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Is it time to abandon Amateur and Professional status classifications?

Poll Results: Should we abandon Amateur and Professional status?

 
  • 21% (5)
    Yes
  • 78% (18)
    No
23 Total Votes  
post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 

It seems to me that golf has matured far beyond what the original amateur/professional status rules were designed for. 

Why shouldn't an amateur be able to accept prizemoney in Tournament (obviously no hcp ie off the stick)?

Why shouldn't a "Pro" be able to have a hcp and play in amateur events?

Is it time for the governing bodies of the game to have a rethink?

 

Discuss

post #2 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pave View Post
 

It seems to me that golf has matured far beyond what the original amateur/professional status rules were designed for. 

Why shouldn't an amateur be able to accept prizemoney in Tournament (obviously no hcp ie off the stick)?

Why shouldn't a "Pro" be able to have a hcp and play in amateur events?

Is it time for the governing bodies of the game to have a rethink?

 

Discuss

 

Tell us what's in it for the skilled amateur player who works from 9 to 5 and hits balls during the evening and gets to play at weekends? He gets to compete on an un-level playing field with the professional ... bet he can't wait for that opportunity.

 

And, you, the pro, wants to play for the amateurs' cheesy trophies?

post #3 of 36

No.

 

Should an am be able to accept prize money? No. They can accept up to $750. Good enough.

 

A pro can have a handicap. It's not commonly done, but nothing says pros have to play at scratch.

post #4 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville View Post
 

 

Tell us what's in it for the skilled amateur player who works from 9 to 5 and hits balls during the evening and gets to play at weekends? He gets to compete on an un-level playing field with the professional ... bet he can't wait for that opportunity.

 

And, you, the pro, wants to play for the amateurs' cheesy trophies?

?????? Who said I want to do that? Oh and by the way, that's what hcps are for- to level the playing field.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

No.

 

Should an am be able to accept prize money? No. They can accept up to $750. Good enough.

 

A pro can have a handicap. It's not commonly done, but nothing says pros have to play at scratch.

A pro can't have a recognised hcp. 

 

Erik, are you a member of the US PGA?

post #5 of 36

I can't think of a good reason why it should change.

 

I don't know what kinds of amateur tournaments a pro would like to enter but I wouldn't want to see them in something like the State Am taking wins away from college kids and people with regular jobs.

post #6 of 36
Good God, NO!
post #7 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pave View Post
 

A pro can't have a recognised hcp. 

 

I don't see anything that says I can't have a recognized handicap if I want.

 

http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Handicap-System-Manual/Handicap-Manual/

http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Handicap-System-Manual/Rule-03/

 

The word "amateur" doesn't even appear on the page (not counting the menus).

 

Pros typically don't have handicaps… but nothing's stopping them from having one. I followed a link earlier today that showed the handicaps of several PGA Tour pros. Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, etc. They post scores when they play Whisper Rock or wherever, and you can get their handicap.

 

If I played enough golf I could easily enter my scores just like anyone else, and GHIN would give me a handicap card just like anyone else.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pave View Post
 

Erik, are you a member of the US PGA?

 

Yeah.

post #8 of 36
Thread Starter 

I think you'll find the reason why you won't find anything is because the USGA is the governing body for the amateurs, so I guess it is assumed it applies to amateurs.

 

The R&A is the governing body where I'm from: http://www.randa.org/en/Playing-Golf/Handicapping.aspx

post #9 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pave View Post
 

I think you'll find the reason why you won't find anything is because the USGA is the governing body for the amateurs, so I guess it is assumed it applies to amateurs.

 

The USGA is the governing body for all of GOLF in the U.S. and Mexico. The PGA Tour, PGA section events, etc. follow USGA rules. We don't have different rules for professionals. The USGA is the governing body for golf.

