USGA, R&A Modernizing Rules Of Amateur Status

LIBERTY CORNER, N.J., and ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – The USGA and The R&A are conducting a review of the Rules of Amateur Status to make them easier to understand and apply.

The comprehensive evaluation is part of the continued joint effort to modernize the Rules by reducing complexity and ensuring the Rules effectively guide how the game is played today.

As part of a review process that began earlier this year, the governing bodies will seek the perspectives of golf’s stakeholders as an integral component of the review process, including elite amateur golfers, golf event organizers, national golf associations, professional golf associations and other industry partners.

The aim is to provide the golf community with a modernized set of the Amateur Status Rules in late 2021, with the goal of an effective date of January 1, 2022.

Thomas Pagel, senior managing director of Governance at the USGA, said, “One of golf’s greatest benefits is that it can be played by all ages and played for a lifetime. It is our goal to ensure that the fundamental concept of what it means to be an amateur golfer is clear and retained to promote fair competition and enjoyment for everyone, while still addressing many issues that seek to protect the game. This is a forward-thinking approach and engaging golfers is a key component of doing what’s best for golf.”

Grant Moir, director – Rules at The R&A, said, “We will be looking at the Rules of Amateur Status carefully and considering ways in which we can modernize them and bring them more into line with the way the modern sport is played. The code remains a fundamental framework for amateur golf and we will be listening to the views of players, officials and associations to give us a fully rounded view of how we can improve them.”

In a separate move, effective January 1, 2020, the USGA and The R&A will introduce one change to Rule 3-2b of the Rules of Amateur Status, which regulates hole-in-one prizes. The Rules will no longer limit the prize an amateur golfer may win when making a hole-in-one outside a round of golf, including “stand-alone” and “multiple-entry” hole-in-one events. It is hoped the change will help to promote the game and cater to new audiences as well, and eliminate unnecessary restrictions for event organizers.

New Rule 3-2b will read as follows:

Rule 3-2b. Hole-in-One Prizes

An amateur golfer may accept a prize in excess of the limit in Rule 3-2a, including a cash prize, for making a hole-in-one during a round of golf on a golf course.

An amateur golfer may also accept a prize in excess of the limit in Rule 3-2a, including a cash prize, for making a hole-in-one during contests held outside a round of golf, including multiple-entry contests and contests conducted other than on a golf course (e.g., on a driving range, golf simulator or putting green) provided in all cases that the length of the shot is at least 50 yards.

More information on the Rules of Amateur Status can be found at www.usga.org and www.randa.org.

About the USGA

The USGA is a nonprofit organization that conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Senior Open and the U.S. Senior Women’s Open, as well as 10 amateur championships and international matches, attracting players and fans around the world. Together with The R&A, the USGA governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, equipment standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings, with a working jurisdiction in the United States, its territories and Mexico.

The USGA is one of the world’s foremost authorities on research, development and support of sustainable golf course management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s history and invests in the development of the game through the delivery of its services and the work of the USGA Foundation. Additionally, the USGA’s Course Rating and Handicap systems are used on six continents. For more information, visit www.usga.org.

About The R&A

Based in St Andrews, The R&A runs The Open, elite amateur events, international matches and rankings. Together The R&A and the USGA govern the sport of golf worldwide, operating in separate jurisdictions but sharing a commitment to a single code for the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status and Equipment Standards. The R&A, through R&A Rules Ltd, governs the sport worldwide, outside of the United States and Mexico, on behalf of over 36 million golfers in 143 countries and with the consent of 158 organisations from amateur and professional golf.

The R&A is committed to working for golf and supports the growth of the sport internationally and the development and management of sustainable golf facilities. For more information, visit www.randa.org.

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