USGA disallows Bryson DeChambeau’s hole location device, says protractor use violates Rule 14-3a

July 12, 2018

It’s been less than two weeks since Bryson DeChambeau revealed he was being investigated by the PGA tour for his use of a compass during competitive rounds, but unfortunately for DeChambeau, the USGA has already decided that his use of a protractor to dial in hole locations is not allowable under the Rules of Golf.

According to Golf Channel, a statement was sent to players informing them of the decision.

Bryson DeChambeau compass ruling
Bryson DeChambeau has two career Tour wins.

“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,” the statement said. “It is considered ‘unusual equipment that might assist him in making a stroke or in his play.’”

Golf Channel also received a statement from the USGA to further clarify the ruling:

“The Rule prohibits a player, during a stipulated round, from using any artificial device or unusual equipment, or using any equipment in an abnormal manner, that ‘might assist him in making a stroke or in his play.’ Because a compass is not a usual piece of equipment in golf, and Bryson clearly stated that he had used the device to assist him, the USGA, R&A and the PGA Tour agreed it was in the best interest of the game to share this determination with Bryson immediately. In doing so before his next round, we have made every effort to assist Bryson in avoiding possible disqualification and provide clarity to the PGA Tour and other players in the field.”

DeChambeau, who claims he has been using the device since 2016, says he uses it to discern “true pin locations.”

“The pin locations are a little bit off every once in a while,” he told reporters at the Travelers Championship, “so I’m making sure they’re in the exact right spot.”

“People are saying it’s an unusual device, that’s at least what the Tour’s saying,” he continued. “It’s funny people take notice when you start playing well.”