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Can "amateurs" by USGA/R&A definition teach for money?


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20 hours ago, golferdude54 said:

Why is this even a thing in golf, that one should have to be declared a "pro" to be able to give lessons and such for a living? This sort of thing never exists in other sports, it feels sort of backwards when you think about it.

 

One should be able to compete in tournaments purely for fun and no money and still be able to make money off teaching if they so desire. Out of all the rules that advanced golf to today, why do we still have this 19th century rule?

Actually, a bit of history here? It isn't a "19th century" rule, the dispute stems from the 1960s. 

 

The PGA of America started in 1916 (by Rodman Wanamaker - hence the PGA Championship trophy to this day being named "the Wanamaker trophy").  With the intention of "promoting interest in professional golf, elevating the standards of the game, and advancing the welfare of its members." At the time virtually no one actually made a living playing golf. As the years passed, by far the greatest number of those that did make a living playing the game were club pros - the guys that ran courses and gave lessons. What tournaments there were had very small purses. 

 

Starting around the 1940s - 50s, a sort of "circuit" started developing. A bifurcation started to begin developing between the club pros and the "touring pros" - the small number of people that were starting to try to make a living almost solely by playing tournaments. At first there was just a small branch of the PGA of America - run by "the Tournament Committee" - that started being responsible for governance. But tension between the club pros and touring pros started building in the 1960s. It became a massive dispute (brought to a head in 1966 by a tournament involving - of all people - Frank Sinatra). It sort of crystallized the difference between what had become two entirely different "kinds" of golf pros. 

 

In the 1960s, as golf started appearing on TV and media contracts started leading to serious money (serious for the time), that tension started building. The tournament pros wanted a bigger  slice of the money, but the PGA of America wanted the TV contract money to go into the general fund.

 

It was in 1968 that the touring pros finally decided to break away from the PGAoA and form their own organization - the thinking being (as Deane Beaman said at the time) "“There were 200 players playing for their life on The Circuit, intertwined with 6,000 club pros with steady jobs, and the needs of those two groups no longer aligned.” Or, as SI put it, "Discord broiled through the end of 1966 and into early 1967. Touring pros chafed at the binds imposed by the “sweater folders,” while club pros grew weary of the “prima donnas” who teed it up on TV."

 

Won't bore everyone with the rest of the convoluted history - but (with massive dispute) the touring pros formally separated in 1968 (at first to form the APG - American Professional Golfers - which ultimately became today's PGA Tour.) 

 

It is important to note, however, that both organizations considered (and still consider) themselves to be composed of "professional" golfers ... i.e., people that (and this, IMO is the fundamental distinction) do golf for a living. To me, that is the difference, the dividing line, between me (and most of the rest of us "amateurs" - even if we are scratch), and professionals. 

 

Yes, the USGA RoG often lag, and could probably use some updating. I'm currently fascinated, for instance, with some of the new YouTube "influencers". There's two or three dozen of them that have never played in a PGAT/KF (or even minor) pro event, and do not have formal PGAoA teaching credentials, but nonetheless can be said to "do golf for a living". Grace Charis has, like, 7 million YT followers. Is on OnlyFans (for goodness sake). Net worth around $2MM. And probably unlikely to ever be good enough to actually play on the LPGAT. This ain't anything close to Nelly, or the Lyds, but she certainly is making (a lot) of money as a golfer. Should she be considered an "amateur" or a "pro"? (Note - she only started playing during Covid - I think she might be single digit cap right now, but is no where near even the bottom of the LPGAT - but still making far more money than most of them. 

 

Anyway, fun thread. Apologies for a bit of dull history - just trying to set a context for the current discussion. 

 

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13 hours ago, Hawkeye77 said:

So you are unfamiliar with the PGA of America?

A lot of folks here do not get the larger context of the various golf organizations - what the differences (and complex interactions) are between the USGA, PGAoA, PGAT governance (and politics) are about. No, he does not. 

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3 hours ago, johnrobison said:

Professional certifications and licenses are primarily a way to raise the drawbridge and remove competition in the field. Just because you don't think someone should be trying to teach something, doesn't mean they shouldn't have the right to try if they want to.

