USGA Bans DeChambeau’s Compass Usage

Bryson DeChambeau will have to come up with another method of finding out “true pin locations,” because his use of a drawing compass has been deemed ‘unusual equipment that might assist him in making a stroke or in his play.”’s Rex Hoggard broke the story on Thursday by getting his hands on a statement from the USGA sent to PGA Tour players. 

Tour Investigating DeChambeau’s Compass Use

“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. It is considered ‘unusual equipment that might assist him in making a stroke or in his play.'”

DeChambeau declined to comment on the ruling.

Rules officials from the PGA Tour approached DeChambeau on the range following his third round at the Travelers Championship when cameras picked him up using to compass to let him know they were looking into the legality of using it during competition, but that regardless of their findings, nothing would be done retroactively.


“They said, ‘Hey, we just want to let you know that we’re investigating the device and seeing if it’s allowable,'” DeChambeau said two weeks ago. “I understand. It wouldn’t be the first time this has happened.

“It’s a compass. It’s been used for a long, long time. Sailors use it. People are saying it’s an unusual device, that’s at least what the Tour’s saying. It’s just funny that people take notice when I start putting and playing well.”

The USGA also released a statement to as a means of explanation. 

“At the request of the PGA Tour, the USGA and the R&A reviewed Bryson DeChambeau’s stated use of a drawing compass to assist him in determining ‘true’ hole locations, and jointly determined that his specific usage would be in breach of Rule 14-3, if used in a future round.

“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.”