PGA of America to permit players to use distance-measuring devices to combat slow play

The PGA of America has moved to improve the pace of play by allowing players to use distance-measuring devices this year.

Players will be permitted to use range finders at the PGA Championship, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, although their devices will need to conform to the Rules of Golf.

But the PGA of America, while also permitting the use of a compass, made it clear that more technical devices for measuring elevation change will not be allowed.

A statement clarified the following in relation to Distance and Directional Information – Rule 4.3a (1):

  • Allowed: Getting information on distance or direction (such as from a distance-measuring device or compass).
  • Not Allowed: Measuring elevation changes, or interpreting distance or directional information (such as using a device to get a recommended line of play or club selection based on the location of the player’s ball).

PGA of America president, Jim Richerson, said: “We’re always interested in methods that may help improve the flow of play during our Championships.

“The use of distance-measuring devices is already common within the game and is now a part of the Rules of Golf. Players and caddies have long used them during practice rounds to gather relevant yardages.

“This policy will debut with the 2021 PGA Championship, which will be played at The Ocean Course in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, from May 17-23.”

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