Tournament Officials Guide




This is a combined AGA/AWGA/JGAA services group positioned to ensure the highest quality  tournament governance under the Rules of Golf managed by the joint Associations. The primary job is to:

  1. Ensure officials are competent for each assignment through training and on-course
  2. Maintain a list of officials and their skill ratings, availability, preferred areas of work that includes all pertinent contact
  3. Facilitate assignments of officials to events sponsored by the three golf Associations in Arizona and selected other
  4. Act as a conduit to officials when organizations other than the three golf Associations wish assistance with
  5. Provide a Tournament Operations Manual and example support documents for use by clubs, event management and by rules



The AzRC is governed by Arizona‘s amateur associations collectively.



AzRC Administration is responsible for:

  1. Maintaining a list of officials and their skill ratings, availability, expertise, and preferred areas of work and all pertinent contact information;
  2. Maintaining and updating this publication, making changes as directed by the AzRC Governing Board;
  3. Maintaining an Operations Manual for use at events and by officials (The Rules Official Handbook). The manual includes advice regarding all aspects of tournament


  1. Founding member Associations that sponsor and conduct most amateur and USGA qualifying golf tournaments:
  2. Arizona Golf Association,
  3. Arizona Women’s Golf Association,
  4. Junior Golf Association of Arizona,
  5. General members who work at the direction of the AzRC, an Association or another group at sanctioned events to prepare the golf courses and provide expertise in managing



Each Association is autonomous and runs its business as it sees fit.



The general membership of the AzRC is comprised of Rules Officials and those in training who wish to become Rules Officials. There is an expectation that the members will frequently make themselves available for tournament assignments and continue to be members in good standing.

The   general  members  must   be   prepared   and   qualified for  tournament  assignments.    Acquiring, maintaining and improving knowledge and skills are the joint responsibilities of each general member


and the Associations.  General members work both independently and with the assistance of the AzRC  to improve their capabilities and skills.

There are volunteers who assist at golf tournaments who are not Rules Officials or learning to become Rules Officials. Those volunteers are not described in this section as the focus is on the membership of the AzRC.

There are three (3) membership options:

Option #1: Complimentary
  1. All AzRC manuals and materials, a copy of Decisions on the Rules of Golf (biannually);
  2. Annual preparation seminars for the Rules of Golf exams; seminars on course markings and officiating.
  3. Option to acquire additional apparel for tournament work (rain gear, shirts, jackets, sweaters, shoes, etc.) at cost through the AzRC
Option #2: $100 – Option #1 plus

Three AzRC Committee shirts (red, white, blue), and the choice of an AzRC jacket or sweater (a $160 value);

Option #3: $350.00 – Options #1 and #2 plus

Entry into the USGA/PGA Rules Seminar (a $350 value)

It is the intent of the AzRC to be the central clearing-house for organizations other than one of the Associations seeking assistance for event management. It is anticipated that those events will be substantially serviced by the Association that generally hosts tournaments for the age group and/or gender.

  1. The AWGA primarily conducts women’s events for women older than high school
  2. The AGA primarily conducts men’s events for men older than high school
  3. The JGAA primarily conducts events for boys and girls of high school age and



The AzRC will do its best to provide assistance to those non-association events. The Associations’ schedules and prior commitments have priority. While members of the AzRC work without pay for association events, other groups hosting tournaments are expected to compensate AzRC members for any work provided.

When AzRC members assist with non-association events as Rules Officials, they must have the right to review, approve and revise as necessary all Local Rules for the event. They may also require that course markings are appropriate and in keeping with the Rules of Golf and that player groupings and group intervals are reasonable to meet any expected pace of play for which they are responsible. Without  such authority, officials cannot assume responsibility for performance.



At times general members work without cash compensation and at times, they are paid a stipend.

When working non-association tournaments, such as collegiate invitational tournaments, or other organized tournament tours, general members may be paid a stipend.  The suggested rates are:

  1. ROIC: $200/day
  2. Rules Official: $150/day.
  3. Starter: $50/day (4 hours or less)
  4. Scorer: $50/day (4 hours or less)




  1. Populate the AzRC website with events for which they desire AzRC member
  2. Choose its Staff member in Charge (SIC).
  3. Choose a Rules Official in Charge (ROIC).
  4. Determine how many AzRC members and volunteers are needed, work times, and roles, and post them to the AzRC
  5. Determine uniform requirements for general members and volunteers at each event
  6. Provide food and beverage service for the time and duration of the work day or compensates appropriately.
  7. Lists any compensation available on the website for any given
  8. Set the course marking date, assign a leader and provide materials
  9. Report member days’ worked on the website form at the completion of each



