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Bryan Jones — PGA Golf Professional and PGA Rules Official

“The average tour professional does not know the rules of golf very well.”


Bryan Jones

PGA Golf Professional and PGA Rules Official

Black Oak Golf Club,  Flanders, New Jersey


Bryan Jones personifies the highest ideals of the PGA. In addition to his role as a head golf professional, he devotes a significant amount of time teaching the rules of the game to others, and volunteering his time and expertise as a rules official at professional and amateur tournaments around the world. He is recognized as one of the most knowledgeable and experienced rules officials in the game. Bryan’s list of golf industry awards and recognitions is lengthy and impressive, and includes the PGA’s National Horton Smith Award, and induction into the New Jersey PGA’s Hall of Fame. He currently serves as the Honorary Chair of the PGA’s Rules Committee. (A more complete overview of Bryan’s career is posted below.)

Show Highlights

Our conversation covers a lot of territory involving all aspects of Bryan’s long career as a PGA golf professional, including:

Bryan with Shane Lowry on the 17th hole during the second round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club in 2019.

  • What happened to his career plan to become a veterinarian…which is unrelated to his owning two feral cats
  • Why he believes the abundance of online instruction actually increases “in person” golf instruction
  • How you become a golf rules official, and who gets the best tournament assignments
  • The most confusing rules in golf, and the new rules for 2023
  • How a twist of fate caused Dustin Johnson to lose the PGA Championship at Whistling Straights
  • The most exciting moments in officiating tour events
  • His near-death experience at the 2023 Masters Tournament

Notable Quotes

On watching professional golf from inside the ropes: “I love watching them play from up close. The shots they can hit and they things they can do are amazing. It’s the highest level of the game.”

On the life of a tour professional: “It’s a nice life, particularly if you’re in the top 50, have the best sponsorships, and get to fly private, rather than lugging your equipment around on commercial flights.”

On his opinion of golf fans in America: “The Ryder Cup at Bethpage in 2025 should be an experience… I hope that it’s a good one.”

On the swing faults he sees most often in the average golfer: “The problem I see in many golfers is alignment. If they’re right handed, they tend to aim too far right at setup, and unless the clubface is properly aligned, the ball is not going to land where they want it to go. Male golfers also tend to power through the ball with their upper body.”

On the LIV Tour: “Golf is a business, and players should take the money if they believe it’s a good thing for them. But once they’ve left the PGA Tour, they should not have an avenue to come back in if it doesn’t work out.”

On controversial rulings: “I’ll call in another official for a second opinion, even if I know that I’m right.”

On his easy-going demeanor: “My older brother had a big influence on my outlook on life. I had a temper when I was younger, but I think it’s important to live your life with grace…which we see much less of these days.”

His advice on starting a career in golf: “It’s a service business, and you need to be cut out of that cloth. You work long days, and you work weekends. It’s important to take a long look before you jump into a golf career, maybe by working at a club for a summer. If it appeals to you, then it can be great.”

Bryan W. Jones, PGA                                                                                                   

Career Overview


New Jersey Section PGA Teacher of the Year, 2000

New Jersey Section PGA Horton Smith Award, 2010

New Jersey Section PGA Horton Smith Award, 2015

New Jersey Section PGA Professional of the Year, 2012

National Herb Graffis Award (accepted as Section President), 2012

PGA National Horton Smith Award, 2016

New Jersey PGA Hall of Fame, 2021

New Jersey PGA Section Service        20+ Years

NJPGA Assistant PGA Board of Directors

First A-8 appointed to the NJPGA Board of Directors

Elected to the NJPGA Board of Directors

Elected Secretary, served as Secretary, Vice-President, President & Honorary President

NJ Golf Foundation, Board Member, President

NJ Golf Foundation Golf in Schools: authored original manual

Appointed to upgrade the NJPGA Section Tournament Program by Presidents Sieg & O’Rourke

Rules Education

PGA/USGA 4 Day Rules of Golf Workshops: Instructed 32 workshops to date

PGA/USGA 2 Day Introduction to the Rules of Golf Programs: Instructed 2

Rules Education Class for PGA-PGM students at Methodist University and Florida Gulf Coast University

Campbell University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

Guest speaker at the GPTP Accelerated Program lecturing on Rules and Tournament Administration

5 NJPGA Rules Seminars

NJPGA Rules seminar for the NJ Assistant PGA Association

15 NJPGA Member club custom Rules programs

Northeast NY PGA Section I Day Rules seminar

Rules Service

Appointed to the PGA Rules Committee: 1996

Served 6 years: Vice Chairman (2 year succession) PGA Rules Committee

Appointed Chairman, PGA Rules Chairman: served 3 year term

Currently Honorary Chair PGA Rules Committee


18 PGA Championships [Rules Chairman: Bethpage & Kiawah}

4 Senior PGA Championships [Rules Chairman: Trump DC]

4 PGA/KPMG Championships [Rules Chairman at each]

5 Ryder Cups [Chief Referee: Whistling Straights]

3 PGA Cup Matches [Chief Referee: Barton Creek]

PGA Women’s Cup Matches [Chief Referee: Barton Creek]

PGA Grand Slam of Golf

PGA Junior Ryder Cup

Over 75 PGA of America Member Championships as a PGA Rules Committee Member

Over 275 PGA Member tournaments in the Winter Series & Winter Championships

Rules Chairman: Special Olympics National USA Golf Championship

14 Masters Tournaments

3 Augusta National Women’s Amateur Tournaments

4 Open Championships: Troon, Royal Berkshire, Carnoustie, Royal Port Rush

2 Players Championships (PGA Tour)

BMW European Tour Championship

USGA  Women’s Open

USGA  Senior Open

USGA  Senior Amateur

USGA  Junior Amateur

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