Yes - professional certifications exist in numerous fields. And in every field there are those who argue that their purpose is to erect "barriers to entry", solely for the fiduciary benefits of the governing organizations.

 

I could name dozens of examples. You need to pass your State's Bar to practice law. There are requirements to join the electricians or carpenter's union. And it gets down to what many would consider trivial levels - in the US, to legally be a hairdresser or masseuse you need to have had a few months of training, and be formally licensed. 

 

Now, can you get legal advice from a guy that never passed the Bar? Have your house wired by a guy that says he "knows wiring stuff"? Get your hair cut by your next door neighbor (that "does her kid's hair"), or a massage by someone that does "outcalls"? Totally! And, in truth, some of them might do a completely adequate, even superlative job. 

 

But, what those certifying bodies, and those certifications do, is remove a lot of risk in choices. Could a non-union guy wire my house (more cheaply)? Maybe. Do I want to risk it? No. Could my next door neighbor give me a decent haircut? Maybe. And after all, "it'll always grow out" 🤣". Could a golf pro that is just "good at golf" give me a great lesson? Totally! But if I'm a newbie, with no clue how to even understand the criteria needed to discern between good and terrible teachers, yeah, I'd be far better off going with a PGA of America teaching pro. 

 

Maybe it is because I'm just getting old, but do not discount the effort it takes the people that "go through the motions" to get themselves qualified and "certified" in any field.  Including golf. 

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There have been eh applications of the RoG taking away amateur status. In the past people losing Am status over a single tournament prize was out of sorts, but it was at least rooted in keeping golfers good enough to hustle high dollar prizes across the state and focus an outsized amount of time on the game from competing with regular Ams. That in itself is a bit silly given that the normal winners of the highest Am tourneys are high school, college, and early post-college players who... are free to focus an outsized amount of time on the game in comparison to most others.

 

Golf is gonna golf, and as long as ruling bodies presiding over events feel anyone getting paid to teach should be a pro, they're going to be a pro. Either sway the old money from that opinion or sway enough event hosts to see things differently. Golf wins on some traditions and loses on others, but I'm not sure this one is of huge concern.

 

I do agree with Bob's hinting above that lines may need to be clarified given how much money some are making by participating in the game and clearly earning a living at it even if they aren't teaching. Still, should a YouTuber who earns their living getting others to watch them learn the game be forced to play as a pro when someone else is learning on their millionaire parents' dime and getting access to similar advantages but allowed to stay an Am? The powers that be will have to sort that all out.

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seems simple to me. if someone has monetized videos that include instruction on youtube, they are no longer an amateur.

 

having monetized videos of bros being bros or no bras playing golf with no instruction doesn’t make them a golf professional.

 

there are videos of 15 handicaps playing nine holes that get thousands of views. that’s just the kardashianization effect from the ever growing slack-jawed portion of society. 😉

 

and just because someone is a pga member doesn’t mean they are a good instructor any more than being a member of the bar makes someone a good lawyer.

 

 

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10 hours ago, iacas said:

 

It's an irrelevant question: they're a golf professional. They're no longer "in golf" "for the love of the game" entirely (or mostly). They're in it for money. It's their profession.

 

Professional golfers and golf professionals are both using golf for their profession. Almost the opposite of amateur.

It can be a fuzzy line.  My understanding is that you can teach course management for money and still be an amateur.  If you give just one swing lesson for money, technically, you're no longer an amateur but it's not your profession.  I find the rules a bit too strict but it harkens to back to olden times where for the love of the game was the creed and that has a certain quaintness about it.  People were wanting Tony Romo to lose his amateur status because he was advertising for Skecher golf shoes..  

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10 hours ago, bobfoster said:

Yes - professional certifications exist in numerous fields. And in every field there are those who argue that their purpose is to erect "barriers to entry", solely for the fiduciary benefits of the governing organizations.

 

I could name dozens of examples. You need to pass your State's Bar to practice law. There are requirements to join the electricians or carpenter's union. And it gets down to what many would consider trivial levels - in the US, to legally be a hairdresser or masseuse you need to have had a few months of training, and be formally licensed. 

