"#RulesSchool is Now in Session" is a series where you’ll get an opportunity to check out some of the things going on here at the AJGA as our Operations staff prepares for the PGA/USGA Workshop on the Rules of Golf and the USGA Rules Exam. In addition to a “behind the scenes” look at our preparations, you will also have the opportunity to reach out to us via social media to ask your own questions about the Rules of Golf.
Every January, the AJGA welcomes new tournament coordinators. All of have worked as summer operations interns, and many have worked second summers as tournament assistants, giving them a good grasp on what it takes to succeed in their new position prior to their start. However, when these new tournament coordinators begin their first weeks of full-time work at the AJGA, they experience something that they’ve never done before at the AJGA – in-house Rules School. In today’s guest blog, Tournament Coordinator Blair Thompson gives us a little insight on what it’s like to be attending in-house Rules School for the first time.
It’s 7:59am and all the members of the AJGA Operations Department are seated in the board room with pencils in hand. At 8:00 a.m. sharp (don’t be late unless you want to provide breakfast for everyone the next day), our daily quiz begins on the rule that we covered the previous day. For months leading up to the PGA/USGA Rules of Golf Workshop and exam, the Operations staff meets from 8:00-10:00 a.m. to go over the 600+ pages of rules and decisions. This is all in preparation to score the coveted 92% on the Rules of Golf Exam and have the honor of being the highest level of certified rules official by the PGA and the USGA.
Last summer, as a tournament assistant, I attended the Rules of Golf Workshop and took the exam, but this is my first year as a full-time staff member and attending the in-house “Rules School” at the AJGA. The AJGA’s preparations for the Rules of Golf Exam are unlike any other golf organization. Andrew Greenfield, our Director of Rules and Competition, leads class each day, covering a different rule, the decisions that follow, and one or two definitions. It is our hope, that by the beginning of February, we are prepared for the 3.5 hour, 100 question exam. And even if we don’t achieve the 92%, we are still prepared to serve as rules officials this spring and summer on the road.
While I’ve only been in rules school a few weeks now, I can already see how much this helps on the way to that passing score. The ability to talk thru rules and questions with others, and breaking up the rules day by day, instead of cramming, gives the AJGA representatives an edge when it comes to taking the test. The test however won’t be easy. Last year, as I walked out of the exam room, I remember thinking, “That was the hardest test I’ve ever taken. College exams have nothing on the Rules of Golf Exam!”
When I walked across the stage at my college graduation last May, I didn’t foresee any more tests and scan-trons in my future…but I stand corrected. I have officially studied more and harder for this, than many tests in college. While I’m nervous for the big day in three short weeks, I’m excited to be expanding my golf knowledge and spend time interacting with others who love the game as much as I do. Be sure to check back on the blog for more updates on Rules School and how the AJGA Staff is making progress to reaching a 92%!
One week from today is the start of the PGA/USGA Rules of Golf Workshop here at Château Élan. Here in the AJGA Communications department we’ve got a few more cool #RulesSchool things up our sleeves, so be sure to stay tuned for those. Until next time…
Alexis Witman (@AJGAWitman)