Category Archives: USGA

Jun
2
2016

The USGA and The R&A have published a research paper that reports important facts on driving distance in professional golf. Supporting data comes from seven major tours around the globe (PGA Tour, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, Web.com tour, PGA Champions Tour, LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour), including PGA Tour data beginning in 1968. More detailed data is provided with regard to distance since 2003 on the PGA Tour (thanks to ShotLink, additional info is given) and the European Tour.

One of the key findings was that between 2003 and the end of the 2015 season, the average driving distance on four of the seven tours increased about 1%, or 0.2 yards per year.

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Nov
24
2015
By Stephanie Wei under USGA

friar's head

On Monday the USGA announced several changes to its handicap system that go into effect January 1, 2016. Usually, no one really cares, but one particular new rule seems to have many golfers up in arms and ready to picket the headquarters in Far Hills, NJ. Which feels like a bit of an extreme reaction, but I’m among the few who don’t think it’s that big of a deal.

So, here’s the deal: The USGA says you can no longer post scores for your handicap if you played alone and your score needs to be attested by someone you played with who also keeps a USGA handicap (because only those golfers are trustworthy!). Here’s the explanation in the media blast: 

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Nov
12
2014
Flagstick monitoring tool

Prototype of the device

If you follow me on any of my social media outlets, Twitter, Instagram and/or Facebook (and if you don’t, you should shameless self-promotion), then you know I attended the USGA’s Pace of Play Symposium today, where I’ve gleaned a bunch of interesting information — some of which I’ve shared with you in snippets already.

We all hate slow play and have our ideas and opinions on its causes and solutions to try to eradicate it. However, one of the main things that stood out at the Symposium was the prototype device the USGA introduced, the Flagstick Monitoring Tool (pictured above), which is intended to help address slow play at the recreational level at some point in the near future. 

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Feb
6
2014
USGA joins R&A in stance on DMDs
On Thursday the USGA announced it will permit players to use distance-measuring devices (DMDs), more commonly known as rangefinders, etc., in its amateur championships for 2014. The governing body will also stick with studying the impact of DMDs on pace of play, but from its recent findings, they had no negative effect.

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Nov
19
2013
WTH?

WTH?

On Tuesday the USGA and R&A announced 87 changes — three new Decisions, 59 revised Decisions, one re-numbered Decision and 24 Decisions withdrawn — to the Rules of Golf that will be effective January 1, 2014, but there were four significant ones, with the most notable involving the use of high-definition or slow-motion video and other visual evidence in enforcing the game’s rules.

Golf’s governing bodies may have been prompted to make this new decision as a result of several controversies during the 2013 season, particularly the Oscillate-gate incident with Tiger Woods receiving a two-shot penalty for his ball moving at the BMW Championship. 

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Oct
16
2013
By Stephanie Wei under Architecture
For reals.

This exists

There’s a world-class golf course in the middle of New York City — on the south point of the Bronx tucked under the Whitestone Bridge. The effort to build what is now called Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point nearly has the makings to be an episode out of the The Sopranos, but I didn’t have enough words or room to get into the long, dramatic history.

Instead, I wrote about the partnership of Mayor Bloomberg, Donald Trump and Jack Nicklaus that pushed to complete the 30-plus-year undertaking to bring a golf course to Ferry Point Park and previewed the ceremonial ribbon-cutting at the course that’s happening this morning. In fact, I’m going to be late, so I better run, but you can read in print on the front page of the Wall Street Journal’s Greater New York section (if you live in the tri-state area), or of course, there’s always the online version…

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Jul
1
2013
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour
Sorry, anchorers, you've lost this battle

Sorry, anchorers, you’ve lost this battle

In May, the USGA and R&A made a joint announcement that they had decided to proceed with their decision to adopt Rule 14-1b — banning the anchored putting stroke — effective as of January 1, 2016.

While the PGA Tour and Commissioner Tim Finchem have voiced their opposition to the rule and a group of players who use the stroke have lawyered up, the Tour Policy Board convened the week of the Memorial Tournament and all signs seemed to indicate they’d follow the decree of golf’s governing bodies. After all, how confusing would it be to have two sets of rules and it’d be the PGA Tour saying they were above the game of golf, etc.

On Monday, the Tour announced the Tour Policy Board met this morning and voted to conform with the USGA and R&A’s rule. Here’s the press release:

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