The R&A and USGA have reversed their decision and made protractors illegal on the golf course.
Golf’s ruling bodies have flexed their muscle and deemed that Bryson DeChambeau’s use of a compass (the geometrical type used to draw arcs and circles) on the golf course is illegal.
Rex Hoggard reported at the Golf Channel that the R&A and USGA announced to players this week that they will disallow any use of a protractor or drawing compass.
“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.”
It’s a strange ruling given that they had initially told DeChambeau that he could use the compass after he was noticed using it during the Travelers Championship.
DeChambeau said at the time that he was making sure the hole locations were correct.
“I’m figuring out the true pin locations,” DeChambeau said. “The pin locations are just a little bit off every once in a while, and so I’m making sure they’re in the exact right spot. And that’s it.”
DeChambeau is yet to comment on the ruling but he probably is starting to feel a little hard done by the tour after he was also told by the tour to change his putting style after going side-saddle last year.
In an age when caddies are regularly lining up players both on and off the green, complex yardage and green-reading books, and when the rules of golf don’t specifically cover* this device, it does seem a little petty from the PGA Tour.
It doesn’t seem like something that would actually assist DeChambeau to make a stroke any more than being given a distance to the hole would.
* Just to clarify, the use of a compass that determines direction only is permitted on the golf course as it provides directional information and does not gauge or measure variable conditions or assist the player in his play.