Golf Referees Association keen to prove its worth

The newly elected committee of the Golf Referees Association of Malaysia © The ClubHouse

Subang Jaya: Ten months after receiving its formal approval, The Golf Referees Association of Malaysia (GRAM) finally got the ball rolling with the successful convening of its first annual general meeting (AGM) at Kelab Golf Negara Subang today.

Formed with the paramount consideration of promotion of the Rules of Golf, the association will actively seek to engage golfers at the club level on the observance of the Rules of Golf as well as nurture those who are keen to be Rules Officials. GRAM will also provide a proper channel and forum for existing Rules Officials to network and share their experiences and further their common interest.

A total of 28 ordinary members formed the quorum, with the main agenda being the appointment of the association’s General Commitee for the 2011 -2013 session. The AGM also approved GRAM’s new logo as well decided on key matters including the association’s finances etc.

Pro-tem committee chairman Kamarul Zaman Mohd Din was duly elected as the first president with KH Wan taking on the role of vice-president. Jayson Cheok was named the honorary secretary while Jason Lo was appointed the honorary treasurer. Completing the lineup were five committee members, namely Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) tournament director Brid Gen (R) Ron Mahendran, former Golf Malaysia publisher Juliana Cheah, Danny Chong, Ting Bang Kong and Quek Swee Kim.

“The association received the green light from the Sport Commissioner’s Office in late October 2010 but we were not able to convene the AGM earlier due to various constraints. We are glad to finally able to move forward and work towards the promotion of the Rules of Golf in the country,” said Kamarul Zaman.

“We can sense that there is an improvement in the level of awareness amongst golfers here on the importance of  the Rules. Many are keen observers of what’s going on in the professional scene and they want to better understand how and why certain decisions were arrived at. We will look at avenues to engage these golfers, especially at the club level through social gathering, seminars and also tournaments.”

With regards to the impasse with the Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) during the early days of GRAM’s formation, Wan stressed that it was never the objective of GRAM to takeover the role of MGA as the main governing body for the Rules of Golf or the running of competitions and tournaments.

“It was never our purpose an intent that there should be a distinction between a GRAM referee or a MGA referee. A MGA referee can be a GRAM member and vice versa. We do not intend to be on a collision course with the MGA but rather we are here to complement the role played by the governing body.

“Now that we are on a firmer footing, one of our main order of businesses next is to seek an affiliate status with MGA. We will embark to supplement their efforts as well as support programs initiated by them on the promotion of the Rules of Golf. We are after all headed in the same direction,” he shared.

Associate memberships are opened to golfers keen to equip themselves to attend and attempt the R&A Rules School while existing Rules Officials (with a minimum Level 2 qualification from any recognised Rules School) can join as ordinary members with full voting rights.