Competition Expenses (Rule 4-2)
The Rules of Amateur Status allow an amateur golfer to receive financial support directly from a family member (e.g., parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle) or legal guardian.
An amateur may also receive a reasonable amount of money from an outside source, including an individual or business, to assist with the expenses incurred to play in a competition. However, the expenses must not come, directly or indirectly, from a professional agent or any similar source under any circumstances.
If the value of the money received from an outside source exceeds $300 for one competition, the amateur golfer’s state or regional golf association must administer the reimbursement of expenses. Note, this is an exception limited to the United States and in most other countries, all expenses must be approved.
The following are common examples of competition expenses:
- Entry Fee
- Caddie/Cart Fees
- Practice Range/Practice Round Fees
Amateurs wishing to have competition expenses reimbursed must do the following:
- Submit a completed "Disclosure Form for Reimbursement of Tournament Expenses" after participation in the competition.
- Submit a completed "Disclosure Form to Donate Expenses to an Amateur Golfer", which must be completed by the outside source paying the expenses.
Both forms must be submitted to the player's state or regional golf association. Please click here to find the golf association in your area.
Note: A junior golfer may directly receive assistance with expenses when playing in a junior golf competition. For more information, please visit Junior Golfers and Amateur Status.
Golf-Related Expenses (Rule 4-3)
The Rules allow an amateur golfer to directly receive reasonable expenses to assist with golf-related activity that is not associated with playing in a competition. These types of expenses do not need to be disclosed to a golf association.
The following are common examples of golf-related expenses:
- Coaching costs, such as instructional fees, including travel costs associated with instruction
- Golf equipment (e.g., clubs, golf balls, clothing)
- Golf club dues and green fees
- Medical treatment specifically related to golf activity
- Fitness and sports psychology training
If the amateur golfer is considered to have “golf skill or reputation” as defined by the Rules (i.e., he or she is an elite player), he or she must not promote or advertise the source of the expenses, including but not limited to wearing or carrying anything that has the donor's logo. The expenses must not come from a professional agent or any similar source.
While the USGA Rules of Amateur Status allow amateur golfers to receive and use funds from sources other than family members as described above, in some cases the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) may prohibit or limit the receipt and use of such funds. Therefore, before accepting or using funds from a source other than a family member, amateur golfers who have collegiate eligibility remaining should check with the NCAA to determine whether receipt and use of such funds could affect their collegiate eligibility.
If you have additional questions about the administration of expenses, please contact the USGA Amateur Status staff by calling (908) 326-1025 or via e-mail at email@example.com.