The R&A and USGA have announced 111 changes to the Decisions on the Rules of Golf. Included is the expected announcement that rangefinders and GPS distance measuring devices can be used, provided there is a Local Rule.
A noteworthy change is the governing bodies’ sanction of the use of distance measuring devices, including GPS-based systems and laser rangefinders. 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 play (e.g., wind or gradient). In the absence of such a Local Rule, the use of a distance-measuring device remains contrary to the Rules.