To make the Rules of golf easier to understand and apply, the R&A and USGA have decreased the number of limitations for amateur golfers.
The revisions, which take effect on January 1, are part of the moves taken by golf’s governing bodies to reflect how the modern game is played by millions of people around the world, following the updating of the Rules of Golf in 2019.
Many of the prior restrictions on amateur golfers have been repealed, including all advertising, expense-related, and sponsorship restrictions. Accepting prize money in scratch-only competitions has also been increased to £700, however, this does not apply to handicap competitions.
“These Rules serve a vital role in maintaining the integrity of our self-regulating sport, but the code must change to meet the needs of the modern game,” said Grant Moir, director of rules at The R&A.
“This is especially crucial in today’s elite amateur golf when many players require financial assistance to compete and develop to their full potential.” The revised Rules provide players with this opportunity and will contribute to making the game more accessible.”
The reward rule now only applies to tee-to-hole events conducted on a golf course or a simulator, and it no longer applies to long-drive, putting, and skills competitions that are not part of a tee-to-hole tournament.
As a result of the revisions, the only way for a golfer to lose their amateur status is to accept a reward that exceeds the limit, take prize money in a handicap competition, play as a professional, accept payment for offering instruction, or be employed as a professional by a golf club.
“We believe these updates will help simplify these Rules and ensure the long-term health of the amateur game not only for those who compete at the highest level of amateur golf but for the millions of golfers of every age and skill level who enjoy competitive events at their home courses,” said Craig Winter, USGA senior director, Rules of Golf and .
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