Rules of Amateur Status

The Rules of Amateur Status are part of the official Rules of Golf, as maintained by the USGA and R&A. The Rules of Amateur Status appear here courtesy of the United States Golf Association. These rules are used with permission of the USGA, and may not be duplicated or reprinted without the express permission of the USGA. (Note: Any questions about or requests for clarification of any rules of amateur status should be addressed directly to the USGA.)

The United States Golf Association reserves the right to change the Rules of Amateur Status and to make and change the interpretations of the Rules of Amateur Status at any time.

In the Rules of Amateur Status, the gender used in relation to any person is understood to include both genders.

Rule 1: Amateurism
Rule 2: Professionalism
Rule 3: Prizes
Rule 4: Expenses
Rule 5: Instruction
Rule 6: Use of Golf Skill or Reputation
Rule 7: Other Conduct Incompatible with Amateurism
Rule 8: Procedure for Enforcement of the Rules
Rule 9: Reinstatement of Amateur Status
Rule 10: Committee Decision

Definitions from the Rules of Amateur Status

These are the official definitions of terms used in the Rules of Amateur Status, as defined by the USGA and R&A.

Amateur Golfer
An "amateur golfer," whether he plays competitively or recreationally, is one who plays golf for the challenge it presents, not as a profession and not for financial gain.

The "Committee" is the appropriate Committee of the Governing Body.

Golf Skill or Reputation
It is a matter for the Governing Body to decide whether a particular amateur golfer has golf skill or reputation.

Generally, an amateur golfer is only considered to have golf skill if he:
(a) has had competitive success at regional or national level or has been selected to represent his national, regional, state or county golf union or association; or
(b) competes at an elite level.

Golf reputation can only be gained through golf skill and such reputation is deemed to continue for five years after that player's golf skill has fallen below the standard set by the Governing Body.

Governing Body
The "Governing Body" for the administration of the Rules of Amateur Status in any country is the national golf union or association of that country.

Note: In Great Britain and Ireland, the R&A is the Governing Body.

"Instruction" covers teaching the physical aspects of playing golf, i.e., the actual mechanics of swinging a golf club and hitting a golf ball.

Note: Instruction does not cover teaching the psychological aspects of the game or the etiquette or Rules of Golf.

Junior Golfer
A "junior golfer" is an amateur golfer who has not reached a specified age as determined by the Governing Body.

Prize Voucher
A "prize voucher" is a voucher, gift certificate, gift card, or the like approved by the Committee in charge of a competition for the purchase of goods or services from a professional’s shop, a golf club or other retail source.

The "R&A" means R&A Rules Limited.

Retail Value
The "retail value" of a prize is the price at which the prize is generally available from a retail source at the time of the award.

Rule or Rules
The term "Rule" or "Rules" refers to the Rules of Amateur Status and their interpretations as contained in "Decisions on the Rules of Amateur Status."

Symbolic Prize
A "symbolic prize" is a trophy made of gold, silver, ceramic, glass or the like that is permanently and distinctively engraved.

Testimonial Award
A "testimonial award" is an award for notable performances or contributions to golf as distinguished from competition prizes. A testimonial award may not be a monetary award.

The "USGA" means the United States Golf Association.