PGA of America to allow distance-measuring devices during its majors beginning this year

Distance-measuring devices — like rangefinders — will now be allowed for use in PGA of America major championships beginning with the 2021 PGA Championship in May. Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The PGA of America announced some huge news today regarding its major championships — the PGA Championship, the Senior PGA Championship and the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

In each of those championships, distance-measuring devices will be permitted for use by players and or caddies during competition.

“We’re always interested in methods that may help improve the flow of play during our Championships,” said PGA of America President Jim Richerson said in a press release. “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.”

According to the release, the distance-measuring devices in PGA of America events will need to conform to the Rules of Golf regarding their use and performance:

Rule 4.3a (1)

Distance and Directional Information.
  • Allowed: Getting information on distance or direction (such as from a distance-measuring device or compass).
  • Not Allowed: Measuring elevation changes, or Interpreting distance or directional information (such as using a device to get a recommended line of play or club selection based on the location of the player’s ball).
The new policy will debut with the 2021 PGA Championship, which will be played at The Ocean Course in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, from May 17-23.

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