PGA Tour Official Up Close and Personal

Ellis Masotti , Davis Joiner

Being a PGA Tour Rules Official is not an easy job. It consists of confrontations with golfers the entire day. You must know every rule about golf, you must read a 200-page book with 34 rules in it. It sounds like a fun but complicated job. This past week, Stephen Cox was officiating in the Bahamas. PGA Tour golfers Jordan Spieth and Henrik Stenson teed off from the wrong tee box and Stephen Cox was the one to break the news to them.

“You know there is about 1000 or so employees for the tour and there is only so many who are as fortunate to get to do what we do, we get to actually work with our athletes, “said Stephen when asked about being a rules official on the PGA Tour. The rules officials are some of the only employees that work with the players, which is an honor at its most.

“You’ve got two types of players you got one type of player were depending on how well the answer is their going to take it as a yes or no.”” Or the other players will get hot headed.” Stephen said when asked who his favorite golfer was to handle situations with. Many golfers like Patrick Reed and Sergio Garcia get very frustrated and angry when the calls do not go their way. While others are calm and respect the calls like Rory Mcllory.

When asked what his favorite event was too official, he said “I mean obviously my involvement with the Players championship. I believe that it is the biggest golf tournament of the year, there is also a lot of eyes on us because of the headquarters being here.” With the headquarters and the factor of it being one of the biggest events of the year the rules officials are busy in this tournament.

“NFL and NBA refs they only have one arena and one ball, we have at once 18 different arenas and 18 different balls, a lot of preparation and studying goes into effect before we official,” he said after being asked what he does when not officiating a tournament. He attends many conferences, studies, and prepares days if not weeks before tournaments. It sounds like a remarkably busy job, and you must be motivated and have an excellent work ethic.

“Holes that have a lot of temporary structures and you combine thought with massive quantities of people, it gets tricky.” This can be very concerning for the players, so I can imagine that they always have a lot of questions. There can also be some occurrences where someone takes the players ball, or they hit it in the stands, and it can be confusing for golfers to know what to do.

“I mean these golfers they think they know a lot about the rules of golf until something happens, “he said. This goes to show how many different situations a golfer can get into.

We thank Mr. Cox for taking his time to do an interview with us.