The PGA of America is to allow players the use of distance-measuring devices 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.
Jim Richerson, President of the PGA of America, 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.”
With the exception of the European Tour’s Legends Tour, DMDs are not currently allowed for any tournaments any of the main professional tours for men or women.