 

Ditto the R&A outside the U.S. and Mexico. Makes no sense to me why they would limit handicaps to amateurs only, but I imagine you're aware that most of the members here are from the U.S.

post #10 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pave View Post
 

I think you'll find the reason why you won't find anything is because the USGA is the governing body for the amateurs, so I guess it is assumed it applies to amateurs.

 

The USGA is the governing body for all of GOLF in the U.S. and Mexico. The PGA Tour, PGA section events, etc. follow USGA rules. We don't have different rules for professionals. The USGA is the governing body for golf.

 

Ditto the R&A outside the U.S. and Mexico. Makes no sense to me why they would limit handicaps to amateurs only, but I imagine you're aware that most of the members here are from the U.S.

 

Perhaps he wishes to play against his members for credits in his Pro Shop. :doh:

post #11 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pave View Post

I think you'll find the reason why you won't find anything is because the USGA is the governing body for the amateurs, so I guess it is assumed it applies to amateurs.

I think the majority of the U.S. Open field would be shocked to hear this, as would whatever fraction of guys on TOUR need a new putter in 20 months or so. a2_wink.gif

I see where the confusion comes from though.

Many big national amateur golf events in the U.S. are run by the USGA, and all (even those that aren't run by them) are under USGA rules.

Worth noting: USGA and NCAA have different rules of amateur status for golfers.

By the way, even if the USGA official handicap system did limit itself to amateurs, it's easy enough to compute a handicap from the 20 most recent rounds (or at least approximate it, if they're in a tournament or at Augusta). TST ran an article about this a little over seven years ago, showing just how dominant Tiger was at the time (among other things).
post #12 of 36

I voted no.  I think it is important to still have an amateur level of the sport.

post #13 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pave View Post
 

It seems to me that golf has matured far beyond what the original amateur/professional status rules were designed for. 

Why shouldn't an amateur be able to accept prizemoney in Tournament (obviously no hcp ie off the stick)?

Why shouldn't a "Pro" be able to have a hcp and play in amateur events?

Is it time for the governing bodies of the game to have a rethink?

 

Discuss

 

 

A resounding NO from me too.  No amateur I know wants to be competing in a club tournament against all of the local pros.  Handicaps are a necessity for the game, but they are a less than perfect leveling tool.  The wider the disparity in handicap, the less perfect they become.  I have no issue with pros carrying a handicap, nor with them playing in their own division in a tournament, but I draw the line at competing against them for the same purse.  With a properly run amateur tournament, the bragging rights for winning or placing high is at least as important as whatever little prize might be associated with such success, but I don't want that token gift card or whatever it may be going to someone who makes golf his career.  There are plenty of tournaments where local (and not so local) pros are welcomed, and where they compete straight up against each other.  The pros at my home course play in several each year.  

 

In the US, a pro can apply to the USGA to leave the professional ranks and have his amateur status reinstated.  If he wants to compete in my Men's Club, then that's what he's going to have to do.  We are an amateur tournament club, chartered by the Colorado Golf Association, which like many state associations is an associate member of the USGA.  We play USGA Rules, we maintain our members' handicaps under the USGA GHIN system, and we adhere to the USGA requirements for amateurs.  That's how we like it and if that should change the way you want to do it, I'd probably quit playing competition golf.

post #14 of 36

It seems that golf is the only major sport that differentiates between amateurs and professionals. 

post #15 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post

It seems that golf is the only major sport that differentiates between amateurs and professionals. 

It's the only one that has any reason to.
post #16 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamo View Post

It's the only one that has any reason to.

I can only imagine what a pro-am would look like with the NFL.
post #17 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamo View Post


It's the only one that has any reason to.


^^^ :beer: 

 

Yeah it's not like we can "enter" an NFL, MLB, or NBA game so that pretty much takes care of itself...and keeps us from getting killed. :-D 

 

Although the local banker playing middle linebacker, ducking 100mph fastballs or drawing a charge against Labron James might be good entertainment.

post #18 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamo View Post


It's the only one that has any reason to.

What's special about golf that doesn't apply to tennis, soccer or rugby?

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