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.
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.