Jamie Wallace with the USGA Joins the GCAA for a College Golf Connection Q&A
Jamie Wallace is the Manager of Rules Education & Digital Content for the USGA. He played college golf at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, where he majored in English. He was hired by the USGA in 2015 and oversees educating golfers about the Rules as well as making the Rules more easily accessible with multiple digital tools. For the next few months, Jamie will be doing a series in the College Golf Connection featuring some different Rules of the game.
Q: You played on the golf team at Dartmouth College. Tell us a little about your experiences both as a golfer and as a student.
I graduated in 2008 and had an incredible experience as a student-athlete at Dartmouth. We had a very close-knit team and I look back on our weekend trips to tournaments fondly, despite the 5 a.m. wake-up calls and often cold, rainy weather in the Northeast. With the short golf season in Hanover, N.H., we had to learn to prepare for events indoors with little to no on-course time, especially in the spring season. But when we could get outside, we were lucky enough to have a college-owned golf course, Hanover Country Club, right on campus. The course is old, quirky and unique, but incredibly special, as anyone who has had the opportunity to play it knows. As with any student-athlete, there were of course some challenges with balancing academics with golf practice and travel, but Dartmouth did a great job of accommodating us.
Q:What did you get your degree in and how does that tie in to your role at the USGA?
I have always loved reading and writing, which led me to major in English and minor in French. While I don’t have too many chances to use French on a regular basis, I use my English degree and writing experience daily. As part of my role in the Rules department, I write regular articles for our website on topics such as recent Rules incidents in professional golf events and the history of the Rules. This is an aspect of my role that I particularly enjoy.
Additionally, I oversee our digital Rules products, including our mobile app, the Rules and Decisions on USGA.org, and our digital education products. As we make updates to these tools, there is frequent quality assurance testing and content editing, something I had lots of experience with while completing my English degree.
Q: Can you explain your role as Manager of Rules Education & Digital Content?
I work in the Rules department here at the USGA and specifically oversee our digital products and education tools. As I started to mention in the question above, this includes our Rules of Golf mobile app, writing articles and producing other content for the Rules section of USGA.org, and managing our various digital education tools such as our videos, Spanish Resources and Rules of Golf Experience. For anyone interested in learning a little more about the Rules in an interactive environment, our Rules of Golf Experience (ROGE) is an excellent place to start - www.usga.org/ROGE.
Additionally, I get to travel every summer to help run a few of our national championships as a representative of the Rules department. This is always a rewarding experience and one that I look forward to each year.
Q: How did you get involved with the USGA?
I worked for an online education company right out of college but always knew that I wanted to work in golf in some capacity. Growing up relatively near USGA headquarters in New Jersey, I had visited Golf House a number of times and attempted to qualify for championships such as the U.S. Junior Amateur, the U.S. Amateur, and later, the U.S. Mid-Amateur. I kept an eye on the available positions for some time and jumped on the opportunity when my current role became available because it combined my passion for the game of golf with my background in digital education and writing.
Q: What is it that makes you passionate about the work that you do?
I love the direction the USGA is heading in as an organization and the mission behind everything that we do. Additionally, golf has always been one of my passions in life, so I feel incredibly lucky getting to come to work every day at the USGA and getting to work alongside my equally passionate colleagues. As I mentioned earlier, my job also entails assignments to work on-site at a few of our championships every year. Last year I worked at the U.S. Women’s Open at CordeValle in San Martin, Calif., and the U.S. Amateur at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Despite the long days, these were both rewarding weeks where I saw two world-class championships come together from behind-the-scenes in addition to seeing the best in women’s professional golf and the best in men’s amateur golf compete for coveted titles.
We also just made an exciting announcement on March 1 when we released the proposed new Rules of Golf for 2019. This effort to modernize the Rules has taken many years of work in collaboration with The R&A. We are now in the midst of a six-month period in which everyone, including you, has an opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed Rule changes. This can be done at www.usga.org/golfrules2019.
Q: In the coming months, the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) and the USGA are going to introduce a monthly feature in the newsletter on the Rules of Golf focusing on common situations encountered in college golf. Briefly give us your thoughts on how this feature will work and how it will positively impact the players.