The R&A and the USGA have announced proposals for significant changes to the Rules of Amateur Status that govern the game worldwide. These rules are a result of a modernisation initiative that has identified a clear need to bring the Rules up to date to reflect today’s global amateur game and ensure that the Rules are easier to understand and apply.
The Rules will be a big boost to youngsters who pursue amateur tournaments at great expense to their families as it will relax the ability to accept sponsorships and other forms of income to help support their quest for improvement. This is likely to revolutionise the appeal of playing the sport competitively and broaden the base of top class amateur in India and the world over.
The changes are not official yet and the organisations are now inviting feedback from golfers and stakeholders until March 26th, 2021 with the new rules scheduled to be adopted on Jan.1, 2022.
Rules will identify only three acts that will result in a golfer losing their amateur status:
- Accepting a prize in excess of $750 in a tee-to-green match
- 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:
- Eliminate all sponsorship-related restrictions.
- Remove any restrictions on how an amateur may benefit from his or her name, image or likeness, including but not limited to the receipt of expenses.
- Eliminate the distinction between cash and other forms of prizes.
- Reduce the wait period for amateur reinstatement.