 

Now, can you get legal advice from a guy that never passed the Bar? Have your house wired by a guy that says he "knows wiring stuff"? Get your hair cut by your next door neighbor (that "does her kid's hair"), or a massage by someone that does "outcalls"? Totally! And, in truth, some of them might do a completely adequate, even superlative job. 

 

But, what those certifying bodies, and those certifications do, is remove a lot of risk in choices. Could a non-union guy wire my house (more cheaply)? Maybe. Do I want to risk it? No. Could my next door neighbor give me a decent haircut? Maybe. And after all, "it'll always grow out" 🤣". Could a golf pro that is just "good at golf" give me a great lesson? Totally! But if I'm a newbie, with no clue how to even understand the criteria needed to discern between good and terrible teachers, yeah, I'd be far better off going with a PGA of America teaching pro. 

 

Maybe it is because I'm just getting old, but do not discount the effort it takes the people that "go through the motions" to get themselves qualified and "certified" in any field.  Including golf. 

Certification doesn't remove any risk. Certification is only as good as the bodies willingness to remove certification and kick em out.  It's just marketing otherwise. It's a way to get over on consumers that don't have a clue about your field, and even more clueless about certifications. I'm certified in to many things and can get certified in a lot of others just for showing up and go read lord of the rings while the class is going on and still pass the test at the end. Most of em are open book tests to boot.

 

Going through motions imparts no knowledge or wisdom. Same can be said for experience. Someone might have a lot of experience but if they haven't learned from any of it  experience is wasted.

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13 hours ago, Nels55 said:

To me this seems like a case of "This the way it has always been so this is the way that it must be!".  I am actually surprised at the amount of push back on this one so I guess that it will be a while before this rule changes.

Yep! I get that people like it simple - if you make money from golf, you're a pro - but the OP's question is "why". Other than because that's the way it is and has been, or because it's easy to understand it that way, what's a good and reasonable justification for instructors to be ineligible for amateur events?

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11 hours ago, bobfoster said:

Yes - professional certifications exist in numerous fields. And in every field there are those who argue that their purpose is to erect "barriers to entry", solely for the fiduciary benefits of the governing organizations.

 

I could name dozens of examples. You need to pass your State's Bar to practice law. There are requirements to join the electricians or carpenter's union. And it gets down to what many would consider trivial levels - in the US, to legally be a hairdresser or masseuse you need to have had a few months of training, and be formally licensed. 

 

Now, can you get legal advice from a guy that never passed the Bar? Have your house wired by a guy that says he "knows wiring stuff"? Get your hair cut by your next door neighbor (that "does her kid's hair"), or a massage by someone that does "outcalls"? Totally! And, in truth, some of them might do a completely adequate, even superlative job. 

 

But, what those certifying bodies, and those certifications do, is remove a lot of risk in choices. Could a non-union guy wire my house (more cheaply)? Maybe. Do I want to risk it? No. Could my next door neighbor give me a decent haircut? Maybe. And after all, "it'll always grow out" 🤣". Could a golf pro that is just "good at golf" give me a great lesson? Totally! But if I'm a newbie, with no clue how to even understand the criteria needed to discern between good and terrible teachers, yeah, I'd be far better off going with a PGA of America teaching pro. 

 

Maybe it is because I'm just getting old, but do not discount the effort it takes the people that "go through the motions" to get themselves qualified and "certified" in any field.  Including golf. 

It would be illegal to operate as a hairdresser or to provide legal services (even just advice in many cases) without the requisite license/certification. I'm fine with a private organization saying, "If they learned it from us, you can trust they know what they're doing" as a way to mitigate the consumer's risk. But when it's required by law, that's mostly about creating entry barriers. I should be able to get my haircut by an unlicensed hairdresser or to receive legal service or advice from someone who hasn't passed the bar if I choose to do so. 

