China Will Have International Standard Rules of Golf Officials

Further proof that the world's most populous country is becoming part of the global community, China will have international standard Rules of Golf officials in 12 months. A new agreement was signed today in Beijing between the R&A, golf's world rules and development body, and the China Golf Association (CGA), the national governing body for the Rules of Golf in China.

The agreement follows a direct request from the CGA that the R&A provides expert Rules of Golf coaches, structured learning materials and a new graduated examination system that leads to accredited national and international referee status.

Key targets are set out in the agreement that challenges the partners to successfully train across China: 100 Primary- and Intermediate-level Rules officials by the autumn of 2007; 60 new National-level Rules officials by the end of the year; and two International-level referees by February 2008.

Speaking at the signing ceremony R&A Chief Executive Peter Dawson said, "We are delighted to assist our affiliated national association in China in this very practical way. Golfers worldwide follow the same set of rules and with more competitions being played in China it is critical that the game, locally, finds referees that match up to the growing demand."

The R&A is to meet the cost of staging Rules of Golf Schools in China throughout a two-year program.

Last week two Chinese rules officials, Feng Liyuan and Xiao Yufeng, attended the annual International Rules of Golf School in St Andrews, Scotland, the home of golf.