Jim Achenbach's column below has raised more questions about this idea that a player can have a Bushnell 1500 Slope Edition Range Finder in their bag, or pocket, but will only be disqualified if they use it.
Previously we were led to believe that if you set foot on the course with the "Slope Compensation" model, you were DQ'd. But now we learn you could theoretically have both models in your bag, as long as you don't pull out the Slope model.
Check out this photos of the Bushnell 1500 Tournament Edition from the Bushnell website:
And the Bushnell 1500 Slope Edition from the Bushnell website:
So they look kind of, uh, identical.
Naturally, this is brilliant from Bushnell's perspective, forcing possible cheaters to buy two instead of one!
Now, if a competitor asks to check their playing partner's rangefinder mid-round and determines that is in fact the Slope edition, will they be disqualified for having used the Slope version to determine whether it was a legal device?
Okay I'm kidding. Slightly.
Has the USGA asked Bushnell to differentiate the models so that players and officials can easily decipher between the Slope and "Tournament" devices?
And how is Bushnell able to use Slope, which the USGA seems to have copyrighted and displays as Slope Rating ®? Do they only have the rights to Slope Rating and not Slope? Lawyers?
It would seem that the only way to ever be sure that Slope measuring devices are not used is to actually make it illegal to one in your bag or in your pocket while playing a competitive or for-handicap-purposes round.