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USGA & R&A Announce Revisions to the Rules of Amateur Status
The United States Golf Association (USGA) and the R&A have 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 golfer 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 golfer 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 may receive reasonable subsistence expenses, not exceeding actual costs, to assist with general living costs, provided the expenses are approved by and paid through the golfer's national golf union or association.
"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 www.usga.org and www.randa.org. Both websites also feature video summaries of the changes with commentary from USGA and R&A officials, as well as amateur and professional golfers.