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The Georgia State Golf Association’s volunteer activities cover a wide range of opportunities. Generally, an individual’s scope of interest best determines how they can serve the Association. Included among the available areas are assistance as tournament officials, in course rating, at Junior Sectional Program events, in fund raising for the Georgia State Golf Foundation, with membership recruitment and on committees.
In order for the experience to be beneficial for the volunteer and for the GSGA’s competitions program, individuals should have a keen interest in the conduct and administration of a golf tournament and a willingness to improve his or her knowledge of the rules of golf, starting, scoring, golf course marking and preparation and scoreboard operation.
Opportunities for training include the annual GSGA/Georgia PGA Rules of Golf Seminar, a one-day event usually held in the Atlanta area during the winter, or a USGA/PGA Rules of Golf Workshop, which is an intensive, three-day study of the rules of golf and is held in many areas of the country, including Atlanta, during the first three months of the year.
Volunteers sign up for GSGA competitions and USGA qualifying events generally from mid-January to mid-February, with assignments made shortly thereafter. Officials are determined for each event based upon geographic location and their level of expertise.
Officials will be notified about their assignments for the year when they receive the master assignment list. Within a few weeks of each competition, the officials scheduled for that event will be sent a reminder notice which will include the location, reporting time, required uniform and other pertinent information.
Equipment that officials should bring to each tournament include the Rules of Golf booklet, Decisions on the Rules of Golf book, GSGA Rules of Play card, a stopwatch or a wristwatch with a second hand, pencil, string for measuring, rain gear and comfortable shoes. Volunteers are provided a local rules sheet, pairing sheet and other information specific to the tournament upon arrival.
Course Rating Program
The GSGA’s course rating program operates in teams in the five geographic zones in the state which are established for course rating. Volunteers who are interested in training to become a course rater should contact the GSGA office and speak with the Course Rating department to get an overview of the program.
The opportunity for a volunteer to enter the course rating program depends upon the availability of a position on a team in the geographic zone where the volunteer resides. If there are no positions available at the time the volunteer first contacts the GSGA office, he or she may ask to be placed on a waiting list for training.
In December or January, it is possible to determine where new raters are needed, and invitations are then extended to those on the waiting list who have indicated a strong interest in the program. In order to maintain their skills, it is important that a rater be given an opportunity to rate at least five courses in a year. Because of this, it may be necessary to limit the number of new raters in a zone to be trained each year.
All raters - new and experienced - are required to attend annual training each spring. Seminars are offered in four areas of the state. Because all training occurs in February and March and a full schedule of ratings is planned to begin shortly thereafter, it is normally not possible to join the course rating program in mid-year.
Junior Sectional Program
The GSGA began its popular Junior Sectional Program in 1974 with the goal of giving young golfers in Georgia what likely is their first opportunity to participate in a competition outside their home clubs. It also became a great opportunity for close dialogue with Member Clubs and for potential volunteers to also get their first taste of administering competitions outside their home clubs.
This program consists of a series of four or five one-day tournaments during June and July in each of the seven geographic sections in the state which are established for the Junior Sectional Program. Volunteers are needed at each of these events for registration, starting, keeping score for younger players, rules of golf interpretation, scoreboard operation, prize distribution, record keeping and reporting results to the GSGA office.
At the conclusion of the series, the top point earners in each age group from each section qualify to participate in the two-day Junior Sectional Challenge Match in late July. Volunteers from each section also work to help the junior golfers at the state event.
Volunteers in the Junior Sectional program should have an interest not only in tournament administration but in helping junior golfers learn about the basics of competing in a tournament. Rules officials and those expressing interest in the program will be sent a complete schedule of events in which to sign-up to work. Contact the GSGA to express interest in the program.
Georgia State Golf Association Foundation
The Georgia State Golf Association Foundation is the charitable affiliate of the GSGA. It offers two college scholarship programs: the Yates Scholarships, which are awarded to employees of GSGA Member Clubs or their dependents; and the Moncrief Scholarships, which are awarded to students in the fields of agronomy or turfgrass management at the University of Georgia or Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.
Volunteers who have an interest in this area of GSGA service may be of great assistance to the Foundation in terms of contacts with golfers, clubs, corporations or other foundations that can be approached for contributions.
An individual is a member of GSGA through his/her affiliation with a GSGA member club. GSGA is always looking for ways to increase both individual and club membership. The goal of the Membership Committee is to develop programs and benefits that would enhance the membership package for new clubs and individual golfers.
The GSGA has 35 committees that provide advice on Association service and policy. Volunteers may sign up for as many committees as they wish. Assignments are made after consultation among the president, committee chair and appropriate staff director and are based upon an individual’s time to attend meetings as well as level of interest and expertise in a particular area.