USGA Announces Approves the Use of Rangefinders
By Associated Press - September 27, 2005
That was among the 111 amendments to the "Decisions on the Rules of Golf," which take effect Jan. 1., the USGA will allow for measuring devices, such as GPS systems or rangefinders, to be used at the discretion of tournament organizers. The Tight Lies Tour began using a GPS system this year for players who can't afford caddies, hoping it would speed play.
The PGA and European tours, among other top circuits, allow caddies or players to use rangefinders only during practice rounds.
Golf's governing bodies, the United States Golf Association and the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, have recently announced 111 changes to the book, "Decisions on the Rules of Golf", published every two years and effective for golfers beginning on January 1, 2006.
The 2006-2007 edition of the "Decisions on the Rules of Golf" includes 37 new decisions and 66 revised decisions. Eight decisions have been dropped.
While many of the new rules will change the game slightly, one rule is likely to cause quite a stir on and off the course - Decision 14-3/0.5 allows distance-measuring devices by Local Rule - if there is no Local Rule in effect, then the device would remain illegal for tournament play. This Rule applies to devices that measure distance only, and not any other conditions that might affect play (such as wind or gradient).