The Rules of Amateur Status appear on the About.com Golf site courtesy of the USGA, are used with permission, and may not be reprinted without the permission of the USGA.
All defined terms are in italics and are listed alphabetically in the Definitions section.
3-1. Playing for Prize Money
An amateur golfer must not play golf for prize money or its equivalent in a match, competition or exhibition.
However, an amateur golfer may participate in a golf match, competition or exhibition where prize money or its equivalent is offered, provided that prior to participation he waives his right to accept prize money in that event.
Exception: Where prize money is offered for a hole-in-one made while playing a round of golf, an amateur golfer is not required to waive his right to accept that prize money prior to participation (see Rule 3-2b).
(Conduct contrary to the purpose of the Rules – see Rule 7-2)
(Policy on gambling – see Appendix)
3-2. Prize Limits
• a. General
An amateur golfer must not accept a prize (other than a symbolic prize) or prize voucher of retail value in excess of $750 or the equivalent, or such a lesser figure as may be decided by the Governing Body. This limit applies to the total prizes or prize vouchers received by an amateur golfer in any one competition or series of competitions.
Exception: Hole-in-one prizes – see Rule 3-2b.
Note 1: The prize limits apply to any form of golf competition, whether on a golf course, driving range or golf simulator, including nearest the hole and longest drive competitions.
Note 2: The responsibility to prove the retail value of a particular prize rests with the Committee in charge of the competition.
Note 3: It is recommended that the total value of prizes in a gross competition, or each division of a handicap competition, should not exceed twice the prescribed limit in an 18-hole competition, three times in a 36-hole competition, five times in a 54-hole competition and six times in a 72-hole competition.
• b. Hole-in-One Prizes
An amateur golfer may accept a prize in excess of the limit in Rule 3-2a, including a cash prize, for a hole-in-one made while playing a round of golf.
Note: The hole-in-one must be made during a round of golf and be incidental to that round. Separate multiple-entry contests, contests conducted other than on a golf course (e.g., on a driving range or golf simulator) and putting contests do not qualify under this provision and are subject to the restrictions and limits in Rules 3-1 and 3-2a.
• a. General
An amateur golfer must not accept a testimonial award of retail value in excess of the limits prescribed in Rule 3-2.
• b. Multiple Awards
An amateur golfer may accept more than one testimonial award from different donors, even though their total retail value exceeds the prescribed limit, provided they are not presented so as to evade the limit for a single award.
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