Here is my experience at Pro Worlds...
I was responsible for writing the OB rules for Pro Worlds, and designing the score cards. I put the OB, mandos, DZs, etc., on the back of the cards for each of the four courses. Some of the courses were really easy to do, like DeLaveaga (my home course). The DeLa TD was diligent in double- and triple-checking the rules and the way they were written. Then there were courses that were really tough, like the Oaks, but the Oaks TD was excellent and had everything marked, i's dotted, t's crossed, for everything...rope was everywhere it should have been, and the rules were crystal clear for the players. He even sent the entire Jenkins family out there to do test runs and double-check the rules for every hole, and make sure they were marked, and every possible scenario was covered. Ryan Ranch wasn't as difficult as the Oaks course, but there were a few tricky things that needed to be specified in order to ensure every scenario was covered, and the TD out there was spectacular as well, and we had everything hammered out perfectly.
Now, the above 3 TDs had a sole responsibility for their own courses. The TD for Pinto Lake was also the TD for the entire tournament (Russ). In fact, Russ was so busy that he never even had a chance to look at the OB rules, so Tom Schot (the overall exec director for the event) wrote them for me to put on the cards. Yet I immediately began to find discrepancies, and had to call him numerous times to update the listing. And I never did get all the bugs worked out...one thing I missed is that there is a mando on hole 18 that I didn't specify (although it didn't matter, only Nikko tried to escape the mando, and ended up 80' up a tree). I missed this because there is no way that I could juggle all 108 holes in my head simultaneously, I really needed the TDs to step up and ensure correctness at each course. When the locals went out and put in yellow rope for OB on the extra holes, they made some mistakes. They put rope behind one basket (hole G) when there should not have been OB. There should have been OB at the playground (kids were present almost always), but it was never mandated by the TD. Then on holes B-C there was a row of wooden posts to mark OB along a shared edge of fairway, but the crew never roped it. This caused a lot of confusion the first day of the tournament, when the Masters division played it. Russ was kind enough to give players the benefit of the doubt, and he was consistent with every player in how he made the calls, so in the end nothing really bad came of it.
In any case, we dodged a bullet, but let this be a lesson to future large tournament organizations. Don't ever allow the overall TD be the one responsible for the duties of TD at any specific course. They are going to be way way too busy to deal with all the details that really should be taken care of to ensure that the tournament goes off without a hitch. Every course should have an individual TD who is responsible only for that course, the condition of the course, the ropes, lines, circles, clearing of debris and hazards, organizing volunteers, assigning spotters, etc., etc.. A basic description of OB, mandos, DZs, etc., should appear on the back of every score card, and it should be exact to the letter. The overall tournament TD will not be able to ensure that this is the case.
In this particular parking lot instance, the TD should have given the benefit of the doubt to the player, and then be certain that the parking lot is marked for all subsequent groups...such as putting a sign up on the tee saying "PARKING LOT IS OB!" That would have been a better way of handling things. We had to say that the 2 meter rule was in effect in order for it to be enforceable, even though we never bother to do so for local tournaments and leagues because everyone always assumes it. I don't see why the parking lot should not also be specified as OB for that to also be enforceable.
Last edited by JHern
on Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Distance Drivers: Barsby Boatman, Glow Champion Katana
Fairway Drivers: Pinnacle Rival, Icon Patriot, Protege Rival, Elite-X Cyclone
Mid-Range: Ghost/Wasp, Z Buzzz/DGA Squall, Z Glide
Putt/Approach: Star Classic Roc, Icon Clutch, Protege Clutch