Do Amateurs Get Paid At The Masters?

Do amateurs receive any prize money at the Augusta National Major? Here, we take a look

Neal Shipley takes advice from his caddie at The Masters
Amateur Neal Shipley reached the 2024 Masters, but will a payment follow?
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Every year, there are several amateurs in the field at The Masters, having found various ways to qualify. While an appearance at Augusta National is guaranteed to represent a career highlight, do they also receive a payment for their appearances in the way professionals do? 

The bad news for the amateurs who make it to the tournament is that, like the other Majors and PGA Tour events, they don't receive a payment.

There's no loophole, either. So, if an amateur is having a great tournament, he can't turn professional mid-event and claim payment for his finish. That's because players must retain their amateur status throughout, and can only turn pro after the tournament has drawn to a close.

Not only that, but even the amateurs who miss the cut at The Masters don't get any money for their efforts, unlike the pros who fail to make it to the weekend, who receive $10,000.

Guan Tianlang at the 2013 Masters

Amateur Guan Tianlang became the youngest player to make the cut at The Masters in 2013

(Image credit: Getty Images)

So, what happens to the money that they would receive? Well, the cash that was supposed to be paid to the amateur is redistributed throughout the paychecks of all other players in the field. This means that the higher up an amateur finishes, the more cash the pros who make the cut earn.

While it's natural to think that's unfair, amateurs are rewarded in other ways, largely though exemptions and exposure - both excellent ways to attract sponsorship opportunities and secure contract agreements for whenever they may turn pro.

But why don't amateurs get paid at The Masters? The reason for that is because their status is classified as "someone who plays the game purely for fun, enjoyment, and competition." 

Sam Bennett receives the Silver Cup at the 2023 Masters

Sam Bennett received the Silver Cup at the 2023 Masters - but not a payment

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rule 3.1 in the USGA's Rules of Amateur Status, Playing for Prize Money, states: "An amateur golfer cannot play for money in a golf match, exhibition or other competition such as a tournament. The USGA enforces the rule to maintain a clear distinction between amateur golfers and professionals."

The USGA offers one exception to the rule: "Amateurs can keep prize money for winning a hole-in-one contest during the course of a tournament. But the amateur cannot accept money for winning the tournament overall."

Do Amateurs Get A Green Jacket For Winning The Masters?

While amateurs don't get paid for playing at The Masters, if he goes onto win the title, his still receives a Green Jacket. It hasn't happened yet, though. The closest an amateur came to winning The Masters was in 1956, when Ken Venturi finished runner-up.

What's The Best Amateur Performance At The Masters?

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

With contributions from