- Golfer Benefits
After retiring from a long career in the business sector, Christine Veator was looking for a change.
She found it in the golf industry when she began volunteering with the Women’s Golf Association of Massachusetts (WGAM). Participation with the WGAM led her to become a Mass Golf rules official, which turned into opportunities at the national level — including the chance to work multiple NCAA women’s golf championships.
Coming off a stint with the Division II National Championship in May, she took a moment to reflect on her officiating career.
Veator has been a member of the Ferncroft Country Club for more than 30 years, so her golf journey began long before her shift to full-time volunteering and officiating. Her love of the game led her to join the WGAM Board of Directors, which introduced her to the complex and challenging world of golf rules.
“While working WGAM events, I was always interested in rules issues that arose, and that led me to want to learn more about the rules,” she said.
Her interest in the rules led her to pursue formal USGA Rules Education, and she has attended the USGA and PGA’s annual rules workshops for several years since. She continues to expand her rules knowledge by participating in a weekly online study group with other officials.
Veator was honored with Mass Golf’s Andrew J. Blau Volunteer of the Year Award in 2020 for being one of the most active rules officials during the year and for her history of volunteering with the organization — including serving on the Board of Directors for more than a decade and playing a key role in the merger between WGAM and the Massachusetts Golf Association.
What Veator enjoys most about her volunteer roles with Mass Golf is the connections she’s made with other members inside and outside the organization.
“I have met many people, both rules officials and players, that I would never have met had I continued doing something related to my previous work,” she said.
Her first opportunity with the NCAA came after another rules official suggested her name for an officiating opening at the 2021 Division III Women’s National Championship in Lansing, Michigan. At the event, Veator quickly adapted to the different responsibilities required of an NCAA official.
“The major difference is that the head official and the team do all of the work that the Mass Golf staff does in preparation for and during the event, so it is a great deal more work than participating in a Mass Golf event,” Veator said. “I have a great deal of respect now for all the behind-the-scenes work the Mass Golf staff does in advance.”
Veator got the opportunity to employ her knowledge from the 2021 championship when Karen Ammerman, the Division II championship head rules official, asked her to join the 2022 DII Championship Committee. In addition to serving on the planning committee, Veator helped coordinate the 2022 South Regional.
“Working the national championships has been rewarding and very memorable,” Veator said. “The days are long, but the teams I have worked with have been great and having the opportunity to participate in an event at that level has been great.”
Veator has also connected more women with officiating opportunities, including getting officials Joanne Gagnon and Mimi Henderson involved with the South Regional team.
She offered the following advice to anyone considering volunteering or officiating for a golf organization: “The rules are much like the game of golf. Once you get involved, you want to keep learning more. It is a time commitment if you want to learn the rules, but there are lots of resources out there. Working tournaments, and using your radio, is definitely a great way to learn.”
Mass Golf is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to advancing golf in Massachusetts by building an engaged community around the sport.
With a community made up of over 100,000 golf enthusiasts and over 360 member clubs, Mass Golf is one of the largest state golf associations in the country. Members enjoy the benefits of handicapping, engaging golf content, course rating and scoring services along with the opportunity to compete in an array of events for golfers of all ages and abilities
At the forefront of junior development, Mass Golf is proud to offer programming to youth in the state through First Tee Massachusetts and subsidized rounds of golf by way of Youth on Course.
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