2. Amateur Golfer
Playing or Employment as a Professional Additional guidance is provided on bullet points 2, 4 and 5 from Rule 2 (Amateur Golfer) as follows:
  • Playing in a competition as a professional.
    • An amateur who enters and plays in a competition as a professional loses their amateur status.
      • This includes when the golfer starts but does not finish the competition, such as when the player       withdraws or fails to complete the round or rounds for any other reason.
      • This does not include an amateur golfer who enters a competition as a professional golfer but has yet to play in the competition.
        • This could occur when an amateur is planning to transition into professional golf and enters a future competition as a professional, but plans to continue to compete as an amateur golfer until that future competition.
        • An amateur may also withdraw a professional entry or change their entry status to amateur before playing in such a competition without affecting their amateur status.
    • A golfer who plays in a competition limited only to professional golfers loses their amateur status.
    • If a golfer is not required to select a status of amateur or professional to enter or play in a competition, then an amateur is allowed to play in such a competition without affecting their amateur status. Amateur status is only affected in such circumstances if the amateur decides to accept a prize not allowed under Rule 3.
    • Playing as a professional in competitions that are not tee-to-hole competitions (such as playing as a professional in a long-drive or putting competition) does not affect amateur status.
  • Employment as a professional at a golf club or a driving range facility.
    • This includes being employed as a head professional, assistant professional or the like at a course, club or other golf facility.
    • However, it does not include other positions and titles that are common within the golf industry. For a list of common positions and titles, see “Guidance on what an Amateur Golfer is Allowed to Do”.
  • Amateur golfer holding membership of any association for professional golfers.
    • This includes holding any category of membership with that association, as well as being an apprentice or associate member of such an association.
    • But this does not include when an amateur golfer:
      • Serves only in an administrative capacity, such as serving on an executive board for that association, or
      • Accepts honorary membership when offered to recognize their past contributions to the game of golf or for a similar reason.
        (Updated February 2024) Guidance on what an Amateur Golfer is Allowed to Do In relation to bullet points 2, 3 and 5 in Rule 2, an amateur golfer is allowed to take the following actions:
  • Playing related actions:
    • Hold membership of a professional tour, provided they do not play as a professional.
    • Take and/or pass a playing ability test.
  • Education related actions:
    • Enrol in or attend a professional golf management program, provided such a program does not require students to hold membership of an association for professional golfers or do anything else that would result in loss of amateur status (such as giving instruction for compensation).
  • Employment related actions and positions:
    • Work as a golf shop or golf club retailer, club fitter, club maker or repair technician.
    • Work as a general manager or director of golf at a course, club or other golf facility.
    • Work as an employee of an equipment manufacturer.
    • Work as a caddie, even when caddying for a professional golfer or on a professional tour.
    • Work as a golf administrator, such as a golf association employee.
Playing as an Amateur in a Competition with Cash Prizes Above Prize Limit Competition organizers have various options in relation to amateur golfers and prize money that they should consider when establishing their terms of the competition. For example, a competition organizer may wish to:
  • Stipulate that players entering as amateur golfers are not eligible to accept prize money (or are only eligible for prize money up to the limit in Rule 3).
  • Require that players entering as amateur golfers declare before the start of the competition (for example, before starting their first round) whether or not they intend to accept any available prize money in excess of the limit should their performance give them that opportunity.
    • But even with this declaration, the amateur may still choose not to accept a prize not allowed by the Rules.
    • Should this occur, the competition organizer can determine how to distribute any prize that is not accepted.
When allowed by a competition organizer, an amateur golfer may play in a competition as an amateur while competing for a cash prize above the prize limit, without losing their amateur status. If they play well enough to win prize money above the prize limit, and decide to accept the prize money at the end of the competition, they would lose their amateur status.