Revisions To The Rules Of Amateur Status

October 24, 2011

Far Hills, N.J. – The United States Golf Association (USGA) and The R&A today announced joint revisions to golf’s Rules of Amateur Status. Coinciding with the four-year review of golf’s 34 playing Rules, the Rules of Amateur Status are now revised and presented together by the USGA and the R&A for the first time. 

The most significant changes affecting amateur golfers in the United States include: 

  • Professionalism; Contracts and Agreements (New Rule 2-2(a)). An amateur golfer may now enter into a contract and/or agreement with his national golf union or association, provided the player does not obtain any financial gain, directly or indirectly, while still an amateur golfer.  
  • Professional Agents, Sponsors and Other Third Parties (New Rule 2-2(b)). An amateur golfer who is at least 18 years of age may enter into a contract and/or agreement with a third party solely in relation to the golfer’s future as a professional golfer, provided the player does not obtain any financial gain, directly or indirectly, and is not required to play in certain amateur or professional events,while still an amateur golfer. 
  • Subsistence Expenses (Rule 4-3). An amateur golfer mayreceive reasonablesubsistence expenses, not exceeding actual costs, to assist with general living costs, provided the expenses are approved by and paid through the player’s national golf union or association. 
  • 2012 Rules Of Golf Page 

    “Those who will notice the biggest changes to the Rules of Amateur Status are the elite players who are preparing to turn professional,” said Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior director of the Rules of Golf. “We feel the changes we have made to the Rules will clarify and smooth the sometimes difficult transition these players undergo as they move from the amateur to professional ranks.”  

The complete text of all changes to the Rules of Golf and to the Rules of Amateur Status may be found at, the website of the USGA, and at, the website of The R&A. Both websites also feature video summaries of the changes with commentary from USGA and R&A officials, as well as amateur and professional golfers. 

About the USGA
The USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, as well as 10 national amateur championships, two state team championships and international matches. Together with The R&A, the USGA governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, equipment standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The USGA’s working jurisdiction comprises the United States, its territories and Mexico. The USGA is a global leader in the development and support of sustainable golf course management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s history and funds an ongoing “For the Good of the Game” grants program. Additionally, the USGA’s Course Rating and Handicap systems are used on six continents in more than 50 countries.
For more information about the USGA, visit


About The R&A  

Based in St Andrews, The R&A organizes The Open Championship, major amateur events and international matches. Together with the United States Golf Association, The R&A governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, Equipment Standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The R&A’s working jurisdiction is global, excluding the United States and Mexico. The R&A is committed to working for golf and supports the growth of the game internationally and the development and management of sustainable golf facilities. The R&A operates with the consent of 143 organizations from the amateur and professional game and on behalf of over thirty million golfers in 128 countries. 


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USGA Phone: (908) 234-2300

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