Each Association assigns a Staff [person] in Charge for each of their own events; when a non-Association group wishes assistance, they provide the SIC although may look to the Association to suggest a general member to perform the ROIC role. That ROIC, also assists as an assistant SIC. The responsibilities of the SIC are:

  1. Assign ROIC from those general members working the
  2. Along with the ROIC, determine general member and volunteer
  3. Represent the Association in all contractual
  4. Represent the Association in any issue requiring discipline or
  5. Final authority in all non-rules/golf course
  6. Determine/approve playing
  7. Determine pairings & starting
  8. Communicate and oversee non-Rules Official work
  9. Print all necessary
  10. Communicates tournament and work
  11. Provide scoreboards, arranges score posting and
  12. Provide for administrative and event media services, website
  13. Provide pace committee assignments, locations, Time Par (Maximum Allotted Time) and Raguzzi reports.
  14. Manage TPP or other tournament software/website.
  15. Manage media content and
  16. Provide or identify uniforms, tools and equipment for the



The ROIC is tasked with ensuring the Rules are applied correctly, players receive the information intended by the Committee for them to have, the course is properly setup and that all questions about the Rules are answered as soon as practicable and when possible, before each round is complete.   Duties of the ROIC:

  1. Approve course markings
  2. Create or approve Local Rules publication and provide recommendations to SIC for printing, utilizing the AzRC language and/or USGA Rules of Golf, Appendix I


  1. Publish a Local Rules handout for Officials and review that with them before they go out on assignment.
  2. Oversee application of Rules on-course during the
  3. Oversee course setup, the location and definition of scoring area and score board.
  4. Oversee starting; ensuring starters have the proper information and
  5. Oversee the reception of score cards and rulings. The ROIC always participates in Rule 3-3 resolutions and has final decision-making responsibility as Chair of the



The CPO monitors pace of play and takes action as approved by the SIC:

  1. Oversee and apply Pace of Play
  2. Oversee documentation of violations of
  3. Conduct violation interviews following play, including Committee members as
  4. Apply applicable penalties when



All tournament workers are expected to be at the course, in uniform, and ready to work at least 30 minutes ahead of their assigned time.

Every tournament worker must understand that the players and their caddies (when appropriate) are customers. At junior events, most of the spectators are parents of players and as such are customers  and likely patrons of the Association as well. Every interaction with golf course staff, players, caddies, spectators is to be done professionally and with respect.



Each member association supplies the appropriate uniform. At each day of a tournament, all officials wear the same color/markings shirts, color of slacks or shorts. The AzRC or the member association supplies and maintains a supply of items that identify the official as a tournament official. That includes name tags, lanyards, cart signage and cart flags. While on the premises, Rules Officials are required to wear an issued name tag.  Rules Officials in a golf cart must display a cart sign and/or flag.

Members may be issued radios, golf carts, cart-flags or other durable goods. These items are expected  to be cared for and returned at the end of the workday. Golf carts are issued to tournament workers depending on the need and the availability of carts.

If radio earphones are available, they should be used. Officials may supply their own, but that is not required or expected, however all officials must be readily available and in contact with other officials and the Committee.

Radios are to be used with care, respecting the airwaves. Use of inappropriate language or a radio other than for tournament business may result is loss of radio privileges.



The Association may or may not reimburse the official for expenses incurred in traveling to and from each event. Each golf Association determines the amount of travel compensation and the form and manner of reporting and payment as well as any conditions that must be met. It is  the  general member’s responsibility to understand and determine the policy at a given event if there is no  statement in advance. All should presume there is no travel expenses offered unless advised  in  advance.



Regular training exercises will be organized by the Associations and made available to all.

Each member is expected attend a 3½ day PGA-USGA Rules of Golf Workshop once in a 4-year period and take the 100-question exam, providing the final score to the AzRC.

AzRC training seminars will be provided at no cost to members. Qualified AzRC members will receive the current AzRC Manual.

Other than meals, there may be additional benefits that will be identified in advance on the AzRC website. The AzRC can assist with notifying Rules Officials about opportunities to earn a stipend for working those tournaments, but cannot guarantee that Officials will be available or willing to work for the stipend offered.




There are many roles to fill at an event. Some people may fulfill more than one role; not all roles are required at every event:

  1. SIC (Staff in Charge)
  2. ROIC (Rules Official in Charge)
  3. CPO (Chief Pace Official)
  4. Course preparation
  5. Course preparation lead
  6. Local Rule writer
  7. Course marker
  8. Hole Locator
  9. Starter
  10. Scoring
  11. Scorer
  12. Score Poster
  13. Score Data Entry
  14. Roving Rules Official (Rover)
  15. Stationary Rules Official – an official with restricted authority assigned to a hole, several holes or assigned to one or more groups for the
  16. General help – a volunteer that may perform any assignment other than work as a Rules
  17. Checkpoint Monitor
  18. Forecaddie/Spotter



There are expectations for each role. Those expectations may include qualifications, knowledge and experience. When a score on a USGA exam is requested, that score must be verified by the AzRC Governing Board. That verification comes from the general member sending an original or an original copy of the letter from the USGA with the score displayed prominently to the AzRC Administrator. The Administrator will record the scores and consider if the score is new information suggesting a change in capability level.  If so, it will be presented to the AzRC Governing Board.

