Founded in 1894, the United States Golf Association is the national governing body of golf for the U.S. and Mexico. One of the USGA’s most prominent functions, in partnership with The R&A in St. Andrews, Scotland, is to write and maintain the Rules of Golf worldwide. In addition, the USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, 10 national amateur championships, two state team championships as well as international matches.
The USGA and Lightmaker worked together on a complete redesign of the official Rules of Golf mobile apps. The Rules of Golf is comprised of 34 primary Rules, each broken into sub-rules, with at times, multiple levels of details and notes. Additionally, most rules have corresponding Decisions, of which there are approximately 1,300 currently.
The new mobile apps include the 2012-2015 edition of The Rules of Golf and the 2014-2015 edition of the Decisions on the Rules of Golf. The launch of the apps coincided with the USGA and R&A’s recently announced changes to the Decisions on the Rules of Golf, which became effective on January 1, 2014.
The apps have an entirely new user experience that give users fast and easy access to find content. Power users including Tournament Rules Officials that already know the Rule or Decision number, and need to quickly access the language, can scroll through the jump dial, while other users might search for terms like “tree” or “water” to find the appropriate Rule or Decision content.
In promoting golfer education, particularly surrounding the Rules of Golf, the USGA encourages users to share Rules content with one another, and the apps provide users the ability to both share and bookmark content on their smartphones or tablets.
“We enjoyed working closely with Lightmaker to create the new Rules of Golf mobile applications,” said Thomas Pagel, Senior Director, Rules of Golf & Amateur Status at the USGA. “This is the first step in expanding the reach of the Rules of Golf, which improves the appreciation of the game from golfers of all ages and skill levels.”