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Kansas Golf Associaition

USGA Local Rule - Electronic Measuring Devices in KGA competitions

The board of directors of the Kansas Golf Association has determined that it should and will adopt for its competitions in 2006 the USGA Local Rule permitting the use of distance-measuring devices during a stipulated competitive round. 

Many of you may have already acquired a distance measuring device that has the added feature of measuring the degree of slope (elevation) from one point to another.  The USGA has always deemed that such information would be in violation of the Local Rule, if adopted.  However, it only recently clarified its position to state that a player may not use such a slope-determining device in a competition (or even for recreational handicap-determining rounds) even if that feature is turned off.  Please be sure that any distance measuring device you intend to use in KGA competitions does not have the slope-determination feature.  The penalty for using such a prohibited device is disqualification. 

There are three types of devices currently available to measure distances on golf courses: 

a.   Laser reflective.  This device will work on any golf course without reflectors attached to flagsticks or other objects.  The device can measure distance to objects other than a flagstick, and will work with any reflector that may have been placed on a flagstick.
b.   Laser reflective requiring reflectors.  This device will only measure distance to a reflector that is attached to a flagstick (or other objects).
c.  Global Positioning Sattelite (GPS) devices require downloaded software to the device and that the golf course having been previously mapped (SkyCaddie is the most common brand). 

The KGA will permit the use of any of these devices.  However, not all KGA championship sites are mapped for GPS and the KGA will not require that any championship site have reflectors installed on its flagsticks.  Where KGA flagsticks are used, reflectors may be installed. Other situations involving the use of distance measuring devices: 

a.     If only one golfer in a group has a distance measuring device, it is permissible for that device to be “shared” with the other golfers in the group.  There is no requirement that the device be shared with other golfers in the competition.
b.     It is permissible for one golfer to make a distance reading with a device and give the information to any other golfer.
c.     It is now permissible to give or obtain information regarding distance from movable objects (like golf balls) if such information would be publicly ascertainable.
d.     Any act that would be permitted by a player using a distance measuring device can be performed by the player’s caddy. 

The KGA board of directors is permitting the use of distance measuring devices in the belief that the pace of play will be enhanced.