USGA Rules iPhone App
By Kickntrue on 1/5/10
Do you own the USGA's Rules of Golf iPhone app yet? For $3.99 you can buy an app from the USGA that presents the 2010-2011 edition of the Rules that can be quickly and easily accessed.
I guess this is better than a paper version of the rules book- but it'd still be annoying for someone to pull out their phone during a round to check on a rule. I doubt it's THAT fast.
I think the most interesting thing about the app though- is what it means to the rules of golf themselves. Sure- if you're sitting on the John refreshing your knowledge of the rules, that's great, but what if you really are on the course? The iPhone has a lot of features that make it non-USGA compliant, so if you pull out your phone to look up a rule, does you round become invalid for USGA purposes? How could someone know that you didn't instead access the compass or weather conditions?
Story - GeoffShackelford.com
[ comments ]
I use my iPhone to keep score. I throw a piece of grass in the air to check the wind. How does using an iPhone on the course illegal (besides gps which I don't trust on the iPhone for distances anyway)? Thanks for the suggestion. I'll get it.
@eventHorizon- believe it or not the GPS is not the illegal part (SkyGolf, uPro, Garmen, etc). What the USGA has a problem with is the fact that someone could look up the weather to get wind direction or use the device to get elevation changes or compass to determine north (seriously). unless you're playing in an event sanctioned by the USGA, I'd keep using the iPhone.
I had no idea it was illegal to carry an iPhone. Do I have to disqualify myself in every round I played in 2009 or only the rounds where I looked up the weather?
Before I saw this I had the GoodReader iPhone app that can read PDFs and the rules from here: www.randa.org/rules/rulessub/rulespage It can search pretty fast. Probably not as fast as the USGA app, but I can also read other golfing books on PDF when the rules get boring.
It is a lot easier to download the www.randa.org/rules/rulessub/rulespage into an idisk using MobileMe, synchronize the iPhone or the iPod Touch with the iDisk and you can have total access to read the Rules without having to browse the randa.org website.
I agree with some of the threads as to since when did the iPhone become an issue on a golf course? I wonder at times as to where do these crappy information come from? Or do folks make up these things as they go? As far checking windage is concerned, I have a time believing that a golfer has that much time on a golf course to pull out an iphone or a blackberry every time for a weather check. As part of your game preparation, I can understand that. I do weather check before I practice at the range or a 9-round. Anything beyond that, that fall within an etiquette issue as far as slowing down the course...
@tennesseeboy- I wouldn't disqualify yourself. I don't think the USGA's new ruling is quite definitive enough to 100% say the iPhone is illegal. I've heard others interpret the ruling completely the opposite way- that it is perfectly legal. I wouldn't do it in a US Open qualifier, but I think your handicap is pretty safe and legit.
I agree that iPhones (or any smartphone for that matter) aren't illegal for sanctioned play. What's illegal is to use them in prohibited manner (check wind direction/speed, etc.). The same applies to any equipment you're carrying. Just because you can't use your sand wedge to break off branches in the path of your intended swing prior to a stroke doesn't mean that you can't carry a wedge.
What blurs the line a bit is the fact that while local rules may allow the use of GPS devices or laser rangefinders, those devices that measure slope or suggest which club to use are prohibited (even if you don't use that feature while playing).
I've owned an iPhone for years. How the heck can you check wind direction with an iPhone? Who would check accuweather.com or any of the others for which way the wind is blowing at some remote weather station rather than throwing a piece of grass into the air?
Patrick McKay says:
Sounds like another reason to break the pace of play rule
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