Playing for the Gold
This year is the start of my 25th tournament season with the NCGA, and I have been privileged to be an employee during the tremendous growth period enjoyed by all golfers through the last two-and-a-half decades. Not only has there been growth in members and staff, but most importantly a growth in member services.
The NCGA has one of the largest tournament staffs in the country and we strive to offer the best experience possible. Our tournament program now offers over 50 championships, including the recently added Women’s Championship, Women’s Four-Ball Net Championship and Mixed Team Championship.
The NCGA, like other associations, was formed to provide and manage amateur golf championships. Over the past 105 years the NCGA started many traditions through the tournament program. One tradition that exemplifies amateur golf is that all championships, are “Played for the Gold”. There is no other reason for our members to participate in the tournament program than to play for the gold medal. They do not compete for gift certificates, clothing, equipment, rounds of golf or anything else. They play for the sole purpose of competing.
The interest our members have shown in “Playing for the Gold” in various championships is tremendous. More than 53,000 members tried to qualify in 2005 at the club level, the start of the journey for the gold, in order to represent their club for the team events at regional qualifying.
For the present and future it is our obligation to continue protecting amateur golf for what it stands for. One immediate way is to enforce The Rules of Golf and The Rules of Handicapping. If the honor of this game is to be protected, then we must do our part by understanding and practicing the principals the game was built on. Only then will we be able to lead our members down the correct path, and if they have the opportunity to “Play for the Gold”, they will truly understand the meaning of competition based on the principles of amateur golf.,/
I applaud those that do understand and respect the game’s rich traditions and honor. An excellent way to participate in a tradition and assist players who are “Playing for the Gold,” is to volunteer for the NCGA.
This is the time of year we start receiving applications to become a Tournament Official for the 2007 season. If you are interested in working tournaments, becoming a knowledgeable rules official and giving back to the game, please contact the Rules and Competitions office for an application. The process has to be completed by this September.
Being a Tournament Official provides an opportunity to become highly involved in various formats and levels of competition. The minimum requirement for days worked is 10, however many officials elect to work as many days as they can.