The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (the “R&A”), after its customary consultative process, has decided to amend Rule 2-3 (Professionalism: Professional Tournament Players) with effect from 1st September 2002.
The current method of interpreting Rule 2-3, whereby an amateur golfer may compete in a pre-qualifying event without losing their amateur Status, but not a final or sole qualifying competition for a professional tour, was introduced 10 years ago. While this Rule has generally worked well over the years for both the amateur and professional games, in recent years there has been increasing support for some relaxation of the Rule.
Therefore, with effect from 1st September 2002, it has been decided that an amateur golfer, without loss of Amateur Status, may compete in any qualifying competition for a professional tour, provided that in advance of play and in writing, the golfer waives their right to any prize money in the competition.
Commenting on the new Rule, David Rickman, Rules Secretary of the R&A said: “The new Rule has been developed in conjunction with the R&A’s affiliated unions and the main professional tours from around the world. It seeks to create a fairer and more reasonable transition point from the amateur game to the professional game, which works internationally and is to the betterment of the game as a whole.”
The wording of the new Rule is as follows
Rules Of Amateur Status
Amended Rule 2 Professionalism
An Amateur golfer must not take any action for the purpose of becoming a Professional golfer, including entering into an agreement, written or oral, with a sponsor or Professional agent.
Exception: Applying unsuccessfully for the position of an Assistant Professional.
Note: An Amateur golfer may enquire as to his likely prospects as a Professional and he may work in a Professional’s shop and receive a salary, provided he does not infringe the Rules in any other way.
2-2. Professional Golfers’ Associations
An Amateur golfer must not hold or retain membership of any Professional Golfers’ Association.
2-3. Professional Tournament Players
An Amateur golfer must not hold or retain membership of a Professional Tour.
Note: If an Amateur golfer must compete in one or more qualifying competitions in order to be eligible for membership of a Professional Tour, he may enter and play in such qualifying competitions without forfeiting his Amateur Status, provided, in advance of play and in writing, he waives his right to any prize money in the competition.
The changes to the Rules are underlined
For further information contact: Julie Wade, Assistant Secretary (Rules), The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, Tel: 01334-460000