14 hours ago, Mikey_HACKilroy said:


In reality, cannot Amateurs already teach golf and get paid to do it? Maybe not at certain establishments, but Rule 4 says Amateurs can teach and get paid when they join approved programs. They can also become PGA Associates and teach without having gone through the full PGA Certification, can they not?

Is this a real issue? Or did somebody just get a sharp stick in the eye that they may not have felt they deserved as part of a more isolated incident.

I feel like I've seen people get lessons plenty of times from Non-Professional golfers that were good teachers.

Yes. That how instruction works and I like it that way. Going through the PGA, or whatever organization, isn't required by law. My comment about mandating licenses and certifications wasn't about golf. It was about the myriad other instances where they're required.

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2 hours ago, LeoLeo99 said:

It can be a fuzzy line.  My understanding is that you can teach course management for money and still be an amateur.  If you give just one swing lesson for money, technically, you're no longer an amateur but it's not your profession. 

 

Yes there will always be edge cases. Is Jon Sherman an amateur? Yes. Should he be? Hmmm. The Golf Digest writer got in trouble with the NCAA for writing that book about traveling across the United States playing golf. It didn’t have any instructional content.

 

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26 minutes ago, SNIPERBBB said:

Certification doesn't remove any risk. Certification is only as good as the bodies willingness to remove certification and kick em out.  It's just marketing otherwise. It's a way to get over on consumers that don't have a clue about your field, and even more clueless about certifications. I'm certified in to many things and can get certified in a lot of others just for showing up and go read lord of the rings while the class is going on and still pass the test at the end. Most of em are open book tests to boot.

 

Going through motions imparts no knowledge or wisdom. Same can be said for experience. Someone might have a lot of experience but if they haven't learned from any of it  experience is wasted.

I work in an industry where there are all kinds of certifications and various levels of each. They are nothing more than a piece of paper that shows someone was able to learn a subject, study enough to pass a test. It doesn’t guarantee the certified person can actually perform the job at all or to the level of their certification. At one point in time industry leaders reached out to one of the vendors that they needed to improve their test and criteria because people were interviewing or getting hired based on that piece of paper and knew nothing. I’ve know as many people with no certifications who knew more and performed better than their counterparts who had degrees and certifications 

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6 minutes ago, johnrobison said:

Yep! I get that people like it simple - if you make money from golf, you're a pro - but the OP's question is "why". Other than because that's the way it is and has been, or because it's easy to understand it that way, what's a good and reasonable justification for instructors to be ineligible for amateur events?

I don't think it is about keeping anything "simple", or about things being done that way merely because of a meaningless tradition. Traditions are often the result of a long process of trial and error - they rarely just randomly emerge with no reason. 

 

To be a full PGA member, you first need to be an associate, take a lot of classes, pass exams, etc., etc. Usually takes several years. You really have to be into golf. Yes, in practice, club pros often don't get to play as much golf as they'd like to. Very few are at the level PGAT pros (Michael Block was one of the best of the PGA teachers, and considered it almost a miracle to have finished 15th last year). However, the full title of the PGAoA is the "Professional Golfers' Association of America", and on the whole someone who goes to work every day at a golf course, and gives lessons, would likely have a significant advantage over most of the (genuinely "amateur") casual golfers they give their lessons to

 

This USGA considers any member of the PGAoA, or PGAT (both of which start with the word "Professional") to be, well, golf professionals - and hence not eligible for amateur events. Certainly people might disagree with this reasoning, but that is different than saying there's no reasoning at all behind it, and they are just blindly doing it because that's how it has always been done.

 

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14 hours ago, LeoLeo99 said:

Once you are getting paid to teach golf, you are no longer an amateur.  You are a professional golfer.  Even if you struggle to break 80.  

Why does it matter ? If you suck it’s not like you’re taking anything away from anyone. If the person was elite and winning the US mid am then ok maybe but the guys who contend in the us mid am at present aren’t really amateurs either. No one who works for a living is really winning these events that matter anyway. 

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1 hour ago, doctor220 said:

but the guys who contend in the us mid am at present aren’t really amateurs either.

some bios:

 

roofing contractors, working at car companies, network it guys, financial services, insurance, real estate, healthcare, investment banker, optometrist, engineer, food importing, dentist, history teacher, software sales, etc.

