We are waiting for changes! There will be changes in the rules of amateur status soon
Last New Year, we met with the new golf rules in both form and content. We will celebrate the coming New Year with the new Worldwide Handicap System. But there is another section of the regulations, which hasn’t been reviewed for a very long time. These are the rules of amateur status. Against the background of the general revolutionary situation in golf, one could hope that this aspect of golf life would also be affected by the «locomotive of change».
And it happened! Today R&A and USGA announced, that they are starting severe work on revising the Amateur Status Rules. They will think for themselves, and there will be opinions of tournament organizers, professionals, elite amateur golfers and, of course, national associations. I think that will be ours to offer. The process of developing a new «party line» will take some time, but some changes will happen already today. They will happen immediately after listening to the president’s speech on New Year’s Eve, but we can already get acquainted with them. And get used to it with a chiming clock.
From January 1, 2020, restrictions on the size of prize money for hole-in-one in competitions outside the round are also removed. You could assign prizes of any value for the hole-in-one that happened during the tournament. But with the organization of individual competitions, there were restrictions of 500 pounds. And since the new year, there are none! The latest version of Rule 3-2b of the Rules determining the status of an amateur now looks like this:
An amateur golfer may accept a prize whose value exceeds the limits established by Rule 3-2a, including cash prizes, for hitting the hole from the first hit during a round of golf on a golf course. An amateur golfer may also accept an award whose value exceeds the limits established by Rule 3-2a, including cash prizes, for getting into the hole from the first hit during competitions outside the golf round, including repeated attempts to hit and races outside the golf course. In this case, the strike must be carried out at a distance of not less than 50 yards (45.72 meters).
What does it mean? And the fact that now it is entirely legal to hold a competition for putt 46 meters long with a prize of at least a million dollars!