Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Euro prize limit reduced in Ireland for amateur golfers

The GUI announced the following today:

Euro prize limit reduced in Ireland for amateur golfers
Following requests from affiliated golf clubs in Ireland, the Amateur Status Prize Limit in the Euro area in Ireland will be lowered from €750 to €575 and will take effect from 1st February 2018.
The move, which is supported by The R&A following requests for consideration by the Golfing Union of Ireland and the Irish Ladies Golf Union, will ensure that the Prize Limit for amateur golf is now better aligned to the Sterling Pound limit of £500 and continual review of this will be undertaken by both Unions to assess the impact of this change.
Speaking about this decision, Pat Finn CEO of the Golfing Union of Ireland said: "The feedback from our clubs was that the limit was set too high in the Euro area and it needed to be brought into line with that of the Sterling zone. Working with the Irish Ladies Golf Union we approached The R&A and they supported the lowering of the limit. We welcome this support from The R&A and both Unions will monitor the effects of the change over the coming months.”
Under Rule 3-2a of the Rules of Amateur Status, which are jointly approved by The R&A and the USGA, an amateur golfer must not accept a prize (other than a symbolic prize) or prize voucher of retail value in excess of £500. This limit applies to the total prizes or prize vouchers received by an amateur golfer in any one competition or series of competitions, but does not include hole-in-one prizes. Under Rule 3-1, an amateur golfer must not play for prize money of any amount.

I'd be pretty certain that we all know someone who has won a prize that threatens the €750 limit... let alone €575. There has been a trend since the early 2000s to increase the value of prizes to ever greater heights. It seems to be almost an ego thing, especially with Captain's prizes.

In my opinion such significant prizes (holidays, TVs, sets of clubs) only encourage cheating, in its various guises. I hope that ALL organisations running amateur golf tournaments take note and appreciate that bigger prizes don't mean better competitions... sometimes the exact opposite.

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