In a nod to technology, the USGA announced today that beginning this year distance-measuring devices will be allowed in all USGA amateur competitions, as well as in all qualifying rounds for those competitions.
The announcement came from the USGA annual meeting in Pinehurst, N.C. where incoming president Thomas O’Toole said, “We have seen progressive developments in technologies available to golfers who seek to improve their playing performance and enjoyment that also maintain the essential elements of the game. It is in this spirit that we are allowing the use of distance-measuring devices in our amateur competitions.”
The use of laser and GPS measuring devises has been an accepted local rule since 2006. But this is the first time the USGA has codified that rule into all of its amateur championships.
While this will not affect the U.S. Open or U.S. Women’s Open or U.S. Senior Open, a statement by the association hinted that the role of distance measuring devises could expand in the future.
“From the data collected at these championships, USGA researchers found no evidence that DMDs had a negative impact on pace of play and will continue to monitor the use of DMDs in the larger pool of amateur events to further study their effect on pace of play,” the statement read.