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Why you could soon be winning BIG money for a hole-in-one

The rules regarding how prizes can be doled out for an ace are about to change and it could lead the way to some exciting events near you
 

Making a hole-in-one on a simulator, or at a driving range, may soon bring you big cash prizes thanks to a change to the Rules of Amateur Status being brought in by the R&A and USGA next month.

The game’s governing bodies are going to alter Rule 3-2b of the amateur code, which regulates hole-in-one prizes.

There will no longer be a limit on the prize an amateur golfer can win when hitting the perfect shot OUTSIDE a round of golf.

At the moment, an amateur can accept a prize in excess of the limit of £500, including a cash prize, but the hole-in-one “must be made during a round of golf and be incidental to that round”.

But the new 3-2b, which comes into effect from January 1, will state: “An amateur golfer may also accept a prize in excess of the limit in Rule 3-2a, including a cash prize, for making a hole-in-one during contests held outside of a round of golf, including multiple-entry contests and contests conducted other than on a golf course (e.g. on a driving range, golf simulator, or putting green) provided in all cases that the length of the shot is at least 50 yards.”

That could lead the way to high-profile, high value, hole-in-one prize competitions being offered by driving ranges and simulator companies without you having to consider whether to put your amateur status at risk. It could also make a big difference to charity events.

The hole-in-one move, which aims to help promote the game and cater to new audiences as well as eliminating “unnecessary restrictions for event organisers”, comes as the R&A and USGA announced they are also conducting a review of the Rules of Amateur Status to make them easier to understand and apply.

The bodies said it was part of the joint effort to modernise the Rules by “reducing complexity and ensuring the Rules effectively guide how the game is played today.”

The review process began earlier this year and they will now talk to elite amateurs, event organisers, national and professional golf associations, as well as other stakeholders, with the aim of bringing in a modernised set of Amateur Status Rules for the start of January 2022.

Grant Moir, director – Rules at the R&A, said: “We will be looking at the Rules of Amateur Status carefully and considering ways in which we can modernise them and bring them more into line with the way the modern sport is played.

“The code remains a fundamental framework for amateur golf and we will be listening to the views of players, officials and associations to give us a fully rounded view of how we can improve them.”

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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