USGA and R&A are invite feedback about changes to amateur status rule

Updated: April 5, 2021

The USGA and The R&A have announced proposals for significant changes to the Rules of Amateur Status that govern the game worldwide. 

These proposals result from a modernization 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 proposed Rules, along with explanations to key changes, have been posted on and and the organizations are now inviting feedback from golfers and stakeholders. Comments were accepted through Friday, March 26, with the new Rules scheduled to be adopted on January 1, 2022. 

This review reaffirmed amateur golf’s important position in the game and the value in maintaining amateur status Rules to safeguard all the ways golf is played and enjoyed. 

The result is a set of Rules that redefine the distinction between amateur and professional golf and provide a condition of eligibility – amateur status – for amateurs who compete in golf competitions. 

As part of the modernization effort, it is proposed that 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.

   • 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 a player’s 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.