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Distance Measuring Devices

From the days when selecting a club was done by “eye”, there has been a progression of aids available to player to help gauge distance. Initially, there was the introduction of course yardage charts (a development often attributed to Jack Nicklaus), distance markers at the sides of fairways and distances on sprinkler heads. More recently, we have reached a point where it has become quite common for Committees in certain areas of the world to put a Local Rule in place to permit competitors in their events to use electronic distance-measuring devices.

Where such a Local Rule is in place, competitors must ensure that the Device they are using complies with the restrictions of this Local Rule and that they do not access other information which would cause them to be in breach of the Rules. For further information on the issues relating to distance measuring devices, please see the information below.

Did you know?
For distance measuring devices to be permitted during a competition, the Committee must put a Local Rule in place allowing their use.Rule 14-3 does not permit the use of any artificial device or unusual equipment for the purpose of gauging or measuring distance.However, a local rule may allow the use of a distance-measuring device during a round of golf, to measure distance and distance alone.

The 2 common forms of DMD are –

Laser
Measures a straight line from point A to point B Gives distances from A to B, even on blind shots
Requires clear line of sight to the target (flag)

GPS
Measures only to front, middle and back of green, not flag
Requires a steady hand, even in windy conditions Courses may need to be downloaded from pc in advance

You are permitted to –
Measure straight line distance between two points;
Access a club yardage chart based off historical information;
Enter your hole scores;
Enter shot information – for later analysis (e.g. club used and location);Access a local weather forecast.

You are not permitted to –
Gauge or measure slope
Gauge or measure other conditions that might affect play (e.g., wind speed or direction);
Access recommendations that might assist the player in making a stroke or in his play (e.g. club selection, type of shot to be played, green reading or other advice related matters)
Calculate effective distance based on elevation changes or other conditions affecting shot distance.