Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Did YOU know that in America amateurs
can win cash as a hole-in-one prize?

When the US Duramed Futures Tour announced that a Norwegian AMATEUR, Benedikte Grovtvedt, had won $500 for a hole in one at their weekend tournament, I thought it had to be a mistake. I amended the Futures Tour Press Release published on to read that she had received a $500 voucher.
At the same time I sent off an E-mail to the organisers of the Futures Tour, pointing out their "mistake."
When the Futures Tour Newsletter on Monday repeated the statement that the Norwegian amateur had received $500 in cash for her hole in one, I fired off another E-mail across the Atlantic to the Futures Tour people, pointing out that in no circumstances can amateurs be given money as a prize.
Back came the following E-mail message:

"Colin, Under the USGA rules, she was eligible to receive cash prizes up to $750 for a hole in one. Our director of tournament operations, Christy Barks looked it up before declaring her a winner of the money."

So, hastily eating a large slice of humble pie, I had to admit that I was not aware that the Rules of Amateur Status as far as hole in one prizes are concerned are different in the States.
I apologised to the Futures Tour for showing my ignorance of that fact.

Reader Alasdair J Malcom has come up with another answer to my original question:

Reference your poser regarding the accepting of prize money by amateurs.
I think I am right in saying that an amateur can compete in an event where there are cash prizes for professionals as long as the amateur nominates, prior to taking part, a charity to which any prize money gained by him will go, and complying with this would not affect the player's amateur status.
Alasdair J. Malcolm

Rules expert Gillian Kirkwood confirms this:
Yes. It's Decision 3-1/6.


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Can an amateur ever accept a cash prize?

Here's a question to include in your next Club Rules of Golf Quiz:
"Can there ever be a situation where an amateur golfer may accept a cash prize in a tournament?"
Think about it. Like me, your instinctive answer is likely to be: "Certainly not!"
But, as I discovered, much to my embarrassment within the past 24 hours, the answer is "Yes" ... under certain circumstances.
If you know when and where these 'certain circumstances' apply, E-mail your answer to
Otherwise, I will give you the definitive answer on Wednesday morning.