PGA of America Permits Distance Measuring Devices

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, United States: The PGA of America is to allow players the use of distance-measuring devices (DMD) during competition rounds at its three annual Major championships – the PGA Championship, the Women’s PGA Championship and the Senior PGA Championship. 

Such devices, including laser rangefinders and GPS units have previously been only allowed for practice rounds, but never for competitive rounds.

The new rules will come into effect for 2021, starting with the PGA Championship that is scheduled to held at Kiawah Island in May.

Any distance measuring device will have to have its slope-adjusting capabilities turned off, so that changes in elevation is not compensated for, and no club recommendations can be offered by the device.

“We’re always interested in methods that may help improve the flow of play during our championships,” said Jim Richerson, President of the PGA of America, an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.

“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,” added Richerson.

With the exception of the European Tour’s Legends Tour, DMDs are not currently allowed for any tournaments on any of the main professional Tours for men or women.

James Holmes, General Manager, United Kingdom and Europe of DMB brand SkyCaddie, said: “We have long maintained that the use of a SkyCaddie, which instantly gives the golfer all the accurate yardages for every point on the hole ahead, improves your speed of play.

“A SkyCaddie is far quicker to use than a laser plus yardage book and has the advantage of giving you carries, runouts and lay-up distances, as well as an accurate yardage for your next shot, all at a glance.

“Our conservative estimate, based on years of people using our GPS rangefinders in competitive play, is that having a SkyCaddie saves you at least 10 seconds on every full shot you play.”

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