CGA staffer Kate Moore selected to be one of the rules officials for the fourth Augusta National Women’s Amateur 

By Gary Baines – 3/27/2023

Exactly a decade ago, Kate Moore had the good fortune of being invited to go to Augusta National Golf Club for the first time. 

Attending a Sunday at the Masters would be special regardless, but in this case adding to the occasion was an Australian (Adam Scott) winning the tournament for the first time as Moore herself also is an Aussie.

“It was fun — incredible,” Moore said of the experience. “I thought that was once in a lifetime.”

As it turns out, that’s not the case. Though Moore — the CGA’s managing director of rules and competitions — won’t be attending the Masters this spring, she will be returning to Augusta National as she accepted an invitation to serve as one of 22 rules officials for the fourth annual Augusta National Women’s Amateur. The 54-hole event is set for Wednesday and Thursday at Champions Retreat Golf Club and Saturday at Augusta National Golf Club on the weekend before the Masters.

“I’m super excited about it,” said Moore, who was worked for the CWGA/CGA since 2016. “It was kind of out of the blue obviously. I watched the first (ANWA) when Jennifer (Kupcho, a Coloradan) won and I was lucky enough to be there once before — on a Sunday for the Masters. I’m just super excited to go back and step into this role. This will be my first big event officiating.”

Indeed, the final round of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur has been nationally televised (by NBC) since Kupcho earned the inaugural title. And this year, for the first time, the first two rounds will be shown by the Golf Channel (11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. MT in each case; Saturday’s NBC telecast runs 10 a.m.-1 p.m. MT). In all, 72 of the best women’s amateurs in the world will be in the field, including the top-ranked female amateur on the planet, Rose Zhang.

Moore’s invitation to serve as a rules official came about through a conversation CGA executive director Ed Mate had with staffers at Augusta National — the goal of which was to recruit more qualified female rules officials for the ANWA. Moore and CGA chief operating officer Ashley Harrell — both of whom have expert status regarding the rules — subsequently were asked to be rules official for the event. And while Harrell politely declined the invitation — being a relatively new mother and the out-of-state time commitment involved — Moore will be proud to represent the CGA staff on the rules committee.

Moore (right) with Margie Kerr from Colorado National Golf Club, after Kerr made a hole-in-one in last year’s CGA Women’s Club Team Championship. (Photo: Phyllis Jensen)

“The goal is to recruit more rules-qualified women to serve as officials, so Kate was a great choice,” Mate said in a recent email.

“I am always excited to see CGA staff have the opportunity to experience national championships. Serving as a rules official for USGA championships and events like the ANWA afford the opportunity to bring back ideas for how we can improve our events. What better way to learn than seeing the best events up close?”

Moore has officiated in the 2019 U.S. Mid-Amateur that was held in Colorado, along with both the Inspirato Colorado Open and Colorado Women’s Open. But the ANWA has a certain extra prestige, given its affiliation with Augusta National Golf Club.

“Like I said, it’s my first time on a big stage like that, so I’m definitely a little nervous,” the 35-year-old Moore said. “But we have some practice-round days where we can walk the courses and things like that — get familiar with it. I’ve definitely been studying a little bit. We don’t do a lot of officiating per se on the course (in her CGA role). When we’re running tournaments, we’re kind of running all over the place (doing different duties). This will be good.”

It’s not unusual for members of the CGA’s rules and competitions staff to have goals of at some point becoming full-time rules officials on a major tour — and Pete Lis and Robert Duke have reached such goals in the last decade. Moore isn’t specifically focused on that when she thinks about her professional future, but she doesn’t rule out something along those lines down the road.

“I am very happy with what I am currently doing. I haven’t always thought about being a rules official, but I know it is an avenue in our world,” she said. “I definitely have thought about it sometimes, but I am very happy with what I’m doing right now — the full range of tournament admin. But maybe one day down the line, I could see myself doing that. 

“I think this will be a good experience to see if this is something I may want to pursue down the line — to be full into rules for a full week and not doing all the other admin that comes with it. It’ll be interesting to see how I like it and see if my mind changes a little bit.”

Moore came to the U.S. — from Shepparton in the Australian state of Victoria — to play college golf at the University of Cincinnati. Then she served as a grad assistant for the University of Southern Mississippi women’s golf program. Once she moved into golf administration, she became ever more proficient regarding the Rules of Golf. In fact, she estimates she’s attended the multi-day PGA/USGA Rules of Golf Workshops nine or 10 times over the years.

“I just went a few weeks ago so it feels pretty fresh,” she said. “It’s always good to go back and literally go through the whole rulebook again just to refresh. Things come back that were in the back of your mind — in the offseason especially.”

Moore said she regularly takes a rules exam at each of those workshops she attends, and in recent years, she’s typically gotten scores in the low 90s, with those receiving over 90 earning expert Rules certification.

Then at events like the recent CGA Women’s Golf Summit, staffers such as Moore and Harrell run a breakout session on the Rules of Golf for the attendees.

“I’m not like the typical rules nerd,” Moore said. “I don’t know them all off the top of my head. I’ve definitely got to work pretty hard and study pretty hard for that. It doesn’t come super, super naturally for me — like it may for some other people.”

But Moore enjoys being able to pass along some of what she’s learned through studying the rules all these years.

“It’s nice to be out there and able to help our players at our tournaments learn something new,” she said. “Or at an education seminar, seeing something click for people. And getting people out of habits they’ve formed through other people — whether it be right or wrong — to get them on the right track. Especially at tournaments, when somebody comes to you with a question and you see something switch for them and they kind of get it now, that’s nice. And it’s always fun to get out to the junior events also — to kind of start them on the right track. 

“The rules, they’re hard. It’s taken me a while to get used to them. But being in the industry for a while, you just keep getting better and better at it and things start clicking for you and sometimes you don’t realize what you remember until something comes up and it’s in the back of your mind now. After doing it for a number of years, it’s kind of just there — the knowledge.”

Others who will serve as rules officials for this week’s ANWA include some experts from the USGA and others who work for one of the USGA’s Allied Golf Associations — as Moore does. In fact, Moore notes that one of her fellow officials for the ANWA went through training for the P.J. Boatwright Internship with Moore about a decade ago.

As for the officiating schedule this week in Augusta, Ga., Moore said the rules committee will meet on Tuesday (a practice-round day at Champions Retreat) and walk that course. After working the first two rounds of competition on Wednesday and Thursday, the rules committee will meet again on Friday (a practice day at Augusta National) and walk that course. Then it’s on to handling the officiating for Saturday’s final round of competition at ANGC.

No doubt on Friday and Saturday, Moore’s memories from the 2013 Masters will return to her.

Like many observers, she notes that Augusta National seems to feature much more in the way of elevation changes — hilliness — than is readily apparent from watching on TV. “And it’s just immaculate. Everything is so green and in place and everyone is so well behaved. It’s special to be there.”

As Moore soon will experience — again.

For more information about the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, CLICK HERE.

About the Author: Gary Baines owns and operates