The Texas Golf Association is a membership-based, nonprofit organization that represents, promotes and serves the best interest of golf in Texas. The TGA Volunteer Program is designed to assist the TGA in providing the highest level of service to golfers and golf clubs all across Texas. These enthusiasts donate their time and experience to the Association for the love of golf and the promotion and preservation of the true spirit of the game. The interaction between the staff and the volunteers is a key ingredient in successfully implementing and administrating the many functions of the Association.
Two Volunteer Paths
The TGA Volunteer Program is comprised of two general categories:
- Course Rating
- Championship Administration
COURSE RATING VOLUNTEER
The Texas Golf Association is licensed by the United States Golf Association as the governing body for amateur golf in the state of Texas. Among much else, the association is responsible for the rating and measuring of all golf courses in the state as well as administering and overseeing the USGA Handicap System. Considering that there are over 900 courses in Texas spread out across nearly 270,000 square miles, well, it’s a pretty big job.
A TGA Course Rating Team is comprised of a Team Captain and a group of trained volunteers and are assigned courses within their geographic region. (Because of Texas’ immense size, the state has been divided into nine separate regions for course rating purposes).
When rating a golf course, the course rating team evaluates each hole using the USGA Course Rating System. The majority of the team’s time is spent measuring distances to various obstacles from specific landing zones based on shot parameters. After rating the obstacles, the rating team may play the golf course to gain greater insight, from a playing perspective, and to clarify any doubts or questions that may arise on specific holes or shots.
All raters – new and experienced – are required to attend a rating seminar every four years. Seminars are offered each year at various locations across Texas, and are required for those interested in becoming TGA Course Rating volunteers.
The opportunity for a volunteer to enter the course rating program depends upon the availability of a position on a team in the geographic region where the volunteer resides. If there are no positions available at the time the volunteer contacts the TGA office, his name will be added to the waiting list.
As openings develop, 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 raters be given an opportunity to rate at least six courses each year. Because of this, it may be necessary to limit the number of new raters in a specific region to be trained each year.
Volunteers who are interested in training to become a course rater should contact the TGA office at 214.468.8942 and ask to speak with the Course Rating department to get details of the program.
CHAMPIONSHIP ADMINISTRATION VOLUNTEER
Championship Volunteers help administer over 300 days of competition each year including the Association’s 20 regional and statewide championships, major college tournaments, as well as 75-plus days of TGA and USGA qualifying. All TGA volunteers serve a one-year term. Their attendance and performance are reviewed annually and must be approved for renewal by TGA Championship Committee. Based on their level of experience, championship volunteers are designated into one of the following categories: General Volunteer, Referee or Rules Committee Member.
- General Volunteers – Serve as hosts, marshals, starters, pace-of-play officials, scoring officials, and many other important roles at each event. It is a great opportunity to gain valuable behind-the-scenes experience in all facets of golf administration. All new volunteers (experienced or not) will be assigned a mentor for their first few events or until they are comfortable to operate on their own.
- Referees – Provide on-course assistance to players with regards to the Rules of Golf and pace of play. Referees are appointed by the TGA based on their knowledge of the Rules of Golf and their experience in officiating. A passion for and comprehension of the Rules of Golf are a must to become a TGA Referee.
- Rules Committee Members – Championship volunteers who have successfully demonstrated their willingness to serve and who meet the specified criteria are eligible for appointment to become a TGA Rules Committee Member. Members of the TGA Rules Committee are appointed on an annual basis (calendar year) and must have fulfilled all of the following requirements to be considered a TGA Rules Committee Member: a) Attended a USGA/PGA Rules of Golf Workshop in last four (4) years and scored 80% or higher on the test OR attended and TGA Rules seminar and scored 80% or higher on the TGA rules test; b) attended a USGA/PGA or TGA Tournament Administration Workshop; c) Volunteered a minimum of 20 TGA tournament days. Rules Committee Members have the opportunity to perform special duties such as being assigned as a walking Referee or a Referee in a match. Also, Rules Committee Members receive personal invitations to serve at selected events throughout the season. TGA Committee members serve a one-year term. Their attendance and performance are reviewed annually and must be approved for renewal by the TGA Championship Committee.
How to Become a Championship Volunteer
From the TGA Board of Directors to the host at registration or referee in the scoring tent, volunteers are a rare and special breed who give back to the game they love by dedicating their time, knowledge, and experience so that the TGA can continue its ongoing mission of upholding the integrity and traditions of the grand game of golf. TGA Volunteers spend many early mornings and long afternoons at the golf course carrying out their assigned duties with pride and precision.
If you are interested in becoming a TGA championship volunteer, please complete the following steps:
Step #1: Registration
- Click on the link below and complete the Volunteer Profile Registration Form and submit to TGA offices.
Step #2: Orientation/Observation
- Once your Volunteer Profile Registration Form has been received by the TGA, we will coordinate a day in which you will be partnered with an experienced championship volunteer or staff member in your area of desired interest so that you can observe first-hand what it takes to conduct the finest championships in the state. New volunteers must also attend a Volunteer Training Seminar to learn the Policies/Procedures of the association before becoming a full volunteer.