Far Hills, N.J. – Golfers must continue to post all scores for handicap purposes made with the aid of a device that measures only distance, but not devices that measure additional conditions such as wind or elevation.
This provision follows consistently with the announcement from the United States Golf Association earlier this year that golfers may use distance-only measuring devices in competition, provided such a local Rule has been adopted. But, regardless of whether or not a local Rule has been adopted, any score made using a distance-only measuring device is acceptable for handicap purposes.
However, under the Rules of Golf, golfers must NOT use distance-measuring devices for handicap purposes or in competition that are capable of gauging or measuring other conditions that might affect play, even if such a function is not used. For example, a distance-measuring device that includes a compass and can measure changes in elevation can NOT be used in competition or for handicap purposes.
This wording for Decision 5-1f/2 has been updated in the 2006 online edition of The USGA Handicap System manual found in the Handicap section at www.usga.org to be consistent with the Decision 14-3/0.5 from the Decisions on The Rules of Golf.
Questions can be directed to Kevin O’Connor, senior director of handicapping, at (908) 234-2300.