Thursday, 4 December 2008

R&A / USGA - the only Difference in the Rules


What is the only issue in the Rules of Golf 2008-2011 that the R&A and USGA have not yet agreed upon?


The R&A is the governing body for the Rules of Golf and the Rules of Amateur Status in all parts of the golfing world, except the United States and Mexico, which are governed by the USGA. The R&A and USGA agreed on the first uniform issue of the Rules of Golf worldwide back in 1952, the same year that the stymie was abolished. There were still some differences in the Appendices, relating to equipment and Local Rules, but in 2000 these were also harmonised.

However, apart from some obvious spelling variations (there are lots of ‘z’s in the USGA version!), and a few additional entries in the USGA 'Decisions on the Rules of Golf', there is one remaining difference where the two authorities still cannot reach agreement. For those country organisations that are affiliated to the R&A the maximum prize for a hole-in-one is £500 / $750, or the equivalent, in addition to any other prize that also has a maximum value of £500 / $750. But the USGA now allows an amateur golfer to accept a prize of any value for a hole-in-one made while playing golf.

This is referenced in the last question, answer, reference and explanation in my forthcoming book, ‘999 Questions on the Rules of Golf’;
Q.999.
What is the maximum retail value of a prize that an amateur golfer is permitted to accept, other than for a hole-in-one?
A) £500 / $750, or the equivalent.
B) £1,000 / $1,500, or the equivalent.
C) £2,000 / $3,000, or the equivalent.
D) £5,000 / $7,500, or the equivalent.
Answer: A) £500 / $750, or the equivalent. Rules of Amateur Status 3-2a.
Note: For those country organisations that are affiliated to the R&A the maximum prize for a hole-in-one is also £500 / $750, or the equivalent, in addition to any other prize. But the USGA, the governing body for USA and Mexico, now allows an amateur golfer to accept a prize of any value for a hole-in-one made while playing golf. The hole-in-one issue remains the sole case where the two organisations have not reached agreement.
This has never been an issue for me as I am still waiting for my first hole-in-one!

Barry

© Barry Rhodes, 2008 –Please contact me if you would like to use this original content for any purposes.

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