Amateur Status- Applicants for Reinstatement: FAQs

General    Competitions    USGA Championships    Prizes

Below are common questions related to the reinstatement of a golfer’s amateur status. If you have any questions about your particular situation, you are encouraged to contact the USGA Amateur Status Department to ensure you are in compliance with the Rules.

General

Reinstatement to Amateur Status

Q. How was my reinstatement date determined?

A. Your wait period is based on two things: 1) the date of your last act in breach of the Rules, and 2) how long you were in breach of the Rules.

All applications are subject to a 1 or 2 year wait period, based on your time in breach of the Rules (under 6 years = 1 year; 6 years or more = 2 years) – see Rule 9-2b. This wait period begins on the date of your last breach of the Rules.

While a majority of applicants for reinstatement will wait either 1 or two years, it is possible for an applicant’s wait period to be longer due to playing extensively for prize money or having significant experience on a major tour.

Q. What exactly is an applicant for reinstatement to amateur status?

A. An applicant for reinstatement to amateur status (A/R) is an individual who has submitted an application for reinstatement to amateur status with a Governing Body (e.g., USGA). This status is reserved only for someone in the formal process of regaining his or her amateur status. All A/Rs must comply with the Rules of Amateur Status in order to remain eligible for reinstatement upon completion of any waiting period that may be assigned after the Governing Body's review of the application.

Q. How can I be involved with the game during my waiting period?

A. While you must not enter or play in competitions reserved for amateur golfers, your playing opportunities are not completely restricted. Please refer to the “Competitions” section below for information regarding the events in which you can play.

There are also many other ways you can remain involved with the game while awaiting reinstatement. For example, you may provide instruction as a volunteer, work as a coach for a high school or college team, or work at a golf course, as long as you are not doing anything that breaches the Rules. 

Q.   What does my reinstatement date mean?

A.   This is the date on which you are eligible to be reinstated as an amateur golfer. It represents the end of your waiting period as an A/R. Please note, you are not automatically reinstated on your reinstatement date. The USGA performs a final review shortly before this date to confirm that you were in compliance with the Rules during your waiting period. If so, you will be reinstated.

Q.   What do I need to do to ensure I am reinstated?

A.   You must comply with the Rules of Amateur Status during your waiting period. In other words, you must stay within the limits placed on amateur golfers and applicants for reinstatement. Shortly before your reinstatement date, the USGA will initiate correspondence to provide you the opportunity to confirm your compliance with the Rules during your waiting period.

Q.   What happens when my reinstatement date arrives?

A.   After the USGA staff performs a final review, you will receive your reinstatement letter via e-mail. Note that you should not assume you have been reinstated until you receive your reinstatement letter from the USGA.

Q. What if I no longer wish to be reinstated as an amateur golfer?

A. You are permitted to withdraw your application for reinstatement at any time prior to reinstatement. To withdraw, log in to your online application and follow the prompts.  Please note, the application fee of $150 is non-refundable.


Competitions

Q. Can I play in a competition limited to amateur golfers during my period awaiting reinstatement?

A. No.  As you are not an amateur golfer until you have been reinstated, you cannot play in competitions limited to amateur golfers during your waiting period.

Q. As an applicant for reinstatement, what golf competitions can I compete in?

A. While you may not play in a competition limited to amateur golfers, in general, you may play in any open competition, provided the competition would allow you to enter as an A/R.

If any prize money is available, you must waive your right to prize money before you begin the event.  Additionally, you may not accept any prize reserved specifically for an amateur golfer in that event.

You may also enter competitions at your club provided you gain the approval from your club before you play. If you are representing your club in an inter-club competition, you must gain the approval of all clubs involved and/or the organizing Committee for that competition.

Q. What should I do if the Committee in charge of a competition hasn’t asked for my playing status on an entry form or otherwise?

A. If the Committee has not asked, or the entry form does not give you the option to sign up as an applicant for reinstatement, to ensure you do not jeopardize your reinstatement, you should always inform them of your status before playing.  Let the Committee know you are an A/R, meaning you have applied for reinstatement but have not yet regained your amateur status and would like to play in the competition. The Committee can then determine if you are eligible.

 

Q. What if I play in a competition for which I’m not eligible?

A. If you play in a competition for which you are not eligible, you may be subject to an additional waiting period. Please contact the USGA Amateur Status department as soon as possible. 

 

Q. Can I submit an entry for an amateur competition while I am still awaiting my reinstatement date?

A. It is up to the Committee in charge of the competition to determine if you may enter the competition. 

If the Committee accepts your entry, it should confirm you have been reinstated prior to the start of the competition, including any qualifying rounds.

Additionally, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have been reinstated prior to playing as an amateur in the competition.  If your reinstatement is delayed for any reason, and you play as an amateur prior to reinstatement, you may be subject to an additional waiting period.


USGA Championships

Q. Can I apply for and play in USGA Open Championships as an applicant for reinstatement?

A. Yes. For each of the USGA’s Open Championships (i.e., U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open and U.S. Senior Open), you must indicate your status as an A/R when you submit your entry.

If you are reinstated as an amateur golfer prior to a qualifier for the championship or the championship proper, you would play in the qualifier or championship proper as an amateur. You should contact the official in charge to indicate your status change.  

 

Q. Can I apply for and play in USGA Amateur Championships as an applicant for reinstatement?

A. No. It is the USGA’s policy that, in order to submit an entry for one of its amateur championships, you must be reinstated as an amateur golfer prior to the close of entries for that respective championship. For other competitions not conducted by the USGA, you should contact the Committee in charge to confirm its policy.

If you will be eligible for reinstatement prior to the close of entries for a USGA amateur championship and you are considering submitting an entry before your reinstatement date, please contact the USGA Amateur Status staff to discuss your situation.


Prizes

Q. Can I play for prize money during my period awaiting reinstatement?

A. No. However, you may play in competitions where prize money is available, provided the competition organizers allow you to play as an A/R and you waive your right to prize money in advance of the competition.

Q. What prizes can I accept?

A. You may accept a conforming prize in events at your club, as long as the club is aware of your status and allows you to play. Conforming prizes include commercial goods or prize vouchers (e.g., gift certificates) with a retail value of $750 or less. You may also accept a conforming prize in a competition in which you play as an A/R, as long as the prize is not meant solely for amateur golfers in that event.

Q. Am I able to accept a prize for a hole-in-one?

A. Yes. You may accept any type of prize, including cash, for making a hole-in-one during a round of golf, as long as it is incidental to that round. For example, if an automobile is offered as a prize for making a hole-in-one on a particular hole of an 18-hole stroke-play competition, you may accept the car without violating the Rules.  

However, you must not accept a cash prize, or other non-conforming prize, if you make a hole-in-one in a multiple-entry contest, a contest conducted at a driving range or golf simulator, or a putting contest. 

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