Is it just me, or does anyone else think it’s past time that the USGA revises and modernizes its Rules of Amateur Status?
After all, just what is the purpose of making someone who is a golf teacher compete as a professional? This might come as a shock to some of you, but if I could play as an amateur again, that would be my preference. Yet, as the Rules of Amateur Status currently read (and probably will be for the rest of my life), anyone who takes compensation for giving lessons must forfeit amateur status…for PLAYING PURPOSES!
Now, in this day and age, this makes absolutely no sense. Maybe years ago it did. The USGA’s position was (and is, for some reason) that a golf professional who teaches has an “inherent advantage” over amateurs. I’ve got news for the USGA. This “inherent advantage” disappeared a long time ago. Today’s high school and college golfers spend virtually every waking hour in the summer practicing and playing, sharpening their games.
And what do golf teachers do? Spend their days giving lessons, watching others hit golf balls. Most full-time teaching professionals are lucky to get out 2-3 times a week to play, along with a few abbreviated practice sessions thrown in.
My solution: make playing as a professional or amateur an entity all its own. In other words, you choose to either play as a professional or as an amateur, without regard to anything else. Doesn’t this make the most sense? I submit it does.