GAO Holds Training Day for Tournament Officials


The Golf Association of Ontario held its inaugural spring training days for rules and tournament officials at Westmount Golf and Country Club in Kitchener on April 19 and Loyalist Country Club in Bath, Ontario on April 16.

The events brought together a total of 75 volunteer officials from across Ontario to review and renew tournament and rules skills in preparation for the upcoming competitive season. In the past, the day was designed for rules officials only, but in 2013 it was expanded to include volunteers that serve in important tournament roles such as starting and scoring at provincial championships, multi and single day events, and qualifiers.

The training days were part of the first phase of the development, design and implementation of a Long Term Officials Development Program (LTOD), and were led by the GAO’s Officials Development Sub-Committee consisting of John Turner, Barbara Allan, Gerry Bower, Ian Giles, Lee Griffin, Jim Furlong and GAO staff members Dave Colling, Larry Longo, Mike Kelly and Sandy Davidson.

The events began with an inspiring presentation from keynote speaker Sheilagh Croxon, a well-known Olympic coach and visionary and volunteer chair of the Coaches Association of Ontario. Committee members then released and presented the three new officials manuals – Rules, Pace of Play, and Tournaments.

“I’m very excited about the launching of our officials development program and seeing everyone in action this summer at all of our great events and championships,” said Liz Hoffman, GAO Past President and Sport Committee Chair.

The afternoon had the meeting attendees participate in one of three tournament scenarios that reinforced the importance and understanding of each role as well as the importance of working together as a team.

“It was a great experience to bring our officials together to participate in this inaugural meeting and a wonderful opportunity to meet our new colleagues from the Ottawa Valley Golf Association,” said John Turner, Officials Development Sub-Committee Chair.
“I look forward to receiving feedback and ideas from our volunteers for the 2014 meeting as I attend our championships this summer,” he said.

For more information about volunteering with the Golf Association of Ontario, please click here.