The R&A allows distance measuring devices in its amateur events in 2014

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Scott Rushing
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The R&A allows distance measuring devices in its amateur events in 2014

The R&A allows distance measuring devices in its amateur events in 2014

The R&A’s Championship Committee has decided that it will allow the use of distance measuring devices (DMDs) in R&A amateur events in 2014.

DMD’s have been covered by an optional Local Rule, which has been available under the Rules of Golf since 2006 (see Note to Rule 14-3 of the Rules of Golf), and the Championship Committee will take up this option for 2014.

This Local Rule will be introduced for The R&A’s amateur events only. It will not be introduced for The Open Championship or any qualifying event for The Open Championship.

The Championship Committee would like to emphasise that it has taken this decision for R&A events but is not making this a recommendation for other championship organisers to follow. It remains a matter for individual Committees and Clubs to decide whether or not they want to allow the use of such devices in their competitions.

Now, will the PGA Tour and USGA follow suit?

It doesn't, however, have a simple answer.

Sources familiar with conversations among USGA championship committee members suggest the governing body is moving toward making a similar decision, potentially as soon as next week's USGA Annual Meeting at Pinehurst (N.C.) Resort. There are still some within the association, though, who would prefer to study the issue further before following the R&A.

The official position out of Far Hills, N.J., is that the matter is something "the USGA continues to study and consider."

Last September, the USGA experimented with the use of DMDs at the Women's State Team Championship to see if players using range finders could help improve pace of play, a priority inside the USGA. No official data was released, but a USGA source say the results from the championship helped the case to allow their uses at more events.

If the USGA did give the green light for their use at amateur events, it would do so in a similar fashion to the R&A: approve the adoption of a local rule for its championships that has been allowed under the Rules of Golf (14-3) since 2006. Devices that measure and gauge distance are the only ones allowed by the local rule.

This local-rule provision has enabled individual tournaments and associations to move forward with using the devices. Various college events have done so in recent years. Starting last year, the American Junior Golf Association agreed to allow them for all of its competitions.

Last December, the Ladies Golf Union approved their use for its amateur championships and the Home International championship starting in 2014, but not for use in the Ricoh Women's British Open.

The R&A specified that the local rule would not be used in its Open championships or in any qualifying for them. Likewise, the USGA is not considering allowing DMDs at the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open or U.S. Senior Open. At those events, the yardage book will remain mightier than the range finder.
Charley Hoffman

Read More http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-tours-news/blogs/local-knowledge/2014/01/...

DocT
DocT's picture
Wow, I'm a bit surprised.

Wow, I'm a bit surprised. But I'm sure nothing beats a good caddie with a personal yardage book.

Practice like you play. Play like you practice.

I don't normally hit a sand wedge 170 yards. But when I do, it's from a greenside bunker.

DON
18 months later

I wonder what if anything has changed in the last 18 months since Scott posted on this issue. One of my biggest complaints about golf is how the rules committes and the governing board are so OUT of date with the rest of the world. The USGA outlawed Long putters and Anchoring the club because it WORKED too well and it was NOT the way it was done 400 years ago, so it had to be outlawed. Just DUMB if you ask me, which they are not.

As for GPS and laser range finders, I see NO reason NOT to allow them in competition, both amateur and professional alike. I remember watching Phil Mickleson WALKING up to the green on a LONG approach shot so he could get the EXACT yeadage of his shot and to see the landing area so he could figure out where he wanted to land the ball. Surely this takes a LOT more time to do than just to aim a laser at the flag and get an exact reading in a few seconds. Surely it would be faster to use a Laser to get the yardage then is is to FIND a sprinker head, Wald off the distace to your ball, then DIG out a yardage book, Find the right page and then Do the math.

Maybe it's about time that the R& A and the USGA got into the 21th century like the rest of the world, and out ot the Dark Ages. Most ALL golf courses are trying to find ways to Speed UP the pace of play, with 6 hour rounds being the Norm these days. And the Lasers and GPS units are just waiting for a Chance to do exactly that, speed up the pace of play for everyone.

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
I agree Don.  Would be

I agree Don.  Would be curious to know if anything has been learned about it and whether it's speeding up play? 

 

I will admit, i'm finding for courses I know, I use my rangefinder more than the gps.  Surprised I'm saying that but when I know where I"m going, it's just easier to shoot the pin, or a tree.  It's faster than getting the GPS and moving the hash mark to where I want to go.  Now I just shoot my target and go on.

But on courses I'm not familar with, I like both actuallly.  The GPS to get me to my approach shot and then shoot the flag so I know the exact yardage there.

I think it's quicker to have the technology...I shoot most of the shots for my buddies.

Golf is a game that can only be played...

GolfGearReview.com Administrator

DON
Lasers and GPS in use this weekend

I watched a small part of the Celebrity golf event this weekend. One reason I watched it at all is due to the fact that the OPEN was NOT on broadcast TV so I had no choice if I wanted to watch golf. One thing I noticed was that the guys were using GPS and Laser range finders during the match. I saw one guy using a Laser to get the EXACT yardage to the flag on a Par 3 hole, which is exactly what I do on all par three holes I play. I really hope the PGA decides to allow the use of these tools on the Pro tour next year as it only makes sense to do so.

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
I saw some of that Don,

I saw some of that Don, Justin Timberlake was there and some of the pro sports guys.  i'd love to know more about how they setup that course..some of those guys are good, and other's not so much.  So do they setup the course at 6100 yards so the bad ones will have fun, and is it handicapped?   Hard fo rme to believe with some of the shots I saw, guys were making points in the stableford scoring system

Golf is a game that can only be played...

GolfGearReview.com Administrator

DON
Same here Scott

I was thinking the same thing, I don't see how these guys could score 50 to 80 points. But if I'm not mistaken, I believe Par is worth 1 point, and bogey is zero, so you have to be at double bogey before you lose any points. So if a guy can par 10 holes and bogey the other 8, he gets 10 points for the round. four rounds and he's at 40 points, I'd have to see the entire scoring process to know for sure, but I think this explains some of the high scoring these guys put up. Like you, I doubt the course was set up very long, but I only saw a few holes being played and they were all par 3's that I saw, so I have no idea how long the other holes were playing.

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.