USGA deems DigiGard to be non-conforming

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DigiGard, a neoprene sleeve that is used instead of tape, was deemed to be non-conforming by the PGA Tour.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Every once in a while a new product makes it to the PGA Tour and it's deemed to be non-conforming under USGA rules. Of course, it’s usually a club or something that is a big deal, not something like DigiGard.

According to Justin Robertson, the founder of DigiGard, he received a letter last week from the U.S. Golf Association about what it deemed to he his non-conforming product.

“It was just disappointing,” Robertson said from the company headquarters near the Los Angeles foothills. “It (DigiGard) gets me to play more and enjoy my sport more.”

DigiGard is a neoprene sleeve that is no longer than a couple of inches. The device is built to slip onto a finger to brace and protect the digit instead of tape, which leaves sticky residue and breaks down in the elements.

Early in the week, the news of the non-conformance was posted in a handwritten note with a copy of the product on display in the locker room at Quail Hollow Club, site of this week's Wells Fargo Championship.

On Friday morning, the PGA Tour replaced the handwritten note with a typed letter in the locker room indicating DigiGard is a violation of Rule 14-3 ("Artificial Devices, Unusual Equipment and Unusual Use of Equipment") and cannot be used in competition.

Robertson is hoping to find some thinner neoprene and resubmit his brace. In the meantime, you won’t see the colored braces on PGA Tour players.

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