Guidance on Distance Measuring Devices (DMD)
This guidance has been prepared following consultation with the R&A and from England Golf documentation.
The Club has a Local Rule that allows the use of DMD’s in competitions. There are no restrictions on the type of DMD that can be used. For example, the Club cannot prevent mobile phones being used as DMD’s, provided they conform to the R&A specification, and the Club does not introduce a regulation banning the use of mobile phones on the course. In addition, Watch based DMD’s and integral Trolley DMD’s are allowed.
A conforming DMD measures distance only. If the device is capable of giving information on conditions which might affect play, it does not conform, and the penalty is disqualification, even if the information was not used.
Examples of non-conforming features are: air temperature, wind speed, and measuring slope at the point where a stroke is made; advice on club selection; and the capability of measuring distance between two points based on slope and/or other conditions that affect shot distance.
After consultation the R&A have confirmed that having a Weather App, such as available from the BBC, installed on a mobile phone does not in itself make the device non-conforming. In addition having compass and spirit level features does not make the device illegal.
The Club advises that Members who use a mobile phone as a DMD should ensure the device is fully compliant with the rules. The wording of the Local Rule is as the R&A recommend and further information is given in Appendices I & IV of the 2016 Rules of Golf Book. Failure to comply will result in disqualification.
The Marker has the right to challenge the use of any DMD during a competition. Disputes should be referred to the Handicap Secretary.