October 23, 2018
Joan Caldwell-2018 NCGA Tournament Official of the Year
Joan Caldwell really didn’t have any idea what she was getting herself into.
Back in the early 2000’s, the now 66-year-old San Francisco resident attended a Rules seminar only because it was a requirement to play in the championship at her home club, the LPGA Amateur Golf Association (formerly Executive Women’s Golf Association). At the time, Caldwell was so new to competitive golf that she didn’t even know there was a Rules Book, let alone tournament officials who oversaw all the action.
As fate would have it, the seminar was put on by veteran Rules official KC Cote. Caldwell’s interest was so piqued that following the seminar she asked Cote more about becoming an official. Cote responded that she was involved with the NCGA, and that information could be found on the NCGA website.
“‘Afterwards, KC suggested that I should volunteer for the NCGA,” Caldwell said. “I took learning the Rules as a challenge and submitted an application, and here I am!”
As for what has since evolved into a long run as a tournament official, Caldwell pointed to all of the volunteers, staff, Board members and players who along the way have contributed to her success. Looking ahead, she’s already excited for the 2019 season, which will see the debut of the new Rules.
“My goals for next year are simple,” she said “Learn to use binoculars to be a better spotter and work on my golf game so that I can beat my Rules test scores. While the Rules have changed many have stayed the same. I’m here for those who need support sorting them out.”