Here's an interesting article about former professional golfers who have had their amateur status reinstated by the USGA. These professional golfers can now compete as amateurs. There are definitely good arguments by these former pros as to why they should be given back their amateur status, but is this really fair? I don't think so.
Let's think about other sports for a second here. Larry Bird hasn't been playing professional basketball for many years, would you want to see him walk into the gym on an opposing team? Who wants to try and hit a Nolan Ryan fastball at the local Park & Rec league after work? I'll bet Wayne Gretzky can still skate circles around anyone. These may be extreme examples, but the point is these men will always be considered professional athletes. They will never be considered amateurs. Why is it former professional golfers think they should be given another chance to compete as amateurs. What makes these golfers special or any different from other athletes? Nothing as far as I am concerned.
When you turn professional in any sport you know exactly what you are doing. Because a golfer does not succeed on tour like he had dreamed of, does this give him the right to turn back the clock and become an amateur again. I know I don't want to play against golfers who used to be on any tour. Palm Beach County has a very competitive amateur golf scene and even with the level of quality amateurs I still do not think former pros should have the right to compete. If you made the choice to turn pro, that was your choice, don't come back to amateur land and start kicking our asses. Go back to where you came from and continue to get your own ass handed to you. BTW, the three top finishers in the Palm Beach County Amateur were former pros.