Rules Officials, You Are Not Overlooked

In any golf tournament, the players usually attract most spotlights more than anybody else.  Natural, I would say

John Ng (left) and Danny Ho (right) at the R&A Headquarters

But we must not overlook the amount of work and manpower behind the scene.  The UBS Hong Kong Open, for instance, involves as the organizer thousands of hours on pre- and post-tournament planning.  The emotional Sam Brazel’s birdie in the last hole in the 2016 UBS Hong Kong Open won his first European Tour title still lingers in my head.

When I was watching the tournament at the patio in one of the stands I realized there were many, many unknown heroes who had made the tournament a success.  As a matter of fact, in any golf tournament, the rules officials, for instance.  The officials are a vital part of any golf tournament but they are seldom visible if everything goes right.  They are the arbitrators on the course. 

Hong Kong is fortunate enough to have some high-quality R&A qualified rules officials in such a small place. As the governing body of amateur golf in Hong Kong, the HKGA does not just train players.  Its development programmes would not be completed with developments on officials, coaches, administrators… etc.

Thanks to our Chairman of Rules and Tournament, Dr Brian Choa, who have been wholeheartedly promoting the rule of golf for as long time as we could remember.  His graduates had just been increased by 55 recently after another R&A Level 1 Rules Seminar in February. Among them is our new Chief Executive Officer who has, luckily, passed with good marks too!

Two of our senior officials, John Ng and Danny Ho, have recently traveled to St. Andrews attending the R&A Level 3 Tournament Administrators & Referees School.  The Level 3 examination is the highest level one can reach and the examination is done under high pressure as I was told. Ng and Ho, again, did proud for Hong Kong by passing the Level 3 with merit and distinction respectively.  One cannot imagine with an estimated golfing population of only 60,000 golfers in Hong Kong according to one unofficial surveys, we have over 15 R&A qualified Level 3 officials.  Would this be a record per capita?

Click here to see the published article.