Golf’s new Rules of Amateur Status have been published by the USGA and The R&A ahead of their January 1, 2022, effective date. The work is the latest step by the governing bodies to make the Rules easier to understand and apply and follows the modernization process of the Rules of Golf in 2019.
As part of the modernization effort, the new Rules identify only the following acts that will result in a golfer losing their amateur status:
- Accepting a prize with a value exceeding the prize limit ($1000/£700) or accepting prize money in a handicap competition
- Playing as a professional
- Accepting payment for giving instruction
- 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
- Eliminating all advertising, expense-related and sponsorship restrictions
The new opportunities provided by lifting sponsorship restrictions and the ability to accept prize money up to the increased limit in scratch-only competitions will be of significant benefit to elite amateur golfers looking for ways to fund golf-related expenses.