The Executive Committee of the Golf Association of Philadelphia approved the use of distance-measuring devices in all of the organization's 2006 competitions, effective immediately. The United States Golf Association (USGA) and The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (R&A), the sport's governing bodies, made these devices available for competition in the new "Decisions on the Rules of Golf," effective January 1, 2006. The decision, Decision 14-3/0.5, requires a Local Rule permitting the use of distance-measuring devices to be in effect.

"These devices are allowed under the rules of golf and are likely to become more prevalent in the future," said Mark Peterson, Executive Director of the Golf Association of Philadelphia. "We feel if a player wants to use one these devices in competition, he should have the option to do so. In regards to pace of play, we don't feel there will any drawback at all. We will continue to strictly enforce the pace of play at our events just as we've done in the past.

"Allowing these devices in tournaments is just another example of the Golf Association of Philadelphia stepping to the forefront on issues affecting the game while continuing to fulfill its mission statement."

Added Dan Burton, Golf Association of Philadelphia President, "The governing bodies of the game have stamped their approval on this matter, so we feel there is no reason for the Association not to embrace it. In time, we feel more Associations will incorporate the Local Rule allowing distance-measuring devices. The Golf Association of Philadelphia has always led the way in issues important to the game and we feel this is just another opportunity for us to do so."

These devices, however, will not be allowed in USGA Championship qualifiers administered by the Golf Association of Philadelphia. The USGA currently does not allow distance-measuring devices in its events because competitors have an opportunity to gather course information in a variety of ways prior to the championship with yardage books and practice rounds available and most players having the opportunity to hire a caddy.


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