There is not a more visible committee at a golf tournament than gallery marshals. By using simple common sense and diplomacy with players and spectators, gallery marshals can improve the quality of the event. The main objectives for marshals are to ensure fair play for the players and the physical safety of the spectators.
The best tools to control the gallery are the marshal’s voice, eyes, hands, arms and the gallery rope lines. MARSHALS MUST BE SEEN AND HEARD BY THE GALLERY to be effective. Awareness of play and anticipation of situations are also important assets a marshal should have. Here are some guidelines you will find useful…
The marshal is at his or her best when FACING THE GALLERY WITH ARMS HELD HIGH
Facing crowd puts you in the best position to oversee the area and for the gallery to see and hear the commands.
Voice commands, PRIOR TO THE PLAY OF A STROKE are best for controlling a gallery. “QUIET PLEASE” will draw the gallery’s attention.
Marshals can usually see when play may be disturbed by spectators moving, making noise, running or attempting to cross under gallery rope lines. Check the status of play in your area and then make the appropriate voice command.
The gallery rope lines are more symbolic than a physical barrier but they show the gallery there are certain places they cannot go in the interest of safety. MARSHALS MUST REPLACE ROPE LINES AND SUPPORTING STAKES WHEN TAKEN DOWN FOR A STROKE TO BE PLAYED
Interaction with players
The players will more often notice when marshals do not have control of a situation than when they do have control. It is very much like the adage “No news is good news.” Marshals will find the players much more cordial when they feel a sense of calm on the golf course. To support players during the round, marshals should…
Be as inconspicuous as possible. The best place for a marshal to be is facing the gallery with arms held high and out of the players line of sight. Staying close to the rope lines will allow you to blend in with the gallery
Always give voice, hand and arm commands BEFORE THE PLAYER TAKES A STANCE FOR A STROKE. Any noise or movement made after that point might disturb the player’s preparation. As Gallery Marshal you should know that our direct interaction with players is to be kept at a minimum.
Typically, Marshals do not directly engage the players, unless of course the players choose to speak directly to you or request something from you, such as calling for a Rules Official or requesting movement of some spectators for off shots.
Never attempt to give advice or rulings to the players. If a ruling is required, the player will ask you to alert a tournament official, such as the walking scorer of that players group. Please DO NOT ANTICIPATE A RULING.
Spectators will be allowed to have cell phones on the course, to be used only on vibrate at all times. From this year on(2017), cameras are allowed on course during tournament play. All Camera's used during play must be silent in use!!
On Wednesday, during the Pro-Am, it can be allowed that spectators can take photos and request autographs, however ALL Photo requests and/or Autograph requests are to be done OUTSIDE THE ROPES. Spectators are told they cannot bother players inside the ropes.
That rule goes for Marshals as well… There have been some incidents of Marshals requesting autographs or photos with players while on the Tee Box or Green, however this must be restricted to OUTSIDE THE ROPES ONLY!
Relations with the Media
Media coverage of a golf tournament requires that writers and photographers be able to move more freely and be closer to the action than for the other sports. The sanctioning body provides guidelines to the media representatives so they can maximize their news/picture-gathering efforts, minimize the inconvenience to the spectators and, above all, not disturb play in any way.
Once the tournament rounds begin, only authorized media representatives area allowed to use cameras on the course and only when wearing an armband or special credential which authorizes such use. Some points a marshal must know with regard to the media include:
To be allowed access inside the rope lines, media writers and photographers must have armbands, remain within one arm’s length of the rope line and be as inconspicuous as possible. It is the responsibility of the marshals to remind media personnel of this regulation. If you encounter someone who does not abide by these regulations, please notify a tournament official. DO NOT BE DISCORTEOUS OR OFFENSIVE.
Writers and photographers should kneel around the tees and greens in order to not block the view of the paying spectators.
Writers must not attempt to interview a player during the round and photographers must not take pictures as a player is making a stroke. The marshals should remind the media of those important requirements and notify a tournament official if the problem persists.