KENSINGTON – Timmy Yorke has become the youngest person to pass the Level 3 golf officiating exam in Canada.
The 13-year-old Kensington resident recently received confirmation he scored 89 per cent. A pass required a mark of at least 85.
“It’s pretty cool to know I was the youngest,” Yorke told TC Media on Thursday.
“At the same time I think anybody could do it if they really tried and put in the hours. It’s a lot of studying.”
Canada has a four-level rules program, which has been around for about a decade.
Adam Helmer, Golf Canada’s director of rules and competitions, said no teenager attempted the Level 3 exam before Yorke.
Yorke got interested in the rules when his father Tim, a well-known Island golfer, explained some of the scenarios from his tournaments. Timmy decided to read the decisions book and passed the Level 1 exam in 2012.
“I just fell in love with it,” Timmy said. “I still find it really interesting to know what you would do in all these crazy scenarios.”
He tried the Level 3 exam a year ago and scored 81.
“I was pretty disappointed to know that I had come that close and didn’t pass, but I always told myself it was not a matter of if, it was a matter of when” he would pass the exam.
Undeterred, Timmy continued working with others in his study group to increase his knowledge and understanding of the game.
“To finally pass was really exciting to see all my hard work paid off,” said Timmy, who will enter Grade 9 at Kensington Intermediate-Senior High school in September.
“I immediately sent emails to thank everybody that helped me passed the exam.”
Prince Edward Island Golf Association (PEIGA) president Wayne Levy said it is an “amazing accomplishment.”
“He’s just like a little sponge soaking up the rules,” he said. “It’s a very, very demanding test. Some people say it’s as hard as the bar.”
Levy, who wrote the test once, said it is a tricky exam with the intricacies and complexity of the questions.
“I didn’t do as well as Timmy,” he said.
To be certified Yorke has to gain practical experience at regional or provincial events. It includes accompanying a certified rules official for 10 hours as an observer and a minimum of 50 hours of satisfactory on-course experience as a rules official at regional or provincial events.
Timmy will be on the course with Levy and PEIGA chief rules official Bob Irwin this weekend at the Island Coastal amateur golf championships in Summerside.
“He will be with us and helping us and we’ll be coaching him along,” Levy said. “He’s a very mature young man, and his parents should be very proud of the job they did bringing him up.”
Timmy said the practical work is invaluable.
“You can read it in a book, but to see it really happening on the course I think that is a big help.”
Timmy has aspirations to write the Level 4 exam — the highest in Canada. Passing that exam is one of the requirements to officiate a national tournament.