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Rule 3



3-1. Playing for Prize Money

An amateur golfer must not play golf for prize money or its equivalent in a match, competition or exhibition.

However, an amateur golfer may participate in a golf match, competition or exhibition where prize money or its equivalent is offered, provided that prior to participation he waives his right to accept prize money in that event.

Exception: Where prize money is offered for a hole-in-one made while playing a round of golf, an amateur golfer is not required to waive his right to accept that prize money prior to participation (see Rule 3-2b).

(Conduct contrary to the purpose of the Rules – see Rule 7-2.)

(Policy on Gambling — see Appendix.)

3-2. Prize Limits

a. General

An amateur golfer must not accept a prize (other than a symbolic prize) or prize voucher of retail value in excess of $750 or the equivalent, or such a lesser figure as may be decided by the Governing Body. This limit applies to the total prizes or prize vouchers received by an amateur golfer in any one competition or series of competitions.

Exception: Hole-in-one prizes – see Rule 3-2b.

Note 1: The prize limits apply to any form of golf competition, whether on a golf course, driving range or golf simulator, including nearest the hole and longest drive competitions. 

Note 2: The responsibility to prove the retail value of a particular prize rests with the Committee in charge of the competition.

Note 3: It is recommended that the total value of prizes in a gross competition, or each division of a handicap competition, should not exceed twice the prescribed limit in an 18-hole competition, three times in a 36-hole competition, five times in a 54-hole competition and six times in a 72-hole competition.

b. 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 a hole-in-one made while playing a round of golf.

Note: The hole-in-one must be made during a round of golf and be incidental to that round. Separate multiple-entry contests, contests conducted other than on a golf course (e.g., on a driving range or golf simulator) and putting contests do not qualify under this provision and are subject to the restrictions and limits in Rules 3-1 and 3-2a.

3-3. Testimonial Awards

a. General

An amateur golfer must not accept a testimonial award of retail value in excess of the limits prescribed in Rule 3-2.

b. Multiple Awards

An amateur golfer may accept more than one testimonial award from different donors, even though their total retail value exceeds the prescribed limit, provided they are not presented so as to evade the limit for a single award.



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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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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.

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