Golf Tech… Rules every golfer should know!


The Equipment Rules of Golf is 100 pages long, but we won’t go into detail here because much of this document explains how clubs must comply with the Rules of Golf. So this long post is more of a concern for gear brands than for you!

However, as clubs and equipment have become more high-tech, the rules have had to keep pace with things not previously thought of, such as GPS distance measuring devices (DMDs), rangefinders and adjustable clubs.

DMDs and Rangefinders

Over the past decade, DMDs, for example, have moved from permit only through the local rule to be prohibited only via local rule – so a complete change of position as their evolution has continued rapidly, meaning you can now use them in competitive rounds unless a local rule prohibiting them is in effect.

Watches and GPS devices are permitted except where expressly prohibited by local rule

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

But although you can now use them unless such a local rule is in effect (this is rarely the case at club level), there may be features you still cannot use. . For example the Slope feature on most of the better range finders, which takes into account the effect of elevation change in slope adjusted distances – this is still forbidden in competitive golf so you need to have this feature clearly toggled to the disabled position when playing competitively.

Player using a rangefinder

You must ensure that the Slope function is disabled on your rangefinder during competition rounds

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

Rule 4.3a in the Full Rules of Golf (not the Player’s Edition) gives more detail on what is and isn’t allowed when it comes to equipment. You will read that you can get weather and wind speed information from weather forecasts, and you can measure temperature and humidity. But you are not allowed to actually measure the wind speed on the course, or even use an artificial object to get wind information, with powder as an example given. Of course, nothing prevents you from throwing grass to obtain such information because it is a natural object.