USGA Investigating 16-Year-Old Amateur’s Appearance in Apple Advertisement as Potential Violation of Status

Apple recently posted a video advertisement for its smart watch on social media that featured the appearance of 16-year-old amateur star golfer Lucy Li. USGA officials are now investigating whether or not her appearance in the advertisement violates her amateur status. Confused? This is the ruling that is giving young Li grief:

Rule 6.2 of the USGA’s guidelines state: “amateur golfer of golf skill or reputation must not use that skill or reputation to obtain payment, compensation, personal benefit or any financial gain, directly, or indirectly, for (i) promoting, advertising or selling anything or (ii) allowing his name or likeness to be used by a third party for the promotion, advertisement or sale of anything.”

However, the rule allows exception for amateurs to promote their local, state, or national golf association as well as any recognised charity. Li, the 9th ranked Women’s Amateur golfer in the world, has informed Golf Digest that she is unable to discuss the video because of a non-disclosure agreement she signed with Apple. Her mother, Amy, has told Golf Digest that neither Lucy nor her family were paid for participating in Apple’s video advertisement.


The USGA had this to say regarding the current investigation: “The USGA was made aware of this yesterday and we’ve reached out to Lucy’s family to learn more about her participation in these videos. We are at the beginning of the fact-finding stage, and it’s premature at this point to discuss more. Lucy’s family has been fully cooperative and we are thankful for the dialogue.”

It will be interesting to see how the governing body acts on this situation.