Presented by ROLEX Amateur Status Rules & Decisions

Browse the 2012-2015 Rules


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:

  1. 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
  2. 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.

Partner Links
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The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

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Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.

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IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website,, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit

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Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit

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American Express

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit

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