
Level 2 (Online)
Level 3 (Provincial) Level 2 (Provincial)
Level 4 (National) Level 3 (National)

Level 1 provides an interesting and easy way to learn the basics of the Rules of Golf. This level will focus on Etiquette, the principle definitions and commonly encountered situations on the course. As part of the Level 1 program, students will be able to test their knowledge by taking the review questions at the end of each section before attempting the online Level 1 Exam.

Level 2 (Provincial) seminars will be conducted by provincial golf associations, and the curriculum will begin to look at the more important playing Rules in detail. Some of the complexities that are found in the Decisions book are introduced along while also implementing on-course demonstrations. Level 2 (Provincial) will be designed for individuals with an involvement in tournament administration, or a desire to have such an involvement.

Level 3 (National) will consist of a three-day seminar run by Golf Canada, also called Tournament Administrators and Referees School (TARS). It serves to give guidance and advice on running tournaments and refereeing by including sessions on course set-up, course marking, pace of play, suspension of play, and starting and recording.

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