USGA and R&A recently revised the Rules of Amateur Status to remove
restrictions previously applied to amateur golfers, while ensuring that the
integrity of the game is protected by limiting the form and value of the prizes
an amateur golfer can accept.
new Rules of Amateur Status take effect on Jan. 1, 2022.
work is the latest step by golf’s governing bodies to make the Rules easier to
understand and apply. It follows the modernization process of the Rules of Golf
in 2019. The new Rules were informed by golfer and golf industry feedback as a
part of a comprehensive review, to ensure they continue to reflect how the
modern game is played by millions of golfers around the world.
review, along with the global feedback received when the proposals were
publicly shared earlier this year, reaffirmed amateur golf’s important position
in the game and the value in maintaining amateur status Rules.
part of the modernization effort, the new Rules identify only the following
acts that will result in a golfer losing their amateur status:
• Accepting employment as a golf club professional or membership of an association of professional golfers.
To achieve this simplified approach, the following key changes have been introduced:
• Distinguishing between scratch and handicap competitions in terms of the prizes that may be accepted.
• The prize rule applies only to tee-to-hole competitions played on a golf course or a simulator, but no longer apply to long-drive, putting and skills competitions that are not played as part of a tee-to-hole competition.
• Eliminating all advertising, expense-related and sponsorship restrictions.
new opportunities provided by lifting sponsorship restrictions and the ability
to accept prize money up to the increased limit of $1,000 or £700 in
scratch-only competitions will be of significant benefit to elite amateur
golfers looking for ways to fund golf-related expenses.
is unique in its broad appeal to both recreational and competitive players,”
said Craig Winter, USGA senior director, Rules of Golf and Amateur Status.
“This was emphasized in the feedback we received earlier this year and we
believe these updates will help simplify these Rules and ensure the long-term
health of the amateur game, not only to those who compete at the highest level
of amateur golf, but for the millions of golfers at every age and skill level
who enjoy competitive events at their home courses.”
Moir, Director of Rules at the R&A, said, “We are delighted to be rolling
out the modernized Rules of Amateur Status. These Rules play an important role
in protecting the integrity of our self-regulating sport, but the code must
evolve to meet the needs of the modern game. This is particularly important for
modern elite amateur golf, where many of the players need financial support to
compete and develop to their full potential. The new Rules give them this
opportunity and will help to make the game even more inclusive.”
new Rules are accompanied by guidance notes, an overview document and
explanations that detail the rationale for why changes have been made and, in
some instances, why they have stayed the same.
These materials can be found here.