 

i’ve found research, think, speak/post (in that order) does is a pretty good way to do things.

 

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2 minutes ago, Soloman1 said:

some bios:

 

roofing contractors, working at car companies, network it guys, financial services, insurance, real estate, healthcare, investment banker, optometrist, engineer, food importing, dentist, history teacher, software sales, etc.

 

i’ve found research, think, speak/post (in that order) does is a pretty good way to do things.

 

Whatever you say partner. I guess if I say I’m the best golfer in the world, I am. 

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1 hour ago, doctor220 said:

Why does it matter ? If you suck it’s not like you’re taking anything away from anyone. If the person was elite and winning the US mid am then ok maybe but the guys who contend in the us mid am at present aren’t really amateurs either. No one who works for a living is really winning these events that matter anyway. 


Have you watched the PGA National Championship?

 

They’re professionals. The exact opposite of amateurs.

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5 hours ago, bobfoster said:

I don't think it is about keeping anything "simple", or about things being done that way merely because of a meaningless tradition. Traditions are often the result of a long process of trial and error - they rarely just randomly emerge with no reason. 

 

To be a full PGA member, you first need to be an associate, take a lot of classes, pass exams, etc., etc. Usually takes several years. You really have to be into golf. Yes, in practice, club pros often don't get to play as much golf as they'd like to. Very few are at the level PGAT pros (Michael Block was one of the best of the PGA teachers, and considered it almost a miracle to have finished 15th last year). However, the full title of the PGAoA is the "Professional Golfers' Association of America", and on the whole someone who goes to work every day at a golf course, and gives lessons, would likely have a significant advantage over most of the (genuinely "amateur") casual golfers they give their lessons to

 

This USGA considers any member of the PGAoA, or PGAT (both of which start with the word "Professional") to be, well, golf professionals - and hence not eligible for amateur events. Certainly people might disagree with this reasoning, but that is different than saying there's no reasoning at all behind it, and they are just blindly doing it because that's how it has always been done.

 

Even if I were to concede that someone who went to the lengths it takes to obtain PGA membership shouldn't be eligible, that still doesn't answer why anyone else who charges to teach isn't eligible. So let's say it's assumed that anyone who went through all of that has an advantage. OK. If I don't go through all of that, but I charge for instruction, I'm still not eligible. I don't think being an instructor gives someone an advantage. I don't think being a PGA Class A member gives someone an advantage. Does the USGA really think that it does?

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3 hours ago, johnrobison said:

So let's say it's assumed that anyone who went through all of that has an advantage.

 

You (or at least, others here) keep talking about an "advantage." It's not about that…

 

3 hours ago, johnrobison said:

If I don't go through all of that, but I charge for instruction, I'm still not eligible.

 

The line, in that case, is pretty clear.

 

How do you draw the line between a "golf professional" and a "guy who gives lessons and charges money, but isn't a golf professional"? Good luck with that.

 

Please, write that rule, by trying to determine (apparently) how much of an "advantage" he's gotten?

 

3 hours ago, johnrobison said:

I don't think being an instructor gives someone an advantage. I don't think being a PGA Class A member gives someone an advantage. Does the USGA really think that it does?

 

The rules of amateur status don't use the word "advantage" at all.

 

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules-hub/amateur-status/amateur-status-modernization/rule-1.html

 

Quote

Amateur golf has a well-established tradition in the game, including a history of competitions limited to amateur golfers. The Rules of Amateur Status define who is eligible to compete as an amateur golfer.

 

Golf is largely self-regulating, and to help protect the integrity of the game by minimising pressure on the Rules of Golf and the Rules of Handicapping, the Rules of Amateur Status limit the form and value of prizes an amateur golfer is allowed to accept based on performance in competition.

 

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules-hub/amateur-status/amateur-status-modernization/rule-2.html

 

Quote

All golfers are amateurs unless they:

  • Accept a prize that is not allowed under Rule 3: Prizes,
  • Play in a golf competition as a professional,
  • Accept payment or compensation for giving instruction that is not allowed under Rule 4: Instruction,
  • Are employed (including being self-employed) as a golf club or driving range professional, or
  • Hold membership of an association for professional golfers.

