Rules and Rants

Lower your scores, learn golf’s rules

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Golf Canada/ Jules Xavier

The game of golf extends well beyond your performance on the course. There’s no doubting length off the tee and the ability to read a green’s break are integral aspects of the game. However, what many golfers don’t realize is that knowledge of the sport’s rules can be just as crucial. Understanding golf’s rules and their proper applications can not only help to speed up play, but also assist in lowering your score and overall enjoyment of the game.

Level 1 of the program introduces the basic concepts and language of the Rules of Golf. Examples, videos, animations and exercises are used to familiarize the student with the principles of the rules and how to use the Rules of Golf book. This online program is ideal for juniors, beginners and golfers who have had no previous experience with the rules. Start your Level 1 experience here.

Level 2 builds on the experience of Level 1 and introduces the key reference manual for officials: the Decisions on the Rules of Golf. This publication is the key to understanding how the Rules of Golf are applied on the course. In addition to introducing some of the fundamental rules through examples, videos and exercises, Level 2 teaches the student how to use the Decisions book effectively when the Rules book alone does not provide the answer. More information on Level 2 is available online here.

Level 3 is comprised of a three-day seminar conducted by the provincial golf associations. The seminar covers the most common Rules of Golf and includes practical sessions that demonstrate how the rules are applied on the golf course. To be certified at Level 3, an official must successfully pass the exam and meet the minimum practical requirements. The Level 3 program leads to provincial certification as a tournament official. Once Level 3 certified, an official is qualified to attend the Level 4 national certification seminar. To find out more about Level 3 seminars in your area, please contact your provincial golf association or visit their websites:

Level 4 of the program leads to national rules certification. This is a necessary, but not sufficient qualification to work as a rules official at a Golf Canada national championship. The Level 4 program is intended for experienced rules officials who wish to improve both their technical and practical knowledge as a rules official. Considerable time is spent on the golf course discussing complex issues of the Rules of Golf.

Golf Canada Rules of Golf Seminars

An integral aspect of Level 4 is the learning seminars. Golf Canada’s Level 4 Rules of Golf seminars are intended for experienced officials. Registration for a 2015 Rules of Golf Seminars is restricted to persons who: are Level 3 certified officials; have achieved 70% or better on the Level 4 Rules Exam or 80% or better on the USGA Rules Exam within the last four years; or have achieved 92% or better on the USGA Rules Exam after January 1, 2004; or are currently or have been previously certified at Level 4 or equivalent by Golf Canada.

Inaugural Golf Canada Tournament Administration and Rules Seminar

In addition to the Level 4 rules seminars, Golf Canada is excited to conduct the inaugural Tournament Administration and Rules Seminar (TARS), April 16-19 at Crowne Plaza Toronto Airport.

The objective of TARS is to gather championship volunteers and staff members from key golf associations in Canada to discuss important and impactful topics in the golf industry in relation to tournament administration and golf competitions.

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn from some of Canada’s most experienced tournament administrators and rules officials, in addition to special guests Grant Moir (R&A) and Mark Dusbabek (PGA TOUR).

Full details regarding TARS can be found here.

2015 Golf Canada Rules of Golf Seminars Schedule

March 26-29 Vancouver, B.C. Point Grey Golf & Country Club
April 16-19 (TARS) Toronto, Ont. Crowne Plaza Toronto Airport
April 23-26 (French Only) Montreal, Que. Elm Ridge Golf & Country Club
April 23-26 Regina, Sask. Royal Regina Golf Club
April 30-May 3 Halifax, N.S. Brightwood Golf & Country Club


Registration for Level 4 Rules of Golf Seminars is available online here.