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Time for USGA to Rethink Amateur Status Rules - Page 2

post #19 of 54

In South Africa, "professional tour players" are permitted to play with amateurs in club competitions only -- at the invitation of the organizing committee -- off a uniform handicap of +6. "Club professionals" are allowed to carry a regular handicap at their home course and play off this in competition at that club or at other clubs -- again at the invitation of the organizing committee. Obviously neither can compete in regional or national amateur events. The reasoning behind this is that it is part of the duty of a club pro to play golf with members.

 

Erik, I'm interested where fitters might fall on the bright line test? I've yet to have a proper club fitting where the fitter didn't also dispense some swing advice. My last one included a SAM Puttlab analysis and, basically, a putting lesson -- but I was ultimately invoiced for the club not the instruction. Is that guy a pro?*

 

(* Rhetorical question because I know he plays as a plus-handicap competitive amateur. Should he be a pro, I guess?)

post #20 of 54

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretch View Post

Erik, I'm interested where fitters might fall on the bright line test? I've yet to have a proper club fitting where the fitter didn't also dispense some swing advice. My last one included a SAM Puttlab analysis and, basically, a putting lesson -- but I was ultimately invoiced for the club not the instruction. Is that guy a pro?*

 

(* Rhetorical question because I know he plays as a plus-handicap competitive amateur. Should he be a pro, I guess?)

 

Your buddies probably give you swing advice too. Doesn't make them pros, right? The rules say you have to be PAID for your swing advice.


The line is blurrier for your SAM PuttLab stuff. That would be, in my book, a lesson, not just a fitting. But he likely "gets away with it" because he only invoices you for the fitting. I wouldn't be comfortable doing that myself.

 

If he's that good an amateur player he should be very careful of that line.

post #21 of 54

I paid Erik with a steak dinner last time I saw him.  He won't get rich but, he won't starve either. 

post #22 of 54

Lucky I bought the putter, then! a2_wink.gif

 

This is getting off topic, but it does get tricky when there are unclear degrees of separation. Another edge case I can think of from experience: A launch monitor rental business that brings doppler radars to the warmup areas at big corporate golf days. Guys can choose to have a few hits on the box before they tee off and then come home to an emailed breakdown of their numbers along with some basic recommendations about their swing (say, tee it more forward) and equipment (usually, you need more loft). This is paid for by the scramble organizers, not the individual golfers involved. Where does this leave the guy who does the rentals, assuming he's also producing the generic advice?  

post #23 of 54

Would launch monitor data be considered more like "information" instead of advice if all he's talking about are launch conditions and carry yardages?  

post #24 of 54

Don't know.

 

"Sir, your angle of attack is too negative."

 

"OK, how do I shallow it out?"

"I'm sorry, I'm not allowed to tell you that."

 

a1_smile.gif

post #25 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretch View Post

Don't know.

 

"Sir, your angle of attack is too negative."

 

"OK, how do I shallow it out?"

"I'm sorry, I'm not allowed to tell you that."

 

a1_smile.gif

 

I think you, since we're talking about you, are still fine. You're being paid to provide the services of the launch monitor. You're giving advice for free. :)

 

You could partner with a local pro who knows what he's doing and give them an analysis that way, but I imagine that'd make your margins pretty thin. Or you could assemble a list of tips from a local pro for the most common flaws, and simply match those to the people who need them. :)

 

For me, it'd probably depend on how in-depth your analysis gets.

post #26 of 54

Very similar to how I declared my pro status.  

 

 

 

Playing and getting paid, teaching and getting paid, makes you a pro.  It would be too complicated to try and have different designations for guys that teach and play, manage the pro shop and play, just play, just teach, etc.  I would love it if I could teach and still play in Member/Guest tournaments with my buddies or Member/Member stuff with my Dad but I knew the rules going in.  I do think it's a little silly, it's not like my playing ability changed the day I started making money.   

post #27 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post

 

Playing and getting paid, teaching and getting paid, makes you a pro.  It would be too complicated to try and have different designations for guys that teach and play, manage the pro shop and play, just play, just teach, etc.  I would love it if I could teach and still play in Member/Guest tournaments with my buddies or Member/Member stuff with my Dad but I knew the rules going in.  I do think it's a little silly, it's not like my playing ability changed the day I started making money.   

 

Many clubs will still let you do that, of course. You might have to play off +2 or scratch or something, but you can always ask. :)

post #28 of 54
If Pros are really that concerned about playing in AM events, find a new job. The point that some AM players are better than club pros is invalid to me. They have made the decision, whether financially or not, that they don't want to teach or be a pro. They have made a choice that keeping the status as an AM is more important and every pro had the same choice.
post #29 of 54
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

 

No, but they make their living from the game, and in doing so give up the right to compete against amateurs.

