Date: August 24, 2010

Golf Australia Statement: Gold Bullion Event

Download the Golf Australia Statement re: Gold Bullion Event GOLF AUSTRALIA STATEMENT: GOLD BULLION EVENT Golf Australia has recently fielded an array of queries relating to an event which plans to have gold bullion on offer as a prize for Amateur golfers. This event is scheduled to be held at the end of August on the Gold Coast. To assist the industry moving forward, GA (which is the governing body in Australia for the Rules of Amateur Status) wishes to set out the following key points: The R&A (which is the international governing body) has considered the relevant details and has determined the proposed prize (ie the gold bullion) to be contrary to the Rules of Amateur Status. This R&A decision has been communicated to the event organisers. In addition to the gold bullion, various other proposed prizes on offer at this event also fail to comply with the Rules of Amateur Status. Players accepting a non-conforming prize will lose their Amateur Status. GA has been in dialogue with the proposed event venue. GA is aware of the various mitigating circumstances attached to the involvement of this facility. These circumstances will be considered by the GA Board when it discusses what sanctions should be applied. Amateur golf is almost unique in all of sport in that it is heavily reliant on a handicapping system which allows any golfer to compete on equal terms with any other golfer. It is The R&A s position that uncontrolled sponsorship and financial incentive in the amateur game would provide significant temptation to players to manipulate scores and handicaps and to consequently diminish the competitive experience enjoyed by so many millions of players. As a result, The R&A, in consultation with the United States Golf Association, has set standards that limit the degree to which sponsorship and financial incentive may be involved with amateur golfers and amateur golf events. The integrity of our handicapping system is critical to the success of club golf in Australia. GA is mindful that commercial entities (including clubs) will from time to time be able to achieve significant short term financial benefit by offering large prizes, or in hosting an event which seeks to offer such a prize. When these entities forgo these opportunities in order to comply with the Rules of Amateur Status, they in turn expect all other entities to comply with the Rules. If this does not happen, the compliant entities are placed at a competitive disadvantage. Such entities expect GA to take appropriate action to ensure all entities are playing by the same rules. The authority of an affiliated club to issue and administer official Australian Handicaps is a privilege. The maintenance of this privilege is contingent upon the affiliated group fulfilling its obligation to act in the best interests of the game. Handicap administration privileges will be withdrawn from any club choosing to act other than in the best interests of the game when it comes to Amateur Status and Handicapping regulations. (Note: Where the GA Board considers there to be significant mitigating circumstances, it may decide to apply alternative sanctions.)