Date: May 22, 2018
Author: Damien Todorovic

Teaching the teachers

With the modernised Rules of Golf only seven months away, administrators from Australia and New Zealand recently attended a Teach the Teachers Seminar conducted by the R&A.

The purpose of the seminar was to educate staff and committee who are integrally involved in running events or delivering rules education seminars and over 60 administrators from Golf Australia, State and Territory Associations, NZ Golf and the PGA Australia attended the two and half day seminar held in Melbourne in early May.

Having already conducted similar seminars in Scotland, Buenos Aires and Thailand, the Australian seminar, held primarily at Huntingdale Golf Club in Melbourne, was the final stop for David Bonsall (Chairman, R&A Rules of Golf Committee), Claire Dowling (Deputy Chairman, R&A Rules of Golf Committee), Shona McRae (Assistant Director – Rules, The R&A) and Jin Woo Kim (Rules Manager – Asia-Pacific, The R&A).

The three-and-a-half-hour flight from Perth allowed enough time to read through the first 50 pages of the 2019 rules which revealed a few more changes than originally expected and set the platform for an informative few days.

The first afternoon involved viewing the revised Level 1 presentation which deliverers would present to golfers wishing to learn more about the Rules. Although a highlight was the acting prowess of Shona and R&A Rules Director Grant Moir in a series of video clips, it was the practical session on the morning of the second day that proved most valuable.

The practical session provided a more intimate environment as we split into four groups and rotated through different stations covering the Teeing Area (David), Penalty Areas (Claire), Bunkers (Shona) and the Putting Green (Jin Woo). I strongly recommend including practical sessions to anyone delivering education seminars as seeing the rules in action allows participants to interact more and breaks up the monotony of classroom presentations.

The Level 2 presentation rounded out the seminar that afternoon and the following morning before some guidance on delivering education sessions and question time completed proceedings. It was here that the penny dropped for many of us – any time spent explaining the changes from the current rules would only serve to confuse people and instead, the time is best devoted to educating people on what the new rules are… but of course, not to implement them before 2019!

Whilst those with some knowledge of the rules may struggle with the transition, I feel that the new rules will provide greater consistency and be easier for new golfers to learn. An exciting time to be involved with the Rules of Golf.

By Damien Todorovic – National Referee