Each of the Roles is described as a job with a target capability such that it is clear how to progress, in order to be considered for different or additional roles. Roles that may be performed leading up to and during golf tournaments are described as well as the skill level expected to perform a role successfully.


SIC (Staff in Charge)

The Staff in Charge is assigned by the sponsoring organization. The sponsoring organization decides the qualifications, and makes assignments. Is recommended that the SIC be experienced in all phases of tournament operations and be able to provide direction to tournament workers.



The Rules Committee [Committee] is in charge of the competition.

The Committee establishes the conditions under which a competition is to be played, and is responsible for writing and publishing the Local Rules for the competition.


The Committee resolves disputes and makes any decisions leading to the disqualification of a player. All difficult or complex rulings are referred to the Rules Committee for a final decision. The Rules Committee is comprised of the SIC, the ROIC and a few others chosen by them.


ROIC (Rules Official in Charge)

The ROIC is an appointment for a single event. S/he may perform any duty at an event and must be qualified to perform all duties and provide guidance as needed to tournament workers.


A ROIC has scored 92 or better on a USGA/PGA Rules Exam within the last four years, or attained a score of 98 or better on the AzRC test. S/he has:

  1. Demonstrated an exceptional Rules of Golf
  2. Demonstrated an ability to train others in the
  3. Demonstrated the ability to lead a Course Preparation
  4. Demonstrated the capability to construct Local Rules and the Notice to Players in accordance to the Rules of

The ROIC may assign any official to perform the role of Chief Pace Official (CPO), but generally that assignment is made by the SIC with the ROIC’s agreement. The ROIC makes sure the CPO understands the role and is able to communicate proper information to checkpoint officials or  rovers as needed.



An experienced Rules Official is familiar with most situations encountered on course and authorized to make all rulings, calling for second opinions when unusual situations arise. S/he capable of performing all duties of a stationary official, a checkpoint Monitor, a starter and scorer.

  1. A score of 85 or better on a recent USGA/PGA Exam or the AzRC Exam in the last 4
  2. Demonstrated a high level of Rules
  3. Demonstrated ability to mentor others in the more unusual

The designated “Rules Rover” supervises on-course training. S/he is capable and authorized to make all rulings that they have made before, however, they call for assistance or a second opinion when faced with a new or unusual situation.

Rovers assist other officials with the application of the Rules.



Officials assigned to a hole, set of holes or to supervise specific group(s) on the course.

  1. Assist players with the Rules
  2. May set up golf course
  3. May mark golf course
  4. May act as official Starter
  5. May manage the Scoring table
  6. May be assigned as a Pace Official There are two roles in this


RULES OFFICIAL – (Authorized to make most rulings)

Rules Officials with a recent USGA Rules of Golf exam score of 75 or better on either the PGA/USGA or AzRC Rules Exams.


A Rules Official is authorized to make rulings as assigned. S/he may also work as a scorer, starter, or pace official. Other when starting or scoring, Rules Officials work as an official assigned to a hole, small set of holes, a group or a few groups. S/he may participate with course marking and hole selection team.


RULES ASSOCIATE (Authorized only to make rulings as assigned)

An Associate is a rules candidate who has taken a Rules test either locally or a USGA/PGA exam but may not yet have received a qualifying score. The main purpose of this role is to learn how to officiate, gain experience, prepare for examination on the Rules of Golf and eventually qualify as a Rules Official.


A Rules Associate is considered to be in training. S/he has limited ruling authority as assigned by the ROIC or the SIC, in keeping with proven knowledge. S/he will be assigned various tasks across all Rules Officials responsibilities under close supervision to enhance the learning experiences. Additional responsibilities will be assigned as capabilities are identified.



The CPO is assigned by the SIC. The main job is to oversee the activities of the Checkpoint monitors, assist them as needed, ensure they know how to perform their assignment and deal with breaches. The Checkpoint Official must get approval from the SIC to apply any pace of play penalty.



When a Checkpoint Pace of Play Policy is in effect at a tournament, Checkpoints are established by the SIC at specific locations on the golf course to monitor and record pace of play. Checkpoint Monitors record completion times for each group and inform the players and the CPO when groups are in breach of the Pace of Play Policy.


