Per the press release posted today from the USGA:
Golf’s new Rules of Amateur Status have been published today by the USGA and The R&A ahead of their January 1, 2022, effective date.
These new Rules were informed by golfer and golf industry feedback as a part of a comprehensive review, to reaffirm amateur golf’s important position in the game and the value in maintaining amateur status Rules.
The result is a new set of Rules that removes many of the past restrictions while ensuring that the integrity of the game is protected by limiting the form and value of the prizes an amateur golfer can accept.
Starting January 1, only the following acts that will result in a golfer losing his or her amateur status:
– Accepting a prize with a value exceeding a $1,000 prize limit or accepting prize money in a handicap competition;
– Playing as a professional;
– Accepting payment for giving instruction (not including coaching at educational institutions nor assisting with approved programs);
– 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, not long-drive, putting or skills competitions;
– 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 of $1000 in scratch-only competitions will be of significant benefit to elite amateur golfers looking for ways to fund golf-related expenses.
These 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.