Monday, July 20, 2015

SCOTTISH OPEN PUTTING CHAMPIONSHIP - Member clubs warned over Amateur Status issue

The Ayrshire Golf association are concerned that a putting competition being held in Prestwick in August and offering a cash prize of £1000 could lead to local golfers unwittingly jeopardising their amateur status or even their club membership.

The body administering the putting green on Prestwick esplanade are hosting the Buzzworks Open Putting Competition on 1st and 2nd August and are offering a cash prize of £1000 to the winner.

The Rules Of Amateur Status, under which this event falls, are quite that cash prizes are not permitted in amateur golf and consequently any golfer winning the event and accepting the cash prize may well compromise their amateur status, and lead to them being considered professional golfers.
In effect this would be likely to stop players competing in amateur events, within their club or elsewhere, or having a handicap.

In certain cases, depending on the constitution and rules of their own club in respect of professional golfers, it may even affect their club membership.

Advertising posters for the event carry a note regarding the £1000 cash prize at the foot of the poster, but the size and style of the paragraph is very difficult to read.

The note reads:-

“Unfortunately, under R & A Rules, amateur golfers are prohibited from winning the top prize of £1000 (cash) or they could risk losing their amateur status. For any golfers concerned about this, there is an option to swap the £1000 cash for a £500 voucher for Silverburn Shopping centre & Buzzworks will make a £500 donation to The Ayrshire Hospice. This would comply with R & A rules and would not endanger amateur status. Please note this is optional”.

To comply with the Rules Of Amateur Status, any golfer electing to take part in this event would be required to waive any claim on the cash prize prior to starting in the event.

The Ayrshire Golf Association is concerned that members of our member clubs may take part in this event whilst unaware of the scope of the Rules Of Amateur Status, and as a result of accepting a cash prize, unwittingly compromise their Amateur Status.

Member clubs and other SGU areas have been circulated with this information, to try to ensure that prospective participants are fully aware of the position regarding the acceptance of the headline cash prize and are clear what their options are to ensure compliance with the Rules Of Amateur Status.

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