As each group completes play of the assigned hole, (defined as when the flag is returned to the hole), the Checkpoint Monitor records the time on the pace worksheet and calculates and writes in the area provided the time differential between this groups flag-in time and the previous group’s flag-in time. Referring to the Pace of Play Chart and using the Pace of Play Policy, the Checkpoint Monitor determines if the Group is out of position. If so, the Checkpoint Monitor informs the group and relays the information to the Pace Official as instructed.

This person, at selected events, will also collect scores from players as they pass the station, either recording on equipment provided or calling in to a central scoring location.

Assignments are either full or part-day.



Checkpoint Monitors must be able to keep accurate records of times, write clearly and do simple math. There are no training pre-requisites, although prior experience or observing another Checkpoint Monitor doing the work may be helpful.

Equipment and Materials:

Checkpoint Monitors must have an accurate clock set to the same time as the clock at starting, a clipboard, Pace of Play work sheets and pencils for recording times, a radio with an ear-bud or PTT MIC/ear-piece combination and at least one pace of play policy and one pace spreadsheet with  other materials as provided by the OIC.



The Starter sets the tone for the tournament. Each player relies on the Starter for materials and information that is important for his tournament preparation.

The Starter is responsible for assembling the players, providing materials and information and starting the group on time in accordance with established processes and protocols.

Starters start players according to assigned starting times in keeping with the Rules of Golf and note and announce all variances. Duties are provided daily by the ROIC, and include providing player information and application of the Rules of Golf.   Starters are often Rules Officials.

When a Starter is not a qualified Rules Official, s/he must have ready access to one qualified, and must never offer Rules information outside of the printed materials.



Volunteers, Rules Officials and Association staff may be assigned to the scoring area to receive score cards as players complete their round. Scoring officials assure that scores are legible, both marker and player have signed the card and any Rules issues have been resolved. Scoring Officials add the hole scores and pass the score card to the scoreboard official.

Scoring officials or assistants may also write scores on the scoreboards, collect cards, deliver to central scoring and when applicable, enter numbers into a computer and proof scores.

In the event a Rules Official is not present in the scoring area, the scoring official will call a Committee member whenever a rules question arises. For all Rule 3-3 situations, the ROIC must be called to resolve any issue.



The score poster is the one who posts scores on the scoreboard.

  1. Receives score cards from either scoring or from data
  2. Checks addition and presence of signatures on each
  3. Letters scoreboards as provided by the



The score data entry person is the one who enters the hole-by-hole numbers from score cards into a computer, who manages data entry for the Tournament Program, checking all scorecard additions and signatures for accuracy.



A volunteer assigned to an area of the course where players may need assistance in locating balls or determining where a ball entered a water hazard.

A Forecaddie may be supplied with a radio (cell phone) to contact the Rover or nearby Rules Official when a player needs assistance with a ruling. A forecaddie should time any search for a ball, advising players and a Rules Official when the five-minute limit is reached.

A Forecaddie never makes rulings. Informing the player that his search time has expired is not making a ruling.  If a question arises, the forecaddie should call the Rover or the ROIC.


A Forecaddie must have good eyesight, use of binoculars when able and be mobile enough to assist players’ searching for a ball.



A Tournament Assistant works with the OIC in event setup and otherwise to provision starting tees, scoring areas, officials’ information and on-course logistics from staging tents to delivering water and on-course services.



The course preparation team gets the course ready for tournament play. They mark  hazards,  boundaries and any ground under repair. They may stripe tees ahead of the placement of tee markers and select, record and dot hole locations; they write the Local Rules and the Conditions of Competition, all under the direction of the ROIC.

Team work is available to any interested AzRC members, no matter what previous experience they have, working under the ROIC’s direction.



The Team Leader must have experience preparing courses for tournament competitions; be capable of marking all situations and training others. S/he will be skilled at selecting hole locations considering the strength of the field, and able to construct Local Rules and conditions of Competition. A strong understanding of the Rules of Golf and the application of Local Rules is imperative.



Individuals experienced in constructing the Local Rules and Conditions of Competition are eligible. S/he must have a strong understanding of the Rules of Golf, the application of Local Rules, and excellent English writing skills.



An experienced Course Marker will be able to discern proper markings for most situations. A strong understanding of the Rules of Golf and the application of Local Rules is a critical asset.



A Hole Locator must understand the playing characteristics of the course being planned, have an appreciation for the quality of play to be expected, and understand the implications of course markings on difficulty of play. Candidates are welcome to accompany experienced Locators, and are encouraged to volunteer in order to expand knowledge of effective course preparation. A strong understanding of the Rules of Golf is desirable.