Presented by ROLEX Amateur Status Rules & Decisions

Browse the 2012-2015 Rules



Deferring Acceptance of Excessive Prize

Q. May an amateur golfer defer acceptance of an excessive prize in order to compete in amateur competitions?

A. No. Such action would be contrary to the purpose of the Rules (Rule 7-2).

An amateur golfer would be permitted to defer temporarily the acceptance of a prize for legitimate reasons (e.g., in order to take further advice regarding the effect of loss of Amateur Status or to consider donating the prize to a recognized charity). (Revised)


Definition of "Sweepstake," "Auction Sweepstake" and "Calcutta"

Q. Within the context of the Policy on Gambling (Appendix) and Rule 7-2, what is meant by the terms “sweepstake,” “auction sweepstake” and “calcutta?”

A. A "sweepstake" is one of the most common forms of gambling or wagering in golf in which each player has an option of placing a sum of money on himself. The same sum of money is placed by each player and the total sum collected is normally disbursed among the prize winners (assuming they have entered the sweepstake). Sweepstakes are approved provided the amount of money involved is not excessive.

An "auction sweepstake" or "calcutta" is a form of gambling or wagering in which the players or teams are sold by auction beforehand to the highest bidder. Bidding is not restricted to the players and each player or team is generally offered the right to purchase a percentage of the bet from the successful bidder before play commences. An auction sweepstake or calcutta can often involve considerable sums of money and such gambling or wagering is considered contrary to the purpose and intent of the Rules (Rule 7-2). (Revised) 

Related Decision:

3-2b/3  Hole-in-One Sweepstakes  


Participation in Auction Sweepstake/Calcutta

Q. Does participation in a golf competition with a mandatory auction sweepstake or calcutta automatically cause forfeiture of Amateur Status?

A. It would be a matter for the Governing Body to determine the appropriate course of action in accordance with Rule 8. The Policy on Gambling (Appendix) states that forms of gambling such as auction sweepstakes and calcuttas are not approved and an amateur golfer participating in such organized gambling may jeopardize his Amateur Status. (Revised)  


Acceptance of Compensation for Competing in Calcutta

Q. An auction sweepstake or calcutta is held in conjunction with an amateur competition. The players do not participate in the gambling but some accept gratuities from their buyers. Are the players in breach of the Rules?

A. Yes. Acceptance of such gratuities constitutes financial gain and is a breach of the Definition of an "Amateur Golfer." (Revised) 


Participation in Online Golf Competition

Q. A website allows players to pay a fee and record their scores from their respective Club competitions. The total sum of the entry fees collected is disbursed among the prize winners. Is this permissible?

A. No. An amateur golfer may not play golf for prize money (Rule 3-1). The Policy on Gambling states that there is no objection to informal gambling or wagering among individual golfers or teams of golfers when it is incidental to the game. While it is not practicable to define informal gambling or wagering precisely, websites featuring online competitions in which anyone can participate and where money can be won, are contrary to the purpose and intent of the Rules. (New)

Related Decision:

7-2/2 Meaning of "Sweepstake," "Auction Sweepstake” and “Calcutta"  



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