 

There are some lousy playing golf pros out there, no doubt.

 

Does that mean greenkeepers golf shop clerks and such also should be classified as golf PRO:s? Since they also make their living from the game... And sure you can say that they don't make their living from the game according to the rules. But maybe the rules are "wrong" or at least shold be redefined, that's what the thread is about.

 

I totaly agree that there should be a difference between a playing PRO and a teaching PRO. They teach the game for a living, they don't play it for a living. Should we start calling teachers at NASA for austronaunts, even though they have never been to space?

 

Simple as that...

post #30 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweDeuS View Post

Does that mean greenkeepers golf shop clerks and such also should be classified as golf PRO:s?

 

If they've declared themselves as pros, yes. But they are not pros. They make their living via retail and tending grass. I may have been unclear before, but by "making your living from the game" I meant in the way the USGA currently says makes you a "pro." I see nothing wrong with their current definition and rules.

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by SweDeuS View Post

And sure you can say that they don't make their living from the game according to the rules. But maybe the rules are "wrong" or at least shold be redefined, that's what the thread is about.

 

But that's the point - those people aren't pros under the rules so why would the rules need to be changed?

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by SweDeuS View Post

I totaly agree that there should be a difference between a playing PRO and a teaching PRO. They teach the game for a living, they don't play it for a living. Should we start calling teachers at NASA for austronaunts, even though they have never been to space?

 

At the end of the day, this is the statement with which I disagree. You disagree with me, but I've yet to see a good reason WHY. And as part of that, answer the question of "how do you police them and determine which category a teaching professional should be in?" and then answer the question: "how big of a problem is this really to teaching professionals?"

 

So answer those questions, if you could.

post #31 of 54

Just a Question. If Johnny Golfer who is not a member of the PGA Starts helping his buddies with their swings and they improve. The send him some friends and he starts charging is he now a Pro and so can not compete in amateur events?  What if he give swing advice  on line for a fee?

post #32 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SweDeuS View Post

I totaly agree that there should be a difference between a playing PRO and a teaching PRO. They teach the game for a living, they don't play it for a living. Should we start calling teachers at NASA for austronaunts, even though they have never been to space?

 

At the end of the day, this is the statement with which I disagree. You disagree with me, but I've yet to see a good reason WHY. And as part of that, answer the question of "how do you police them and determine which category a teaching professional should be in?" and then answer the question: "how big of a problem is this really to teaching professionals?"

 

So answer those questions, if you could.

 

Should a Little League coach be classified as a professional baseball player?  A Pop Warner coach a pro football player?  Why is golf so rigid in it's inclusion of teachers with players?

post #33 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

Should a Little League coach be classified as a professional baseball player?  A Pop Warner coach a pro football player?  Why is golf so rigid in it's inclusion of teachers with players?

They can coach but that doesn't mean they get to suit up and play first base in the little league world series. 

post #34 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanuckAaron View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

Should a Little League coach be classified as a professional baseball player?  A Pop Warner coach a pro football player?  Why is golf so rigid in it's inclusion of teachers with players?

They can coach but that doesn't mean they get to suit up and play first base in the little league world series. 

 

That argument is meaningless.  Butch Harmon isn't going to tee it up with Tiger woods either.

post #35 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

..."how do you police them and determine which category a teaching professional should be in?" and then answer the question: "how big of a problem is this really to teaching professionals?"

 

So answer those questions, if you could.

 

disclaimer: the following is "noob" input.

 

the first thought that comes to mind in policing them would be through their handicap. What's wrong with saying something like "if you have a + handicap and are categorized as a 'teaching pro' then you lose amateur status." ?

 

as to the 2nd question, it would be difficult to answer that even if there were a perfect answer to the first (without some sort of survey in place). But obviously, its at least an issue to the OP.

 

That said, I'm indifferent to the consequences of being a teaching pro. I've recently been receiving free instruction from a young guy working a nearby driving range, who's in training to be a PGA teaching pro. Obviously he knows the rules and has weighed the pros/cons well enough to abide by them and not charge me until he's officially certified. I would expect that to be the case for the majority of teaching pros out there as well.

post #36 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

That argument is meaningless.  Butch Harmon isn't going to tee it up with Tiger woods either.

  The original discussion is about teaching pros playing with amateurs, you put forward the argument that little league coaches are not considered professional baseball players. My point was that your argument is moot since little league coaches are not going to play with the same players they coach, i.e. professional golfers cannot play against the amateurs they coach. The argument was yours, not mine. 

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