Volunteer with the AGA
Although the AGA is managed by staff, we are heavily dependent on volunteers. The success of our member programs is dependent upon individuals willing to volunteer their time to help make them happen. The common denominator of all AGA volunteers is the simple desire to give something back to the game that they love. Whether you have a lot of time to give or just a few hours a month, we would love to have you involved.
Volunteer Opportunities Available
The AGA tournament schedule consists of approximately 50 tournaments, including AGA open and divisional events, USGA Qualifying Rounds, collegiate and NCAA events. Although an AGA staff member is in charge of the events, the successful and professional conduct of AGA tournaments is largely the result of a strong core of tournament volunteers.
Areas of volunteer opportunities include:
- Starters - Volunteers who are responsible for starting players on the course and providing player information at the beginning of play.
- Scorers - Volunteers who take scorecards, compile results, assist in posting scores on the scoreboard and to the tournament software.
- Rules Officials - Individuals who have demonstrated a working knowledge of the Rules of Golf are encouraged to share that special expertise in assisting with officiating at AGA and USGA events.
- Pace of Play Timers - Volunteers who monitor the pace of play at various checkpoints on the golf course.
- Spotters/Fore Caddies - Volunteers who assist players in locating their golf ball and who call officials when a group is in need of a ruling.
Individuals interested in volunteering to assist at AGA tournaments should contact Courtney Smyser via email or call the AGA office at 800-458-8484.
Course Rating and Measuring
The AGA course rating teams visit 60-75 golf courses per year. This program is vitally important to the integrity of the handicap system since the entire system revolves around accurate USGA Course and Slope ratings. Individuals who would like to serve as a course rater receive training before becoming part of a rating team.
Volunteer raters work one to four days monthly, usually mid-week to avoid crowded courses, in groups of four or more. Course rating consists of quantifying the difficulty of each hole on fourteen different factors for both Scratch (0 handicap) and Bogey (18 handicap for men) players. The team is attempting to predict the scoring of a scratch player and a bogey player. The difference between the two creates the Slope rating, the larger that difference, the higher the Slope.
Rating requires the ability to recognize how various golf course design features affect the play of both low and high handicap players, all the while following the directives of the system without allowing personal inclinations to interfere with judgments. The successful course raters are analytical by nature and enjoy working with numbers.
Additionally, they measure golf courses from teeing grounds to green surfaces in preparation for the course rating team to accurately determine the USGA Course and Slope Ratings. Upon the request of members clubs, we also measure for yardage markers, such as sprinkler heads, 100, 150 and 200 yardage markers, and from other prominent course features. For the past several years, the AGA has been using a Global Positioning System (GPS) to measure golf courses.
Anyone interested in learning more about rating golf courses should contact Derek McKenzie via email or by call the AGA office at 800-458-8484.