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Rule 14-3

Rangefinders and other Electronic Distance Measuring Devices

Q. Is it legal under the Rules of Golf to use a Rangefinder or other EDM device?

A. The use of a laser rangefinder is a breach of Rule 14-3, which states that during a stipulated round, the player shall not use any artificial device or unusual equipment for the purpose of gauging or measuring distance or conditions which might affect his play. (Rule 14-3) However, please note that the guidelines of the USGA Handicap System require that scores made when using such a device must be posted for handicap computation purposes.

Change Effective January 1, 2006 The Committee may, by Local Rule, permit the use of devices that measure distance only (i.e., the device may not be used to measure other conditions such as wind-speed or the slope of the ground). (Decision 14-3/0.5)

14-3/0.5 Local Rule Permitting Use of Distance-Measuring Device

Q. May a Committee, by Local Rule, permit the use of distance-measuring devices?
A. Yes. A Committee may establish a Local Rule allowing players to use devices that measure distance only. However, the use of devices that gauge or measure other conditions that might affect a player?s play (e.g., wind or gradient) is not permitted. In the absence of such a Local Rule, the use of a distance-measuring device would be contrary to Rule 14-3. (New)

If the Committee elects to adopt a Local Rule permitting the use of distance-measuring devices, the following text is recommended:

Distance-Measuring Devices: [Specify as appropriate, e.g., "In this competition," or "For all play at this course," etc.], a player may obtain distance information by using a device that measures distance only. However, if, during a stipulated round, a player uses a distance-measuring device that is designed to gauge or measure other conditions that might affect his play (e.g., gradient, wind-speed, temperature, etc.), the player is in breach of Rule 14-3, for which the penalty is disqualification, regardless of whether any such additional functions are actually used.

A Local Rule allowing the use of distance-measuring devices that are capable of gauging or measuring other conditions is not authorized.

This information can be found by following the link below to the USGA website.