The R&A - Working for Golf

Amateur Status: Prize Money to Charity.

As of 1 January 2016, new Rule 3-1b was introduced to enable an amateur golfer to participate in an event where prize money or its equivalent is donated to a recognised charity, provided the approval of the Governing Body is first obtained in advance by the organiser.

The intent of Rule 3-1b is to facilitate a donation to a recognised charity that has been selected in advance by the organisers of the competition and has received the necessary approval.

There is no suggestion from The R&A that organisers should be seeking to utilise the provisions of the new Rule – it is entirely at the discretion of event organisers as to whether they wish to incorporate charitable donations as part of their event.

To obtain approval to facilitate a charitable donation based on the performance of an amateur golfer, the organiser of the competition must apply to their Governing Body for approval.

It is a matter for the appropriate Committee of the Governing Body to decide whether a particular event qualifies for approval, and the Governing Body has considerable discretion in this respect.

The R&A has produced an application form and any event organiser in Great Britain and Ireland applying for approval under this Rule should complete the form and submit it to The R&A.

Outside of Great Britain and Ireland, event organisers should contact the Governing Body in the country where the competition is to be held.

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It is worth noting that the charitable organisation that receives the money must be a registered charity. A Governing Body, or a charitable arm of a Governing Body, is not considered to be a suitable beneficiary of such a donation, despite the fact that a Governing Body may have a charitable element or be registered as a charitable organisation.

In addition, while an educational institution registered as a charitable organisation may receive a charitable donation under Rule 3-1b, such a donation is not acceptable if the amateur golfer donating the prize money attends the educational body or there is likelihood that he/she may attend the educational body in the future.

For more information on the Rules of Amateur Status, visit the Explore the Rules section of the website.