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Amateur Status Definitions

The definitions are listed alphabetically and are shown in blue in the Rules themselves.

An “amateur golfer”, whether he plays competitively or recreationally, is one who plays golf for the challenge it presents, not as a profession and not for financial gain.

The "Committee" is the appropriate Committee of the Governing Body.

It is a matter for the Governing Body to decide whether a particular amateur golfer has golf skill or reputation.

Generally, an amateur golfer is only considered to have golf skill if he:

    (a)    has had competitive success at regional or national level or has been selected to represent his national, regional, state or county golf union or association; or

    (b)    competes at an elite level.

Golf reputation can only be gained through golf skill and such reputation is deemed to continue for five years after that player’s golf skill has fallen below the standard set by the Governing Body.

The "Governing Body" for the administration of the Rules of Amateur Status in any country is the national golf union or association of that country.

Note: In Great Britain and Ireland, The R&A is the Governing Body.

"Instruction" covers teaching the physical aspects of playing golf, i.e. the actual mechanics of swinging a golf club and hitting a golf ball.

Note: Instruction does not cover teaching the psychological aspects of the game or the etiquette or Rules of Golf.

A "Junior Golfer" is an amateur golfer who has not reached a specified age as determined by the Governing Body.

A "Prize Voucher" is a voucher, gift certificate, gift card, or the like approved by the Committee in charge of a competition for the purchase of goods or services from a professional’s shop, a golf club or other retail source.

The "R&A" means R&A Rules Limited.

The "retail value" of a prize is the price at which the prize is generally available from a retail source at the time of the award.

The term "Rule" or "Rules" refers to the Rules of Amateur Status and their interpretations as contained in "Decisions on the Rules of Amateur Status"

A "symbolic prize" is a trophy made of gold, silver, ceramic, glass or the like which is permanently and distinctively engraved.

A "testimonial award" is an award for notable performances or contributions to golf as distinguished from competition prizes. A testimonial award may not be a monetary award.

The "USGA" means the United States Golf Association.