Rules Education

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Golf Canada is committed to training and educating all golfers in hopes they may ultimately lead to national certification as a Referee.

Since 2019, Golf Canada has adopted 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 which similarly Golf Canada has adopted. Level 1 is the introductory level to Golf Canada’s Rules Education program which then proceeds into separate programming for individuals to continue through our Rules Education Pathway at the provincial and national level.

  • LEVEL 1

    Level 1 is an easy and interesting way to learn the basics of golf. This level focuses on the game’s etiquette, key definitions, and the most common situations in the field. As part of the Level 1 program, students can put their knowledge to the test by answering summary questions at the end of each section, before tackling the Level 1 online certification exam.

    CLICK HERE to begin Level 1

    Please note when you register to participate in the R&A Rules Academy through the Academy’s R&D Rules website, your contact information and other relevant information, including exam results, will be shared with Golf Canada. Golf Canada reserves the right to use this information to communicate with you about rules training, golf education, volunteer opportunities and golf events. We will use this information to promote and develop golf in Canada. For more information on how we can use and protect your personal information, please see our privacy policy by clicking here.


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


    • Level 1 certified (online)

    Requirements to be Provincially Certified:

    • Attend and achieve a minimum of 80% on the Provincial exam, administered by the Provincial Association
    • Complete 50 hours of on-course experience as a Referee.
    • Complete an additional 10 hours accompanying a Nationally certified Referee at a championship.

    The Level 2 Tournament Work Record online form can be found HERE.

    Tournament Work Record submission is to be done by October 31, or upon completion of requirements.

    For National accompanying opportunities in your area, please see the Golf Canada Competitions schedule or contact your Provincial Association for more information.


    The National level education program consists of a twelve-week online seminar run by Golf Canada. It serves to give guidance and advice on refereeing at the highest level. This program is intended for experienced Referees who wish to improve both their technical and practical knowledge as a referee.

    For those that have achieved 80% or higher on their most recent Level 3 exam, can be eligible for the Advanced program that runs for seven weeks.


    • Provincial level certification (written and practical components completed)

    Requirements to be Nationally Certified:

    • Attend and achieve a minimum of 80% on the National level exam, administered by Golf Canada.
    • Complete 100 hours of on-course experience as a Referee
    • Complete an additional 10 hours accompanying a Nationally certified Referee at a championship.

    The Level 3 Tournament Work Record online form can be found HERE.

    Tournament Work Record submission is to be done by October 31, or upon completion of requirements.



    The 2024 Level 3 Rules Education program will take a deep dive into each individual rule, including Committee procedures. The program will be twelve weeks long consisting of a two-hour session each week (beginning week of January 21st). Each week, the session will be broken down as follows:

    • 1st Hour: Lecture, interactive quizzes, questions, explanation of rulings using videos and pictures will be used to help the participants understand the specifics of each Rule.
    • 2nd Hour: Breakout group sessions featuring a Q&A with a Golf Canada Rules Committee instructor. Participants knowledge will be tested on the Rules of Golf, clarifications and Committee procedures in an exam setting.

    The 2024 Rules Education program will feature a new set of Rules each week. Additionally, two mock exams will be available as part of the twelve-week program to help participants adjust to the R&A exam format before writing in April.

    Registration will begin Monday, October 23rd at 12:00 p.m. (EDT).

    Twelve-Week Program Entry Requirements & Eligibility
    Fully Certified Level 2 and all Level 3 Referees may attend these seminars. Those who have obtained a minimum of 70% on the PGA/USGA Rules of Golf (100 question) Exam between 2020-2023 are also eligible to participate.

    • Cost: $200 – includes the cost of writing the Level 3 exam.
    • Registration fee includes both a 2023 Rules of Golf and Officials Guide

    Click here to register.

    Seven-Week (Advanced) Program Entry Requirements & Eligibility
    Those that have received 80% or higher on a Level 3 Golf Canada exam or R&A exam may participate. Those that received over 90% on a USGA exam are also eligible to participate.

    • Cost: $200 – includes the cost of writing the Level 3 exam.
    • Registration fee includes both a 2023 Rules of Golf and Officials Guide

    Click here to register.

    Topics & Detailed Schedule

    Please click here for a list of topics and the instructor schedule for each session.


    The Level 3 Exam will be written online in 2024.

