On Course Officiating

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Our goal as Tournament Officials is to conduct a fair competition and be available to help players.  Yet we need to make sure we allow the players to play golf and stay out of the way when we are not needed.

Depending on the size of the Committee you may be assigned to work a hole, zone, or side of the course. Whatever your responsibilities, familiarize yourself with the area. What holes may present Rule concerns, shortcuts, locations you can use to see several holes, etc.

Moving About the Course

  • If you need to drive the course, traverse the course backwards whenever possible. This allows you to know what is happening in front of each group such as a two hole gap or a backup on a par 3 or reachable par 5.
  • Be careful coming around corners, you may have players ready to play. Also, if you must wait for a player, stop your cart; don’t creep along!

Stationary on the Course

  • When parked, try not to be in the sight line of play. We want to be available to players if they need help but not so visible that we disturb them.
  • Try and park your cart beyond the drive zone or landing zone.
  • You should park several yards away from players when you are called into a situation. This helps to insure that we do not roll over a ball
    or damage an area that may need to be used. It also allows you a moment to take a deep breath before getting involved.

Searching for Balls

  • Officials are encouraged to assist players in searching for golf balls. Invite spectators as well. Remember to start your watch when you see a search begin.
  • However, in the case where a player has played a provisional ball, he may not want to find the original ball. Let the player take the lead and join in searching only if the player has begun to search.

Stay Alert

  • Pace of play is always a concern. You should have a pace matrix in your packet. Anytime you see a group finish a hole, record the time. Information we gather throughout the round may be necessary to assist with a pace penalty.
  • Anticipate situations before they occur. For example, a ball hit into an area of brush may involve a ball search. Get your watch ready!
  • Weather is always a concern, be aware and be careful. The procedure for suspension and evacuation are covered in a separate section.

On Course Rulings

  • You should park several yards away from players when you are called into a situation. This helps to insure that we do not roll over a ball or damage an area that may need to be used. It also allows you a moment to take a deep breath before getting involved.
  • Your first statement when arriving should be “How may I help you”.
  • Make sure you identify whose ball is involved so that you speak with the correct person.
  • Depending on the situation, if a ruling is required, the time to use your radio is BEFORE answering the player. If a ruling is lengthy, please note the time involved and when the situation has cleared. Inform the Tournament Chairman when you are clear of the situation.

Take a Break

  • When you head in for lunch or a break, be sure to communicate with other Committee members so your area can be covered until you return.

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