Distance Measurement

The following Local Rule has been introduced for all golf played in Mannan Castle :

 “A player may obtain distance information by using a device that measures distance only. If during a stipulated round, a player uses a distance measuring device that is designed to gauge or measure other conditions that might affect their play (e.g. gradient, wind speed, temperature etc.) the player is in breach of Rule14-3 for which the penalty is disqualification, regardless of whether any such additional function is actually used.”


  1. Can I use a distance measuring device in a competition?
    A. Yes. The use of distance measuring devices during a stipulated round remains contrary to the Rules of Golf – the penalty being disqualification under Rule 14-3 (Artificial Devices, Unusual Equipment and Unusual Use of Equipment). However, since January 2006, a Club can permit the use of some such devices via a Local Rule. This is the Local Rule that has now been passed for golf in Mannan Castle. If playing in other clubs, check their Local Rules before you use one – if there is no local rule permitting their use, then you will break Rule 14-3.
  2. What kind of distance measuring devices are allowed by Local Rule?
    A. Any – GPS and laser are the two technologies in use at present. However, it is important that the device only measures distance. The use of a distance-measuring device that is designed to gauge or measure other conditions that might affect a player’s play, like gradient, wind speed or temperature, is not permitted, regardless of whether such an additional function is used or not, and even if that function is disabled.
  3. What about multi-functional devices, such as a mobile phone, with a distance measuring application?
    A. On the course, subject to any club or course regulations, a multi-functional device may be used to phone, text or email – provided the purpose is not a breach of the Rules, e.g. you are not asking for advice. When an application that measures distance has been downloaded to the device, the application must be restricted to providing only distance information in order to conform to the Local Rule. If there are any other features or applications on the phone that gauge or measure other conditions that might affect a player’s play, such as a temperature gauge, compass or anemometer, this would render the device non-conforming regardless of whether these other features or applications are used or not.
  4. If the Local Rule for distance measuring devices is in place, may players share a distance measuring device?
    A. Yes…provided the sharing does not delay play.
  5. Is there a List of Distance Measuring Devices telling players which products conform to the Local Rule and which do not?
    A. No. The responsibility is on you to ensure that using your device does not disqualify you. If in doubt – don’t us it.

The Council,
May 2011.