We’re educators not just decision makers

Golf Australia, as the governing body for golf in Australia, is generally associated with handicapping, rules, national amateur championships and the Australian Opens.

However, one part of our work that generally receives less attention is our education initiatives which are an important element in our development and training of personnel in the industry.

Stephen Pitt Golf Australia CEO: Stephen Pitt

These programs cover everything from various levels of Rules Accreditation, Course Rating and education frameworks for golfers of varying levels of skill.

Our newest work in this area is a publication called “Tee It Up” which is aimed at new golfers who are experiencing the club environment for the first time.

Endorsed by Golf Management Australia and the Australian Golf Course Superintendents’ Association, the booklet covers a range of topics including competition conditions, local rules, course etiquette, care of the course, pace of play and amateur status.

In addition to the club’s own welcome information and introduction to the facilities, this booklet will provide a resource that new members can leave in their golf bag and refer to as the need arises.

Club members will also soon see Golf Australia’s new etiquette posters in locker rooms. These posters will educate players about courtesy on the course, pace of play and general care of the course.

We also work in conjunction with our Member Associations to enhance the skills and knowledge base of our rules officials around the country.

This occurs through our club level, state level, advanced state level and national level rules accreditation programs.

As part of the Advanced State Level Rules Course, Golf Australia released a new Elite Competition Administration Manual which is a valuable resource for committees when running elite level competitions. It includes information about compiling draws, such as when to use a one-tee or a two-tee start, when to suspend play, squeegee and call-up policies, etc.

Golf Australia also provides advice to clubs on request who are looking to set up their golf course primarily for elite championships however this can also apply to every day competitions.

There has often been a view that the referee community is more a male domain and while there are more men than women currently accredited, an increasing number of women are becoming involved which is wonderful to see.

In our head office, we are fortunate to have two National Level female referees who have attended the R&A Referees School and we hope they serve as an inspiration to other women considering the rules accreditation courses.

Contact your State Association regarding if you wish to pursue club or state level rules accreditation.

The changes to the Australian Handicap System have also meant that volunteers across the country have been trained in how to provide a rating for a golf course under the USGA Course Rating System – another education opportunity.

As an industry, the more we can educate people on best practices and increase skill and knowledge bases, the better golf will be in the long term and the people in it.