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USGA, R&A propose equipment standards changes that could include different rules for elite players

For the first time, golf’s governing bodies appear poised to allow for significant rules differences between elite players and other golfers as a way to combat the distance gains the sport has seen with the advancement of technology.

Known as “bifurcation,” it would mean the professional tours and elite amateur competitions could require competitors to use equipment that is restricted while allowing everyday players the benefits that those technological gains bring them.

The United States Golf Association and the R&A jointly announced Tuesday that they are proposing equipment standards changes, including a potential local rule for club and ball specifications. They are also proposing changes to club length.

A year ago, the USGA and R&A released their “Distance Insights Project,” in which

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