An amateur who takes any of these actions becomes a non-amateur and remains a non-amateur until being reinstated as an amateur (see Rule 5: Reinstatement as an Amateur Golfer).

 

Then you can read rule 4…

 

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules-hub/amateur-status/amateur-status-modernization/rule-4.html

 

Quote

Instruction means teaching the mechanics of swinging a golf club and hitting a golf ball. The Rules of Amateur Status do not apply to other forms of teaching or coaching (for example, physical fitness and psychological aspects of the game).

 

An amateur who accepts payment or compensation for giving instruction, including as part of salaried duties, becomes a non-amateur.

 

But, an amateur may accept payment or compensation for giving instruction in the following circumstances:

  • As part of a programme that has been approved in advance by the national governing body.
  • As an employee of a school, college, or camp, provided the time spent giving instruction is less than 50% of the time spent in performance of all duties as an employee.
  • When the instruction is given in writing or online, and not to a specific individual or group.

I keep reading about how fuzzy the lines are, and they're not 100% crisp, but I'd call all of that fairly clearly defined.

 

Bhrett McCabe isn't a professional for giving mental advice, nor are AimPoint instructors, or even YouTubers… but a guy charging for and giving lessons probably is.

 

My question earlier was a bit of a trick question, because:

 

Quote

An amateur golfer may receive payment or compensation for instruction when the instruction is given in writing (such as a published book or a magazine) as that form of instruction requires those reading it to determine whether it applies to them and, if so, how best to incorporate the instruction into their own swing.

 

An amateur golfer may also provide similar instruction online. This means an amateur golfer may post blogs or videos on instruction. But they must not respond directly to specific individuals or groups of golfers to assist them with the mechanics of swinging a golf club and hitting a golf ball, meaning that the golfers have to determine for themselves how best to incorporate the instruction into their own swing.

 

Anyway, I don't see the lines (or the reasons) as blurry as some of you seem to.

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"Golf is the only game in which a precise knowledge of the rules can earn one a reputation for bad sportsmanship." — Pat Campbell

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10 hours ago, iacas said:

 

You (or at least, others here) keep talking about an "advantage." It's not about that…

 

 

The line, in that case, is pretty clear.

 

How do you draw the line between a "golf professional" and a "guy who gives lessons and charges money, but isn't a golf professional"? Good luck with that.

 

Please, write that rule, by trying to determine (apparently) how much of an "advantage" he's gotten?

 

 

The rules of amateur status don't use the word "advantage" at all

Agreed. They don't. It was my assumption that the rationale for disallowing instructors is because they would have an advantage over the field of non-instructors. Someone had suggested that as the reason earlier, IIRC. If it's not about them having an advantage, what's the justification for the rule?

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14 hours ago, johnrobison said:

Even if I were to concede that someone who went to the lengths it takes to obtain PGA membership shouldn't be eligible, that still doesn't answer why anyone else who charges to teach isn't eligible. So let's say it's assumed that anyone who went through all of that has an advantage. OK. If I don't go through all of that, but I charge for instruction, I'm still not eligible. I don't think being an instructor gives someone an advantage. I don't think being a PGA Class A member gives someone an advantage. Does the USGA really think that it does?

Not the point - you use the game of golf as a source of income. Not a tough one to get?

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10 minutes ago, johnrobison said:

Agreed. They don't. It was my assumption that the rationale for disallowing instructors is because they would have an advantage over the field of non-instructors. Someone had suggested that as the reason earlier, IIRC. If it's not about them having an advantage, what's the justification for the rule?

So you can define who is an am and who is not. What more is needed to know?

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4 minutes ago, Hawkeye77 said:

“Majority”? Link to the demographics of U.S. Mid Am competitions and bios for 2023 please. 

Do you think I’m Wikipedia ? It’s not really difficult. 
 

last year winner hagestad is a pro basically. Has no job , plays golf all day every day, probably practices as much as pga tour pros. Makes cuts in majors. Laughable to think this guy is working doing anything other than golf. 

