Rules of Amateur Status
Golf Australia and its Member State Associations strictly enforce the Rules of Amateur Status as laid down by the international governing authority, R&A Rules Limited. A copy of the Rules is available from Golf Australia and the States.
The Rules of Amateur Status can be found in the Rules of Golf Book, on pages 163-179. Download the 2012-2015 Rules of Golf (16 MB)
The following Amateur Status Rules set out some basic acts which are contrary to the definition of an amateur golfer and can cause forfeiture of Amateur Status:
Rule 2 Professionalism- a) receiving compensation for serving as a professional golfer or as a teaching or playing assistant. b) taking action to become a professional golfer (certain exceptions apply).
Rule 3.1 Playing for Prize Money of any amount (as distinct from a friendly bet amongst fellow-competitors).
Rule 3.2 Prizes and Testimonials - acceptance of a prize or voucher having a retail value exceeding AU$1,200. This limit also applies to hole-in-one prizes, however such a prize may be accepted in addition to any other prize won in the same competition. NOTE that the above limit applies to the total prizes (other than a hole-in-one prize) received by any one person in an event or series of events. Cash or its equivalent of any value cannot be accepted. For further details see Prize Regulations.
Rule 4 Expenses - accepting expenses to play in a golf competition. A number of exceptions apply, those being that the player may receive expenses; i) from a member of the family ii) for events limited to golfers under 18 years of age iii) as a representative of his country, state, district, club, business/industry, or similar body in team competitions iv) as an individual nominated and paid for by Golf Australia or State Association v) as a celebrity or business associate vi) for an exhibition in aid of charity vii) in a sponsored event that is approved by Golf Australia. See Approved Amateur Events.
Rule 5 Instruction - receiving compensation for giving instruction in the physical aspects of playing golf (certain exceptions apply).
Rule 6.2 Lending Name or Likeness - because of golf skill, receiving compensation for allowing one’s name or likeness to be used in the advertisement or sale of anything.
Rule 6.3 Personal Appearance - because of golf skill, receiving compensation for a personal appearance.
Rule 6.4 Broadcasting and Writing - because of golf skill, receiving compensation for broadcasting concerning golf, writing golf articles or allowing one’s name to be published as the author (certain exceptions apply).
Rule 6.5 Scholarships - because of golf skill, accepting the benefits of a scholarship that is not approved by The R&A or Golf Australia.
Rule 6.6 Membership and Privileges - because of golf skill, accepting an offer of membership in a golf club without full payment of fees if such an offer is made as an inducement to play for the club or course.
Rule 7 Conduct Detrimental to Golf - includes golf gambling activities.
Procedure for Enforcement and Reinstatement
Upon a decision that a player has breached a Rule, Golf Australia or the State Association may withdraw the player’s Amateur Status or require the player to stop specified actions.
A player applying to be reinstated to Amateur Status should obtain the appropriate form from the State Association, which will then consider the application.
Each case will be considered on its merits. Usually the applicant will be required to undergo a minimum period of 12 months awaiting reinstatement during which time the Rules must be fully observed. A wilful breach of the Rules can attract a period awaiting reinstatement of up to two years.
The above is a brief précis of what is a complex and generally little known subject. Any player or event promoter who has any concern regarding Amateur Status should contact Golf Australia or a State Association so as not to cause a breach of the Rules or embarrassment to a sponsor, guest, or host club.