USGA Announces Changes To Decisions On The Rules Of Golf


Far Hills, N.J. (Nov. 16) – Following the two-year review cycle with The R&A, Ltd., the United States Golf Association has announced 28 new Decisions, 51 revised Decisions and one withdrawn Decision for the 2010-2011 edition of  “Decisions on the Rules of Golf.” The changes will take effect on Jan. 1, 2010.

“Decisions on the Rules of Golf” contains more than 1,200 entries, most of which are situations posed in a question-and-answer format, to address specific circumstances under the Rules of Golf. While the Rules of Golf follow a four-year review cycle (the next revision being in 2012), the Decisions are reviewed every two years. Review the principal changes since 2008-2009

“The changes to the Decisions for 2010-2011 represent a fine-tuning of the solid foundation provided by the Rules,” said James T. Bunch, USGA secretary and chairman of the USGA’s Rules of Golf Committee.

The USGA and The R&A have also issued a joint statement of principles regarding the use of electronic devices, including distance-measuring devices. The USGA and The R&A first allowed the use of distance-measuring devices by local rule in January 2006 and are reaffirming that these devices may be used to measure only distance and must not be able to measure other conditions such as wind speed or direction, the slope of the ground or the temperature. Neither the USGA nor The R&A anticipate adopting the local rule at any of their championships.

The text of the new and revised “Decisions on the Rules of Golf,” as well as the full text of the joint statement of principles, can be found on the left-hand rail of the Rules section.

Also review the Changes In The Decisions For 2010 And The Evolution Of One Particular Decision.


About the USGA  

The USGA is the national governing body of golf in the USA and Mexico, a combined territory that includes more than half the world’s golfers and golf courses. 

The USGA annually conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open, U.S. Senior Open, 10 national amateur and two state team championships. It also helps conduct the Walker Cup Match, Curtis Cup Match and World Amateur Team Championships.


The USGA also writes the Rules of Golf, conducts equipment testing, provides expert course maintenance consultations, funds research for better turf and a better environment, maintains a Handicap System®, celebrates the history of the game, and administers an ongoing “For the Good of the Game” grants program, which has allocated more than $65 million over 13 years to successful programs that bring the game’s values to youths from disadvantaged backgrounds and people with disabilities.

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The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

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Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.

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IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website,, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit

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Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit

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Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

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