Rules and Rants

Teaching to learn

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The March 26-29 Rules of Golf Seminar (Golf Canada Archive)

Some will say that there are fewer more noble pursuits in life than teaching. After having learned something, some will argue that it is your responsibility to pass along that knowledge to not only help others, but to also ensure that the knowledge you’ve been given spreads and grows.

Not so long ago, I was the one in the crowd with the Rules of Golf in-hand; I was the one being asked what to do; I was the one on the receiving end of a rules demonstration. This past weekend at Point Grey Golf and Country Club in Vancouver, I had the honour of once again stepping to the front with Rules Chair Dale Jackson and Rules and Amateur Status Committee members Susan White and Dan Sabourin to teach in Golf Canada’s Rules of Golf Seminar – and it is not a responsibility that we take lightly.

As much as there is to learn in order to properly facilitate this game we all love so much, teaching those rules is an entirely different matter. It’s the same problem any teacher will face a hundred times over – what’s the best way to help your students learn? What more can I do to make sure this sticks? And that’s the challenge in teaching – that you can lecture and role-play and diagram for hours on end until you’ve said all you can say; but ultimately, it’s the performance of your students that reflects how well you’ve done as an instructor. From that perspective, I know I can do better.

I want every one of my students to ace their exams. I want them to excel and one day stand at the front with me, passing on what they have learned. My hope is that with every session I lead – with every lesson I give – I get a little better at teaching. That I get just that much better at demonstrating the Rules of Golf and that one more student remembers the correct ruling in one more situation.

There are four seminars left this season and I will be at the helm of three (Tournament Administration and Rules Seminar in Toronto, April 16-19; the Level 4 Rules of Golf Seminar in Regina alongside Mary Beth McKenna, Jack McDonald and Brian Lee from April 23-26; before concluding in Halifax, April 30-May 3; seasoned veteran instructors Jacques Nols and Diane Barabé will take the lead in Montreal, April 23-26). There is still time to sign up for these seminars. Additional information can be found here.

I hope you all look forward to learning as much as I look forward to teaching.