Amateur status rules need to change in sports. USGA, take the initiative.

If you haven’t heard, Lucy Li did an ad for Apple last week. GASP! The powers that be in the USGA are going to “Investigate.” Imagine if Li received a paycheck for her appearance. The horror! Li’s parents have said that she received no compensation for appearing in the ad. Who cares if she did? The archaic rules the USGA uses to determine who is amateur and who is a professional are long overdue for an overhaul. As long overdue as golf’s rules were.

Way back when Tiger Woods was dominating golf’s amateur scene he ad dinner with Arnold Palmer. Arnold Palmer, the gentleman that he was, and what anybody would do when they ask a teenager out to dinner, paid for the dinner. The USGA went bananas and demanded Tiger repay his $20 meal or they were going to take away his amateur status. That’s nice.

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The USGA, like the NCAA, and the Olympics, all make money off of amateurs, a boatload of it. Mike Davis, executive director of the USGA made more than $760,000 in 2014. Let that sink in for a moment. Amateur golfers can’t win more than $750 in shop credit, not money, in a tournament, but the director of the USGA is profiting off of them to the tune of $760,000.

Why can’t these kids make some money of of the sport they pour their life and soul into? To stay at the top level of an amateur athlete these kids have to practice, and play, all day, all year. They can’t have jobs like many teens do to get some spending cash on the weekends. Where are they supposed to get money to have fun with their friends on their very limited downtimes? Where is the time for them to do that?

Li did nothing wrong by appearing in the Apple “Close Your Rings” ad. With everyone knowing how unfair “amateur” governing bodies are, I’m sure her family went to great lengths to make sure Lucy Li didn’t break any of the USGA’s terribly outdated amateur status rules. Since he’s done ruining US Open courses, maybe Mike Davis can tackle the amateur status rules? One can hope.

You can watch Lucy’s ad here.

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