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.
The reason WHY is that the rule exist mainly because they don't want teachers to compete against their students. But then again why shouldn't they be able to?
* Are teaching PROs self evident better players than their students? --> NO!
* Will the skill level of a teaching PRO improve, the minute he/she starts charging money for his/her lessons? --> NO!
* Are amateurs not willing to compete against their own teaching PRO, or are they afraid of it? --> I don't know the general opinion, but I would like to be able to compete against mine.
* Does a teaching PRO have an unfair advantage against his/her students? --> NO! Or maybe. A teaching PRO probably has more knowledge about what they are able/allowed to do during a round, according to the rules of the game. But that knowledge is accessable to the average amateur also, so it's not an unfair advantage.
To sum it up, I'd say that the reason WHY teaching PROs should be able to compete against amateurs is: WHY NOT?
How to police and determine which category a teaching professional should be in? That could be done in many different ways. Just as they can regulate other rules of the game. I should probably let someone from the USGA determine that, but I can give a couple of suggestions:
* It could be determined by the handicap of the teaching PRO.
* It could be determined by the teaching level of the teaching PRO. Either by the level of the players he/she teaches, or by the level of degree that a PGA teaching PRO has.
* Or they could just state that: all teaching PROs are allowed to compete in amateur events. As long as they have not competed at a professional level as a player.
How big of a problem is this really to teaching professionals? Since I'm not a teaching PRO myself I can't answer that question. But it seemes like it is a problem for the person who started this thread. And I think that it can be a problem for the game itself.
If teaching PROs can't compete at an amateur level it might discourage people from becoming teaching PROs. Collage students can't make some extra money teaching small kids about the game if they still want to keep their amateur status. This renders in fewer teaching PROs which could mean some serious consequences. For example: less new players due to lack of teachers able to grant them a green card. Higher prices for lessons due to lack of an competitive market. --> Leading to fewer players who can afford to improve their game by taking lessons from a teaching PRO etc.
Maybe I'm taking it to far, but it's not totally irrelevant I think.
No that I've answered your questions, would you be so kind and answer some of mine. What's the reason WHY teaching PROs shouldn't be allowed to compete at amateur level? (aside from it being stated in the rule book) What positive effecs do we get from it? And what negative effects would occur if we changed the rule?
Sorry for the lengthy reply...