Presented by ROLEX Amateur Status Rules & Decisions

Browse the 2012-2015 Rules

Rule 2



2-1. General

An amateur golfer must not conduct or identify himself as a professional golfer.

For the purpose of applying these Rules, a professional golfer is one who:

  • plays the game as his profession; or
  • works as a professional golfer; or
  • enters a golf competition as a professional; or
  • holds or retains membership of any Professional Golfers' Association (PGA); or
  • holds or retains membership of a Professional Tour limited exclusiverly to professional golfers.

Exception: An amateur golfer may hold or retain a category of PGA membership, provided this category does not confer any playing rights and it is purely for administrative purposes.

Note 1: An amateur golfer may inquire as to his likely prospects as a professional golfer, including applying unsuccessfully for the position of a professional golfer, and he may work in a professional’s shop and receive payment or compensation, provided he does not infringe the Rules in any other way.

Note 2: If an amateur golfer must compete in one or more qualifying competitions in order to be eligible for membership of  a Professional Tour, he may enter and play in such qualifying competitions without forfeiting his Amateur Status, provided, in advance of play and in writing, he waives his right to any prize money in the competition.

2-2. Contracts and Agreements

a. National Golf Unions or Associations

An amateur golfer may enter into a contract and/or an agreement with his national golf union or association, provided that he does not obtain payment, compensation or any financial gain, directly or indirectly, while still an amateur golfer, except as otherwise provided in the Rules.

b. Professional Agents, Sponsors and Other Third Parties

An amateur golfer may enter into a contract and/or agreement with a third party (including but not limited to a professional agent or a sponsor), provided:

(i) the golfer is at least 18 years of age,

(ii) the contract or agreement is solely in relation to the golfer’s future as a professional golfer and does not stipulate playing in certain amateur or professional events as an amateur golfer, and

(iii) except as otherwise provided in the Rules, the amateur golfer does not obtain payment, compensation or any financial gain, directly or indirectly, while still an amateur golfer.

Exception: In special individual circumstances, an amateur golfer under the age of 18 may apply to the Governing Body to be allowed to enter into such a contract, provided it is of no more than 12 months duration and it is non-renewable.

Note 1: An amateur golfer is advised to consult the Governing Body prior to signing any such third party contract and/or agreement to ensure that it complies with the Rules.

Note 2:  If an amateur golfer is in receipt of an educational golf scholarship (see Rule 6-5), or may apply for such a scholarship in the future, he is advised to contact the national body regulating such scholarships and/or the relevant educational institution to ensure that any third party contracts and/or agreements are allowable under the applicable scholarship regulations.



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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.

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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.

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