Below are common questions related to the reinstatement of a golfer’s amateur status. The Rules in their entirety, including Guidance Notes, can be found at www.usga.org/amateurstatus. If you have any questions about your particular situation, please contact the USGA Amateur Status Department at 908-326-1025 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the purpose of the reinstatement process?
The reinstatement process, including the possibility of a waiting period, supports the distinction between amateurs and non-amateurs, allows each national governing body an opportunity to review each applicant’s circumstances, encourages amateurs to carefully consider the decision to become a non-amateur and ensures golfers are not able to move easily between amateur and non-amateur status.
How was my reinstatement date determined?
Each national governing body has the sole authority to reinstate a non-amateur and may require a waiting period prior to reinstatement.
It is recommended that the national governing body require a waiting period of at least six months from the date of the applicant’s last action that was not allowed by the Rules, such as the date the person was last employed as a golf professional or last played in a competition as a professional – see Rule 5.
It is possible that an applicant’s waiting period will be longer than the minimum period as a result of playing performance and success.
What exactly is an applicant for reinstatement to amateur status?
An applicant for reinstatement is an individual who has officially requested reinstatement to amateur status with a national governing body (such as the USGA), which may include submitting an application. This status is reserved only for someone in the formal process of regaining their amateur status.
What does my reinstatement date mean?
This is the date that you are eligible to be reinstated as an amateur golfer and represents the end of your waiting period.
How do I apply for reinstatement with the USGA?
You can apply for reinstatement at www.usga.org/reinstatement. Your application will be reviewed by USGA staff.
Based on the review of your application, you will either be issued immediate reinstatement or required to complete a waiting period before reinstatement.
What happens if I have a waiting period?
As an applicant for reinstatement, you must follow the Rules of Amateur Status during your waiting period to remain eligible for reinstatement.
About one month before your reinstatement date, you will be asked to confirm that you followed the Rules during your waiting period and that you want to continue with reinstatement. Please note, you are not automatically reinstated on your reinstatement date.
Once confirmed, the USGA then completes a final review before issuing reinstatement.
What happens when my reinstatement date arrives?
After the USGA staff completes a final review, you will receive your reinstatement notice via e-mail. Note that you should not assume you have been reinstated until you receive your reinstatement notice from the USGA.
What if I no longer wish to be reinstated as an amateur golfer?
You are allowed to withdraw your application for reinstatement at any time prior to reinstatement. To withdraw, log in to your application and follow the prompts. Please note, the application fee is non-refundable.
May I play in a competition limited to amateur golfers during my waiting period?
No, you are not an amateur golfer until you have been reinstated, and you may not play in competitions limited to amateur golfers during your waiting period.
As an applicant for reinstatement, may I compete in golf competitions?
While you may not play in a competition limited to amateur golfers, in general, you may play in any competition that allows amateurs and non-amateurs to participate, provided you don’t play as a professional and the competition allows you to enter and play, even though you are still a non-amateur.
If any prizes are available, you must not accept a prize that would result in loss of amateur status – see Rule 3. Additionally, you may not accept any prize reserved specifically for amateur golfers 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 the organizing Committee for that competition.
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?
If the Committee has not asked, or the entry form does not give you the option to enter as an applicant for reinstatement, to ensure you do not jeopardize your reinstatement, you should always inform them of your status before entering and playing. Notify the Committee that you are an applicant for reinstatement and would like to enter and play in the competition. The Committee can then determine if you are eligible.
What if I play in a competition for which I’m not eligible?
If you play in a competition for which you are not eligible, you may be required to complete an additional waiting period before reinstatement. Please contact the USGA Amateur Status department as soon as possible.
May I submit an entry for an amateur competition while I am still awaiting my reinstatement date?
It is up to the Committee in charge of the competition to determine if you may enter the competition.
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 required to complete an additional waiting period before reinstatement.
May I apply for and play in USGA Open championships as an applicant for reinstatement?
Yes. For each of the USGA’s Open championships, you must indicate your status as an applicant for reinstatement when you submit your entry.
If you are reinstated as an amateur golfer prior to your qualifying stage of the championship or the championship proper, you would play in qualifying or the championship proper as an amateur. You should contact the official in charge to indicate your status change.
May I apply for and play in USGA Amateur Championships as an applicant for reinstatement?
No. To submit an entry for one of its amateur championships, the USGA requires you are 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 to discuss your situation.
What prizes may I accept during my waiting period?
If the Committee allows an applicant for reinstatement to accept a prize (in other words, the prize is not reserved for an amateur golfer), you may accept prizes as follows:
- When playing in a scratch competition, you may accept any prize, including prize money, up to the US $1000 limit in Rule 3.
- When playing in a handicap competition, you are not allowed to accept prize money, but you may accept any other prize up to the US $1000 limit in Rule 3.
Am I able to accept a prize for a hole-in-one?
Yes. The prize limit in Rule 3 does not apply for a hole-in-one made either 1) outside a tee-to-hole golf competition; or 2) during a tee-to-hole golf competition, provided the length of the shot is at least 50 yards.
For example, if a car 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.
In the limited circumstances where the hole-in-one is made during a tee-to-hole competition, but the shot is less than 50 yards, you may still accept any type of prize allowed by the Rules.