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Rule 4Instruction

Instruction means teaching the mechanics of swinging a golf club and hitting a golf ball. The Rules of Amateur Status do not apply to other forms of teaching or coaching (for example, physical fitness and psychological aspects of the game).

An amateur who accepts payment or compensation for giving instruction, including as part of salaried duties, becomes a non-amateur.

But, an amateur may accept payment or compensation for giving instruction in the following circumstances:

  • As part of a programme that has been approved in advance by the national governing body.
  • As an employee of a school, college, or camp, provided the time spent giving instruction is less than 50% of the time spent in performance of all duties as an employee.
  • When the instruction is given in writing or online, and not to a specific individual or group.

 

 

Guidance Notes for Rule 4

- Instruction – General
- Biometrics, Movement Performance and Body Strengthening
- Golf Instruction as Part of Approved Programme
- Instruction Given by Employee of a School, College or Camp
- Instruction in Writing or Online
 

Instruction – General

An amateur golfer who is an employee of a golf course or club, such as golf shop retailer, must not give instruction as a part of their employment. The absence of any direct payment for the golf instruction or the proportion of time spent on golf instruction is irrelevant.

The term “compensation” in Rule 2 and Rule 4 is not limited to monetary compensation, and includes any exchange for goods or services, such as accepting playing or practice privileges at a golf course or club.


Biometrics, Movement Performance and Body Strengthening

Golf instruction involves teaching the mechanics of swinging a golf club and hitting a golf ball. The collection of biomechanical information, assistance with movement performance and guidance on strengthening the body for golf are not, of themselves, forms of instruction as contemplated by Rule 4. But if these disciplines are used or combined with teaching the mechanics of the swing, that person is giving golf instruction.


Golf Instruction as Part of Approved Programme

Rule 4 allows an amateur golfer to accept payment or compensation for giving instruction as part of a programme that has been approved in advance by the national governing body.

The intention of the Rule is to encourage involvement in programmes aimed at introducing people to golf, with such involvement providing support to qualified members of a professional golfers’ association. It is considered reasonable to pay or compensate individuals for their time in coaching as part of such a programme.

The programme must be approved in advance by the national governing body to ensure that the programme is coordinated or sanctioned appropriately.

The appropriate national governing body decides whether a particular programme qualifies for approval under Rule 4 and the national governing body may set certaincriteria for a programme to follow for it to be approved. For example, it may limit the number of hours that an amateur golfer may coach as part of the programme, or it may limit the amount payable in a given period.

The following guidelines should be considered by the national governing body in determining the approval of such a programme:

  • Consulting the national professional golfers’ association in the country or area concerned and, where possible, co-ordinating the programme between that association and the national governing body.
  • Limiting the length of time an amateur golfer may coach as part of the approved programme, such as the number of hours in any week, month or year, and/or putting a limit on the amount of payment made to an amateur, such as the maximum amount in any week, month or year.
  • An annual review of the programme’s approval by the national governing body.

 

Instruction Given by Employee of a School, College or Camp

An amateur golfer who is employed by a school, college, or other educational institution or camp including a teacher or coach, may receive payment or compensation for golf instruction to students at the school, college or camp, provided that the total time devoted to that instruction is less than 50% of the time spent in the performance of all duties as an employee at the school, college or camp.


Instruction in Writing or Online

An amateur golfer may receive payment or compensation for instruction when the instruction is given in writing (such as a published book or a magazine) as that form of instruction requires those reading it to determine whether it applies to them and, if so, how best to incorporate the instruction into their own swing.

An amateur golfer may also provide similar instruction online. This means an amateur golfer may post blogs or videos on instruction. But they must not respond directly to specific individuals or groups of golfers to assist them with the mechanics of swinging a golf club and hitting a golf ball, meaning that the golfers have to determine for themselves how best to incorporate the instruction into their own swing.