USGA, R&A Announce Significant Rule Changes to Amateur Status

The United States Golf Association and the R&A announced significant changes to the Rules of Amateur Status. 

The biggest change is that amateur players will now be allowed to receive endorsements. 

“Golf is unique in its broad appeal to both recreational and competitive golfers. We understand and value how important amateur status is, not only to those who compete at the highest level of the amateur game, but for the millions of golfers at every age and skill level who enjoy competitive events at their home courses. These updates should help simplify these Rules and ensure the health of the amateur game,” said Craig Winter, USGA Senior Director, Rules of Golf and Amateur Status.

A series of other changes are as follows: 

  • Accepting a prize in excess of the prize limit.
  • 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 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 (meaning that 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 and skills competitions that are not played as part of a tee-to-hole competition; and
  • Eliminating all sponsorship restrictions

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