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Rules of Golf and Amateur Status

The founding principle of the EGA is the observance of the Rules of Golf and the Rules of Amateur Status as laid down by The R&A Limited.


The Rules of Golf

Since 1952, The R&A and USGA have worked closely to produce the Rules of Golf, which are written and revised every four years with the goal to make them easier to understand and apply.

The Rules of Golf cover all aspects of the game, including e.g. the main principles of play, regulations and procedures, definitions and terminology, equipment parameters and the etiquette.

Two EGA representatives sit on the committee charged with revising, modernizing and improving the Rules of Golf. 

To consult The R&A's Rules of Golf and additional documentation please click here.


The Rules of Golf - Changes 2023

On Monday 7th November 2022, The R&A and the USGA announced some changes to the Rules of Golf. These new Rules are effective from January 1st, 2023 and continue the modernisation process of the Rules of Golf with an emphasis on inclusion and sustainability.

Key changes include:

  • Modifications for Players with Disabilities: The modifications to the Rules for players with disabilities have been included in the new Rules and are in effect for all players who fall under the categories covered in Rule 25.
  • Handicap usage in Strokeplay: Following the adoption of the World Handicap System, players are no longer required to show their handicap on their scorecard in stroke play. The Committee is responsible for calculating the player's handicap strokes for the competition and using that to calculate the player's net score. 
  • Club Damaged during a round: A player can replace a club that is damaged during a round, provided that player did not damage it through abuse.
  • Ball moved by Natural Forces: A new exception provides that a ball at rest must be replaced if it moves to another area of the course or comes to rest out of bounds after being dropped, placed or replaced.
  • Back-on-the-line Relief Procedure: The procedure is simplified so that the player now drops their ball on the line, and the ball must come to rest within one club-length of where it first touched the ground when dropped.

To find out more about these changes please click here.

The governing bodies also promote digital and mobile app accesses to the Rules of Golf. Players and administrators are encouraged to consult the Rules of Golf App.


The Rules of Amateur Status

The Rules of Amateur Status reaffirm the important position of golf's amateur game. The Rules acknowledge the purpose and value of maintaining specific Amateur Status Rules and define who is eligible to compete as an amateur golfer.

Golf's latest Rules of Amateur Status were released by The R&A and the USGA with effect on 1 Januray 2022. These Rules follow a thorough consultation procedure and are the result of a modernisation initiative to align with today's global amateur game.

The Rules of Amateur Status ensure that the integrity of the game is protected by limiting the form and value of prizes an amateur golfer can accept. The Rules continue to make a clear distinction between amateur and professional golf but removed many restrictions that previously applied to amateur golfers. Following adjustments in 2022, amateur golfers are now able to:

  • Accept a prize (including prize money) up to a limit of £700 in value, per competition, unless the national governing body has set a lower limit.
  • Accept sponsorships (without limits)
  • Accept assistance with expenses related to playing (without limits)
  • Accept compensation for giving one-way instruction online or in writing
  • Accept prizes (without limits) in golf competitions that are not “tee to hole” (i.e. putting or long drive contests)

The changes also allow for a shorter minimum period for Amateur reinstatement.

To find out more about about The Amateur Status Rules and the reinstatement procedure, please click here.