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USGA Will Allow Distance-Measuring Devices in Amateur Championships

Lee Westwood Lee Westwood watches caddie Billy Foster use a range finder during a practice round prior to the 2011 U.S. Open. (Getty Images)


Players competing in all USGA amateur events in 2014 will be allowed to use range finders. The decision, announced today by the USGA, follows a similar one made last month by the R&A, which permitted range finders in its amateur events.
The rule change applies only to amateur events, so we won't be seeing any professionals using range finders during competitive play at the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open or Senior Open -- at least not yet.
Here's the official word from the USGA:
“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,” said Thomas J. O’Toole Jr., USGA vice president and chairman of the Championship Committee. “It is in this spirit that we are allowing the use of distance-measuring devices in our amateur competitions.”

The USGA said it arrived at the decision in part after studying the impact of range finders on the pace of play in last year's USGA Women’s State Team and U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur championships.
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by Marika Washchyshyn
by Marika Washchyshyn