USGA and R&A to modernise rules for amateur golfers

USGA and R&A to modernise rules for amateur golfers

The United States Golf Association and the R&A are conducting a review in order to modernise the rules surrounding amateur golfer status.

In a joint statement, the governing bodies said they will aim to “provide the golf community with a modernised set of the amateur status rules in late 2021”, with the new regulations set to be effective from January 1, 2022.

As part of the review, both parties will seek advice from elite amateur golfers, event organisers, national associations, professional associations and other industry partners.

R&A director Grant Moir said: “We will be looking at the rules of amateur status carefully and considering ways in which we can modernise them and bring them more into line with the way the modern sport is played.”

Thomas Pagel, senior managing director of governance at the USGA, added: “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.”

The statement also announced that they will not limit the prize an amateur golfer may win when making a hole-in-one outside a round of golf – commencing from January 1, 2020.

Under current rules, amateur golfers may only claim prizes during a round.

The new definition of rule 3-2b reads: “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.”

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