R&A To Allow Distance Measuring Devices For Amateurs

The R&A Championship Committee has decided to allow the use of distance measuring devices in their amateur events in 2014. But the ban will continue when it comes to the Open and the various qualifying events for the championship. As is well known, there has been an optional local rule available under the Rules of Golf since 2006 and, say the R&A, “the Championship Committee is simply taking up this option for 2014.” The governing body has stressed that their move is not a recommendation for others to follow suit – and that 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. The Ladies’ Golf Union came to their decision to allow DMDs in their amateur events in December but not in the Ricoh Women’s British Open: “We decided were fighting against the tide by not allowing them,” said Shona Malcolm, the CEO of the LGU. As much as anything, the LGU were concerned at the confusion arising from a situation in which no two amateur bodies seemed to be taking the same stance. In which connection, Malcolm cited last year’s Vagliano Trophy in which GB&I played their European counterparts at Chantilly. Since the European Golf Association had decided some time before that the devices were legal, their officials suggested it made sense for the GB&I side to follow suit for the week. Not so, said Malcolm. Since she believed that this was a matter that should have been discussed in advance, the upshot was that the gadgets were banned for both parties.


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