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The thing that confuses me is how there are college head and assistant coaches who are able to retain amateur status while, as previously mentioned, someone who gives a $50 putting lesson is a professional. College coaches are giving instruction - a form of professional advice - to golfers for a salary.
Plus, those who think that some pros should be allowed in mid-amateur events and the like should take comfort in the fact that the mid-am ranks are increasingly full of reinstated professional golfers, some of whom made hundreds of thousands of dollars playing the game in their careers.
While I somewhat agree with the grow the game skepticism, I do like the potential for a middle class talented kid to get the resources to compete at a high level without significantly stressing the family finances.