When Senior Rules Official Gary Albin is on the course he is all business. He receives countless calls on the radio throughout each round with every golf ruling you could imagine. Whether a player wants cart path relief, a staff member wants to know exactly where to draw the out-of-bounds line, or an intern needs to know how many strokes a player should receive for a penalty, Gary is there to make the call! However, behind the man in the golf attire and nametag, there is a Marine Corps veteran with an affinity for doing things the correct way.
Rewind about three decades ago. You would see Gary Albin piloting a plane that was transporting one of the nation’s most important people… the president of the United States. Albin spent 24 years as a Marine Corps pilot. He chauffeured Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan as a presidential pilot. Albin recalls how personable both men were and looks fondly upon the time he spent working with them. President Carter and Albin share memories of camping, playing tennis, and fishing together. Albin also remembers enjoying conversations with President Reagan when the president would hang out in the cockpit with the crew.
So how did Albin make his way from 10,000 feet in the air with United States Presidents to a golf course with hundreds of junior golfers? The Marine Corps veteran likes rules and regulations! Albin explains how his passion for strict military rules transfers into his fondness of the golf rulebook. He began his rules officiating career with the local Southern California Golf Association. From there became more involved with junior golf. This year, he has traveled to several West Coast cities assisting the AJGA as the staff and interns run tournaments in California, Arizona, Washington, and Oregon.
Albin enjoys watching juniors grow their knowledge of the golf rulebook. He is aware that some players have a more advanced knowledge of the rules than others. He hopes more kids develop their knowledge of the rulebook.
The AJGA staff picked SRO Gary’s brain with tough ruling questions this week at the Bishops Gate Golf Academy Junior Classic. He enjoys the challenge of answering their questions. We look forward to working with him for the remainder of the summer!