 

runner up, regained am status, no idea job  

 

one semi guy looks to sell windows and doors so fine, no info on other. 
 

its kinda obvious though if you pay attention to this scene, most of the elite guys don’t really work or played professionally for multiple years and regained status. Probably the biggest problem in high level amateur golf right now 

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Just now, doctor220 said:

Do you think I’m Wikipedia ? It’s not really difficult. 
 

last year winner hagestad is a pro basically. Has no job , plays golf all day every day, probably practices as much as pga tour pros 

 

runner up, regained am status, no idea job  

 

one semi guy looks to sell windows and doors so fine, no info on other. 
 

its kinda obvious though if you pay attention to this scene, most of the elite guys don’t really work or played professionally for multiple years and regained status. Probably the biggest problem in high level amateur golf right now 

It’s not “obvious” and you can’t back up your exaggerations but you’ve now done another. 

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14 minutes ago, doctor220 said:

most of the elite guys don’t really work or played professionally for multiple years and regained status.

 

not most, but some played professionally and regained amateur status.

 

why? because they recognized they don’t have the game to earn a living playing professionally.

i don’t need no stinkin’ shift key

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59 minutes ago, johnrobison said:

Agreed. They don't. It was my assumption that the rationale for disallowing instructors is because they would have an advantage over the field of non-instructors. Someone had suggested that as the reason earlier, IIRC. If it's not about them having an advantage, what's the justification for the rule?

 

To justify who is a pro and who is an amateur.

 

I'm dumbfounded at the idea that so many here seem to struggle with the fact that a golf professional is deemed to be… a professional, and not an amateur.

 

Write a new rule if you think you can write a clearer one that makes more sense.

 

Failing that… re-read @Hawkeye77's replies to you. 😄 

 

47 minutes ago, doctor220 said:

last year winner hagestad is a pro basically. Has no job , plays golf all day every day, probably practices as much as pga tour pros.

 

You're off base. He talked in a podcast about his daily routine, and he's a banker of some sort. His routine is something like "wake up at 5am, work out and go to 5I or something in NYC (off-peak hours), get to work at 8am or 8:30 or something, work until 4:30 or 5:00, go to 5I again maybe (or maybe he works out after work and hits balls in the morning)… etc.

 

He has a full-time job. Make all the jokes about "banker's hours" that you want, but please at least get your facts straight. He's not a professional.

 

And @doctor220… if someone was independently wealthy but wanted to remain an amateur… why should you care? Why should he be classified as a professional, or be forced to compete with professionals?

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Erik J. Barzeski | Erie, PA

GEARS • GCQuad MAX/FlightScope • SwingCatalyst/BodiTrak

I like the truth and facts. I don't deal in magic grits: 29. #FeelAintReal

 

"Golf is the only game in which a precise knowledge of the rules can earn one a reputation for bad sportsmanship." — Pat Campbell

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36 minutes ago, Hawkeye77 said:

Not the point - you use the game of golf as a source of income. Not a tough one to get?

 The definitions of amateur and professional are not as clear as you say.   From what I read in this thread, having a lucrative money-making YouTube channel teaching golf swing does not make one a professional.  What is up for debate are why are some monetizing aspects of golf cause for professionalism and others are not.  I think we can all agree that making your living from playing golf makes one a golf professional.  Making your living from teaching golf course management does not make you a golf professional.  The topic of this thread is why does teaching for money make one a golf professional.  Why are swing teachers to individual golfers grouped in with players and not course management teachers.   


If I was a cynical person, I'd think there is some self-interest from PGA to encourage USGA to  discourage Joe Blow from making money giving lessons when PGA people have jumped through the hoops to get their certifications.  It also harkens back to the love of the game.  

 

I'm not looking for any changes except maybe increasing the money that an amateur can win/earn and remain an amateur.  The amateur/professional demarcation has interested me since I first started to play golf as a teenager and learned that one of the local sticks was in the process of regaining his amateur status.  

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