New interpretations of the Rules of Golf, effective for all golfers from 1st January 2006, will allow the use of distance measuring devices by Local Rule and also empower committees to accept, as an “administrative error”, cards where the correct score has been entered on the wrong card.
The R&A and the United States Golf Association have announced these changes among 111 amendments to the book Decisions on the Rules of Golf.
Mark Roe and Jesper Parnevik were disqualified at the 2003 Open Championship at Royal St George’s for entering their correct scores on the wrong scorecards. In the future, committees will be allowed to correct such an error without penalty. Revised Decision 6-6d/4 gives a committee the power to strike the wrong name from an otherwise correctly completed score card and add the correct name, without limit of time.
The governing bodies’ sanction of the use of distance measuring devices, including GPS based systems and laser rangefinders is a major change with huge implications for several companies around the world. New Decision 14-3/0.5 allows a committee to permit the use of distance measuring devices by Local Rule. This applies to devices that measure distance only, not any other conditions that might affect a player’s game such as wind or gradient. In the absence of such a Local Rule, the use of a distance measuring device remains contrary to the Rules.
The rule change has been welcomed by Laser Link Golf, the US producer of the Laser Link Distance System. “We couldn‘t be more excited about the announcement,” said Rob O‘Loughlin, president, Laser Link Golf. “It has been a long time coming and it is the right thing to do for the game of golf. This type of technology can only speed up play and improve scores for the average player. My personal congratulations to both the USGA and the R&A for making a change that will have a positive effect on millions of golfers around the world.”
The laser-based system utilizes two components — a handheld laser rangefinder and a flagstick-based reflector — to determine the exact distance to the flagstick. The system is in use at more than 650 private clubs around the USA and several more daily fee courses. Laser Link Golf is owned and operated by many of the same individuals that started SoftSpikes ® who are involved in Laser Link Golf for the same reason they got involved in SoftSpikes. They believe that both are good for the game.
Laser Link Golf www.laserlinkgolf.com
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