The PGA Tour has announced that it will trial the use of range finders during selected tournaments this year on the Web.com Tour, Mackenzie Tour - PGA Tour Canada and the PGA Tour Latinoamerica.

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PGA Tour To Trial Rangefinders In Tournaments

The PGA Tour has announced that it will trial the use of range finders during selected tournaments this year on the Web.com Tour, Mackenzie Tour – PGA Tour Canada and the PGA Tour Latinoamerica.

It’s after the R&A and USGA proposed to allow Distance Measuring Devices (DMDs) in the professional game in their upcoming 2019 Rules of Golf changes.

However, this was only a proposed local rule, so it us up to the Tour whether or not to allow them.

For the trial period, the PGA Tour will temporarily allow the local rule 14-3/0.5 of The R&A/USGA Rules of Golf, which stipulates that devices can be used to measure only distance, not slope, elevation or wind.

Related: Rules of Golf changes for 2019…Are the proposals good for the game?

Three three tours will allow both players and caddies to use DMDs in four consecutive tournaments, which also includes Monday qualifiers.

The Web.com Tour tournaments are:

BMW Charity Pro Am presented by SYNNEX Corporation, May 15-21 in Greenville, S.C.
Rex Hospital Open, May 29-June 4 in Raleigh, N.C
Rust-Oleum Championship, June 5-11 in Ivanhoe, Ill
Air Capital Classic, June 12-18 in Wichita, Kan

The Mackenzie Tour – PGA Tour Canada will begin the trial in April and the PGA Tour Latinoamerica’s first trial event begins in June.

Related: The best laser rangefinders 2016

“For years there has been significant discussion and debate about whether distance measuring devices would have a positive or negative impact on competition at the highest levels of professional golf,” said Andy Pazder, Chief Tournaments and Competitions Officer of the PGA Tour.

“The only way we can accurately assess their impact is to conduct an actual test during official competition on one or more of our Tours. We look forward to seeing how these tests go and carefully evaluating the use of the devices over those weeks.

“Our evaluation will consider the impact on pace of play, optics and any other effects they might have on the competition.”

DMDs are a popular sight in practice rounds but are currently prohibited on the professional tours during competition play. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Once the test and evaluation is completed, the PGA Tour will discuss and reviews the results with its Player Advisory Council.

David Rickman, Executive Director – Governance and Chief of Staff at The R&A, told us of the proposed rules change on DMDs, “It’s a shift in emphasis and recognition that for golf as a whole, DMDs have come into the game and been good for the game.

“Golfers like them and use them, and the Rules can easily accommodate that.

“Therefore it seemed appropriate to shift the emphasis and have the minority position – if I can put it that way – that committees are fully entitled to opt out, so there is still an element of choice preserved.”

Should professionals be allowed to use DMDs in tournament play? Let us know on the Golf Monthly Facebook and Twitter pages.