USGA allows rangefinders in '14 amateur events

In following the R&A’s lead, the U.S. Golf Association has approved the use of distance-measuring devices for all USGA amateur championships and qualifying events beginning in 2014.

The use of distance-measuring devices has been covered by an optional local rule, and the USGA Championship Committee’s vote adopts this local rule for all amateur championships this year.

• Achenbach: USGA's decision is sign of times

The change will not apply to the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and the U.S. Senior Open championships or their qualifying events.

Devices may be used only to measure distance and may not used to measure conditions such as wind speed or direction, temperature or elevation.

“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.”

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