    Entry Requirements & Eligibility
    Referees who are registered to write the Level 3 Rules of Golf Exam must fall under one of the below criteria:

    • Fully Certified at Level 2 with a passing Exam score of 80%
    • Previously attempted to write the Level 3 Exam
    • Have passed an equivalent Level 3 Exam (R&A or USGA)

    Cost: $100 / person

    Registration for the Level 3 Exam will begin October 23rd at 12:00 p.m. (EDT). Click here to register

    Online Schedule

    The exam may be written online on any of the following dates:

    • Monday, April 8th
    • Tuesday, April 9th
    • Wednesday, April 10th

    *Please note that Golf Canada online/IT support will be available only between 9:00am – 9:00pm ET.

    A passing grade for the Level 3 Exam is 80%.  Anyone who achieves this mark will be certified for four (4) years.

    If a Referee writes the Level 3 Exam before their certification is expired and does not meet the passing grade, this does not affect their current certification.



    The Regional Referee School are workshops for Provincial and National Certified referees of all experience levels who wish to attend. Referees will receive hands-on experience to learn the duties of a Tournament Rules Chair by setting up a championship course. Priority would be given to those who do not have vast experience to attend these sessions.

    Entry Requirements & Eligibility
    Certified Level 2  or Level 3 Referees, PGA of Canada members and Provincial Association staff can attend these in-person seminars.

    Cost: $300/person (Includes breakfast, lunch, and a dinner)

    Registration for the Regional Referee School will begin October 23rd at 12:00 p.m. (EDT). Click here to register for a Regional TARS Seminar


    April 3-5 Vancouver Golf Club

    Vancouver, BC

    Mary Beth McKenna
    Susan White
    April 24-26 Credit Valley Golf & Country Club

    Mississauga, ON


    Adam Cinel
    Tom Forestell

    May 8-10 Mickelson National Golf Club

    Calgary, Alberta

    Mary Beth McKenna
    Jack McDonald


    In 2024, Golf Canada will be piloting a Referee Mentoring Program where Level 2 and newly minted Level 3 referees can engage in practical training that will equip them with the skills to eventually act as Tournament Rules Chair at provincial and national championships.

    This program is facilitated in an on-course environment where together, the mentee will act with the mentor during a competition. Ideally, the program will consist of two practical experiences for each mentee/mentor in 2024. The mentee/mentor will be a part of a multi-day National Championship as well as a championship conducted by their respective Provincial Association.

    Registration Deadline: January 31, 2024

    Mentees will be selected by the Rules Education Committee for the 2024 pilot program.

    The focus of the program will be on preparing a course summary, course marking, local rules, suspension of play/evacuation plans, refereeing, pace of play policy management and course setup. Complete information on the program can be found here.

    Golf Canada will reimburse the mentee/mentor for expenses incurred at their National Championship and the mentor at Provincial Championships. Golf Canada will cover the following costs: mileage, accommodation, food & beverage. 

    Apply to the program today!  

    For questions regarding the Referee Mentoring Program please contact: 

    Dan Hyatt
    Senior Manager, Amateur Championships & Rules


  • 1. I have registered for the Level 3 Rules Education program but am unable to attend one session, can I still register?
    • Yes, you may still register but it is encouraged to attend as many sessions as possible to optimize your education.
  • 2. Is it required to take the Level 3 Rules Education program to write the Level 3 exam?
    • No, it is not mandatory to take the Rules Education program to write the exam, but it is highly recommended.
  • 3. I am attending a USGA Rules Education workshop, would that count towards my recertification process?
    • Yes, Golf Canada recognizes the USGA Rules Education workshop towards the recertification process and would allow you to be work Golf Canada events.
  • 4. I am writing the USGA exam, if I make the certification mark, does Golf Canada recognize this exam to certify?
    • Yes, Golf Canada recognizes the USGA exam and your result would certify you at an equivalent level in Canada. The highest level on the USGA exam (90% and over) would count towards your national certification. Please reach out to your respective provincial association if you need information on provincial recognition. The Referee does not receive a Golf Canada certificate however, a note is made on their file as a certified Referee.
  • How often do I need to re-certify at a particular level?
    • Re-certification is required at Level 2 and Level 3 every four (4) years. Re-certification means that the Referee must fulfill the exam requirements only. Once a referee has obtained the necessary practical hours at a particular level, they hold those hours for the duration of their tenure as a Referee. Level 1 does not require re-certification.
  • I am a Level 2 or Level 3 Referee and I choose not to re-certify at my current level – what is my status as a Referee?
    • If a Referee chooses to not re-certify at Level 2 or Level 3 at the end of their four (4) year certification period – their status becomes ‘expired’. In the case that a Referee’s status becomes expired, they would have to again write, and pass the Level 2 or Level 3 exam to officiate at each respective level.

Should you have any questions regarding the Golf Canada Level 3 Rules of Golf Education Program, please contact Sam Meek,