News All Articles
Hoey embracing new role as referee 

Hoey embracing new role as referee 

After a 20-year career as a professional golfer, Michael Hoey is embarking on a new challenge as a referee on the DP World Tour.

Michael Hoey Referee

For Hoey, a five-time Tour winner, the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 proved an opportunity for reflection as opportunities to play on the Challenge Tour were impacted.

While deliberating a potential adjustment from life on the course to the “real world”, the 43-year-old took a job away from golf, but it only sought to confirm his desire to pursue a new chapter as an official.

“I have 23 years’ experience as a player, so with not many other qualifications, when the Tour said they would take me on I felt very fortunate for the opportunity and I have a lot to learn,” he said.

The Northern Irishman got his first official taste of his new life on the DP World Tour with two consecutive weeks in South Africa during the inaugural MyGolfLife Open at Pecanwood and Steyn City Championship in Johannesburg.

So, was a career as a referee something Hoey ever envisaged?

“I have always been very pernickety about the rules. I have had a few penalty shots, called penalties on yourself, that is the nature of the game and you have got to know it inside out.

“It is something that you are always learning because they are changing the rules.”

Having experienced the challenges of the professional circuit, Hoey is well placed to provide an understanding from a players’ perspective as a recently retired golfer.

“There are always golf balls that end up on roofs of club houses, people’s bags and all kinds of places! It is not just that, it is knowing how to speak to players. Understand a player can be grumpy at times and how to deal with situations.

“There are so many other things other than rules.”

Hoey ended his playing career last year at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship – an event he won in 2011 in Scotland.

Now, weeks into his new job, his role as a rules official has only re-emphasised the playing calibre on tour.

“As tough as you make pin positions, the guys are still five under after nine holes!”