The R&A's Championship Committee announced today that it has decided to allow the use of distance measuring devices in its amateur events starting in 2014.
Previously, distance measuring devices, including range finders and GPS units, in R&A events had been covered by an optional Local Rule under the Rules of Golf as noted in 2006.
The R&A's committee introduces it only for its amateur events, meaning that players in The Open Championship and its qualifying rounds will not be allowed to use devices.
From the R&A's press release:
"The Championship Committee would like to emphasise that it has taken this decision for R&A events but is not making this a recommendation for other championship organisers to follow. It remains a matter for individual Committees and Clubs to decide whether or not they want to allow the use of such devices in their competitions."
We'll have more information and analysis on the ruling as it becomes available.