The USGA got something right regarding their own rules.
During the Travelers Championship, Bryson DeChambeau was seen using a compass to, in his own words, “find the true pin locations” on several holes.
After his round he was told that the USGA was investigating whether or not he was breaking the rules by using a tool that can be used to measure distances during play.
On Thursday we finally heard back on that ruling and it seems that the USGA does in fact understand SOME of their own rules.
“The USGA has ruled that the use of a protractor (also known as a drawing compass) during a stipulated round is a violation of Rule 14-3a of the Rules of Golf,” according to a statement sent to players. “It is considered ‘unusual equipment that might assist him in making a stroke or in his play.’”
I can’t exactly say I’m surprised considering the following:
“Rule 14-3 governs the use of equipment and devices (including electronic devices) that might assist a player in making a specific stroke or generally in his play.
Except as provided in the Rules, during a stipulated round the player must not use any artificial device or unusual equipment, or use any equipment in an abnormal manner:
a. That might assist him in making a stroke or in his play; or
b. For the purpose of gauging or measuring distance or conditions that might affect his play; or”
It’s as plain as day under the “b.” there … “for the purpose of gauging or measuring distance or conditions.”
Had the USGA ruled in favor of Bryson using the tool, no matter how long it’s been around, it would have been disregarding it’s own rules…which it seems to do on a whim anyways…see Phil Mickelson DEFLECTING a ball and not getting DQ’d at the U.S. Open.