The start of 2017 marks my 9th year with the PGA TOUR and my 20th year working as a Tournament Official in professional golf. Although I regard myself as a seasoned member of staff, as I look around the Rules office this week at the SBS Tournament of Champions I’m reminded of the wealth of experience of those working around me. Of the seven Rules Committee members present this week there is over 100 years of cumulative field service to draw from, which in my opinion is crucial in this line of work.
It probably won’t come as a surprise that leading the way on the tenure front here in Kapalua Maui is Slugger White (Vice President of Rules & Competition) who this week received recognition of 35 years of service to the PGA TOUR. No small feat when you consider the demands of travel and that the median number of years that wage and salary workers with their current employer within the USA was down to only 4.2 years in 2016.
Few at the TOUR can boast such a lengthy and distinguished career. Following 4 years playing on the PGATOUR where he played alongside the likes of Palmer, Nicklaus and Ballesteros he downed the clubs for the Rule book and joined the Rules Staff on January 1st 1982.
After 17 years as a referee he was promoted to Tournament Director and in 2007, he was promoted once again to his current position of Vice President of Rules and Competitions.
Slugger has been one of the most influential Rules of Golf leaders in the world and has been an integral part in the development as well as delivery of the Rules of Golf for over 30 years. Even the latest change to 18-2 (Accidental Movement of a Ball on a Putting Green) has been something he’s been pushing for some time, and trust me he’s not finished there!!
For those of us privileged to work alongside him and that know him well, we see Carlton “Slugger” White for who he is. Loyal, passionate, team orientated, witty, hard working and still as sharp as a tack, Slugger is a leader both on and off the course. Tough on the exterior, soft in the center, he will on his own admission “cry at a mall opening.” We should also be thankful his sense of humor is still A+ and is renowned for his quick wittiness and his constant stream of classic quotes and sayings such as “enough to drive a dog crazy” or my personal favorite “Son, don’t bring a knife to a gun fight”.
At present, there isn’t a Tournament Official in the World Golf Hall of Fame, maybe this legend would be an ideal place to start?
View our Slugger White tribute Photo Gallery .