Following the recent publication of the 2016 edition of the Rules of Golf the R&A and the USGA have announced the latest revisions to the Rules of Amateur Status, which also take effect on 1st January 2016.
The Rules of Amateur Status will be published within the 2016 edition of the Rules of Golf, a collaborative work by The R&A and the USGA that applies to all golfers around the world.
Among the most significant changes to the 2016 Rules of Amateur Status are the following:
Prize Money to Charity
New Rule 3-1b enables an amateur golfer to participate in an event where prize money or its equivalent is donated to a recognised charity provided the approval of the governing body is first obtained in advance by the organiser.
Until now, an amateur golfer has been prohibited in all respects from playing for prize money or its equivalent in a match, competition or exhibition. However, from 1 January 2016, under new Rule 3-1b, an amateur golfer will be able to participate in an event where prize money is offered and donate any winnings to a pre-determined recognised charity, provided the approval of the governing body is obtained in advance by the organiser of the event.
This change has been made to reflect the growing number of charitable golf exhibitions organised around the world in aid of worthwhile causes and disaster relief agencies. As long as the organiser seeks prior approval from the governing body, an amateur golfer may donate any prize money to the identified charitable cause without compromising their Amateur Status.
New Rule 4-3 clarifies that an amateur golfer may receive reasonable expenses, not exceeding actual expenses incurred, for non-competition golf-related activities. Former Rule 4-3 becomes Rule 4-4.
Reinstatement to Amateur Status
The recommended guidelines on periods awaiting reinstatement are amended to provide that a period in breach of the Rules of up to six years (previously up to five years) should result in a period awaiting reinstatement of one year.
[This document is prepared for guidance and is accurate at the date of publication only. The GCMA will not accept any liability (in negligence or otherwise) arising from any member or third party acting, or refraining from acting, on the information contained in this document.]