Dorset County Golf Union


How to become a Golf Referee

Rules of Golf Education

England Golf and The R&A offer three levels of rules education.

At each stage, there is the opportunity to sit an exam which is recognised nationally by England Golf and throughout The R&A’s jurisdiction.

These seminars are tailored to provide basic instruction for those newer to the sport, as well as meeting the demands of more experienced referees  looking for tournament specific guidance. There are three levels:


A focus on the Player’s Edition of the Rules of Golf, this one-day seminar is available online as the Rules Academy, please   click here.

It covers the most common Rules situations and leads to the official R&A Level 1 exam.

R&A Level 2 Rules Seminars 

This consists of a two-and-a-half day seminar conducted by a a county or region, in conjunction with England Golf.

The seminar looks at the more important playing Rules in detail.

If you are interested in attending a Level 2 Rules Seminar, please email for further details.

R&A Level 3 Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar (TARS)

This three-day seminar is conducted by The R&A. It is held annually, usually in February in St Andrews, and it is The R&As leading seminar. All R&A affiliates are invited to send a maximum of two delegates, with additional TARS courses held around the world to meet demand. The purpose is to give guidance and practical advice on running tournaments and refereeing, including sessions on course set-up, course marking, pace of play, suspension of play and starting and recording. 

At each stage of the Rules Education process, there is the opportunity to sit an appropriate exam. Ideally, delegates should successfully complete each stage before progressing to the next level, attaining and building a comprehensive Rules knowledge. It is also vital that practical experience is obtained to become an effective exponent on the Rules, refereeing and running competitions.




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