The USGA and The R&A announced today proposals for significant changes to the Rules of Amateur Status, with these new Rules scheduled to be adopted on January 1, 2022 after a comments period that ends on March 26th.
A review of the Rules of Amateur Status began in late 2017, focusing on three main goals: to ensure the Rules are in the best interests of the game, reflect the modern game, and are easily understood and applied.
Ways to Lose Amateur Status
To that end, the new Rules will identify only three acts that will result in a golfer losing their amateur status:
– Accepting a prize in excess of the prize limit ($750);
– Accepting payment for giving instruction;
– Accepting employment as a golf club professional or membership of an association of professional golfers.
Key Rules Changes for Amateur Status
To achieve this simplified approach, four key changes are proposed:
– Eliminating the distinction between cash prizes and other prizes;
– Using the prize limit as the only way an amateur can lose amateur status through their play (i.e. entering or playing a competition as a professional would not, of itself, result in the loss of amateur status);
– Removing restrictions from the Rules surrounding competitions such as long-drive events, putting competitions, etc; and
– Eliminating all sponsorship restrictions.
Materials regarding these proposed new Rules, as well as a link to provide feedback can be found at usga.org/amateurstatus.