The WPGA Championship Committee will implement the following Local Rules for the upcoming season in all Association conducted competitions. These changes were approved at the Committee’s November 21 meeting.
The changes do not apply to USGA Qualifying Rounds conducted by the Association.
1. The so-called “One Ball Rule” will no longer be in effect.
2. The Groove Condition effective for all USGA Amateur Championships starting in 2014 will not be implemented in Association conducted championships.
The differences between the WPGA’s ‘hard card’ and the USGA’s hard card, each organization’s supplemental Local Rules to the Rules of Golf, are:
1. One Ball Rule
2. Groove Condition
3. Stones in bunkers as movable obstructions is a permanent condition in WPGA events and are only in effect in USGA Qualifying Rounds if specifically posted.
4. Distance measuring devices are approved for use in WPGA events and are prohibited under penalty of disqualification in USGA Qualifying Rounds.
The committee determined that since many organizations no longer use the “One Ball Rule,” it was advisable to discontinue this optional condition. The possibility of an inadvertent breach also factored into the decision.
The USGA suggests the Groove Condition be implemented “only for competitions involving expert players.”
Thus the Committee decided these changes simplify Association competitions while adhering to the Rules of Golf.