Unplayables and Hazards and Obstructions, Oh My!

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Rules1Toto, we’re not in Georgia anymore. This is the case for 20 AJGA tournament directors that traveled out to Houston, to attend the PGA/USGA Rules of Golf Workshop.

Although the workshop is the time we all want to shine and score the coveted 92 or better on the Rules Exam, it is merely the culmination of much hard work and dedication that has been put in the past eight weeks. Since early December, AJGA tournament directors have gathered in the board room each and every morning from 8 – 10 a.m. (don’t be a second late, or you will be providing breakfast for everybody the next day!) to comb the 600+ pages that compose the Rules of Golf  Decisions Book. How’s that for a headache to start your day?

Now that the studying and preparation has been completed, it’s show time! Here’s a quick breakdown of the past 48 hours…

Sunday, February 5

7:00 a.m. EST – AJGA staff assembles at the National Headquarters in Braselton, Ga., to load up three conversion vans, an SUV, two trucks and a 16-foot trailer with all necessary goods for our weeklong trip. Time to hit to road!

1:20 p.m. CST – Frosty or no frosty? Quick stop off at Wendy’s in Mobile, Ala., for a bite to eat and some time to stretch the legs a bit. There is some bickering as to who has won the most games of NBA Jam during the first seven hours in the vehicles.

6:09 p.m. CST – Tournament Director Rachel Graves wins the first quarter of the Super Bowl squares pool as the Giants lead the Patriots 9-0.

9:34 p.m. CST – The caravan pulls into Houston just after the Giants pull out the victory in Super Bowl XLVI. The staff checks into the hotel and hits the sack in preparation for the first day of the workshop.

Monday, February 6, 2012

8:00 a.m. CST – The big day has come! We all arrive dressed in our finest business attire ready to show what we are made of. After getting registered and putting away some breakfast, we take our seats and begin the workshop.

8:25 a.m. CST – Our three marvelous instructors, Ron Hickman (PGA), Genger Fahleson (USGA/IGA) and Brad Gregory (PGA), have finished their introductions. Between the three of them, they have rules officiated at all four Major Championships and 12 of the 13 USGA Championships, not to mention something called the Ryder Cup. Boy do we have a lot to learn!

11:55 a.m. CST – After covering Rules 1 and 13 in addition to all the important definitions that comprise the Rules of Golf, we break for lunch to try and make sense of everything.

4:50 p.m. CST – Eight grueling rules later, the day has finally come to a close and we head back to our hotel for the evening…but don’t think the day ends there! Rules guru Andrew Greenfield (AJGA Director of Rules & Competitions) will be leading a review session in the hotel lobby to cover everything we learned during the day.

11 p.m. CST – Lights out and time to catch up on some sleep…another fun-filled day is just around the corner!

Be sure to keep checking in on the AJGA blog as I will be posting  daily updates from Houston as we battle through the Rules and prepare for the big test on Thursday morning!

-Blog by Casey Ceman, AJGA Tournament Director

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