You may be an avid golfer and know that there has been some contention with regard to the use of laser rangefinders in the golf course. Your confusion may actually have some merit. For a long time, the United States Golf Association (USGA), did not allow electronic devices on the golf course. However, in 2014, some players did start to use distance measuring devices during games. In 2019, there were further amendments to the restrictions, giving golfers a little more leeway with regards to the use of rangefinders and distance measuring devices such as GPS and other golf apps.
So are golf laser rangefinder legal?
Go on reading and you will get the answers.
Understanding the USGA Rule 14-3
Under the USGA rule 14-3, golfers will not use any devices that could give them an unfair advantage in the game. The rule comes under artificial devices and unusual equipment section. When on the greens, the assumption is that all the players are equal and must use their skills and abilities to compete against each other. This effectively made the use of laser rangefinders and distance measuring devices illegal. Any player found contravening the restrictions would face this qualification or other penalties.
In 2006 there was a revision to the rule. Players could now use the distance measuring devices but, only if they did not have certain features. In 2016, there was a further amendment to the rule, and the devices could have certain features as long as the player disabled them or turn them off during the game.
Under the 2019 rules, you can use the DMD even without the local rules. However, the committees still have a lot of power. The use of the distance measuring devices is subject to the local rules that the committee would come up with. In the case that the committee members feel uncomfortable, allowing the use of such devices, they were within their rights to prohibited. The local rules are specific to the different golfing events and can change from time to time.
Recommended Laser Rangefinder For Golf Without Slope
- 【Excellent Golf&Hunting Rangefinder】Provide you everything you need for golfing, hunting, bowhunting, and other professional application with reliable product quality and after-sales service. General Golf and Slope Golf Mode,The physical slope switch is for tournament legal
- 【2 SCAN RANGE MODES】Both Mode can be used for golf & hunting. "Mode 1" Provide continuous range readings,and when flaglope/Target enter the lens ,it will give Straight line distance reading ,"Mode 1" can be used for Golf tournament legal . "Mode 2 " support ARC (angle range compensation), Pin-Seeking and Flagpole-Locking Vibration (Vibrate when the flagpole is locked)
- 【ACCURATE】Measuring range from 5 to 1500 yards,with +/- 1m high accuracy， If use rangefinder to make flag-locking for playing golf,the distance within 250 yards and Its better Use" Mode 2" (Please ping the flag, not try to ping the stick). Rangefinder measure 1500yards under condition which there are no obstacles between points.
- 【FAST FOCUS SYSTEM】Rangefinder is 6X Magnification ,Even with glasses on, you will not have any issues adjusting the focus to see the target clearly, simply turn the eye piece to focus on your target, and the range finder is waterproof LCD Digital display,.To help save battery the rangefinder will automatically shut down after 3 seconds of inactivity. To turn it back on, simply press the power button again.
- 【 WHAT YOU GET 】1xbusiness style rangefinder ( portable size(104*35*70mm, Very small and light 6.6oz) ), 1x carrying case, 2x CR2 batteries,1x carabiner, 1x lanyard, 1x cleaning cloth and 1x manual.We will offer 2 year warranty and lifetime customer support. Great return service after contacting customer service team, so that you have no after-sales troubles.
- PREMIUM LASER RANGEFINDER; The VPRO500 Golf Laser Rangefinder is a premium product, measuring up to 540 yards with continuous scan mode, advanced Pin-Seeker technology, and a durable rainproof body.
- ADVANCED PIN-SEEKER TECHNOLOGY; Provides fast measurement with +/- 1 yard accuracy, together with Pin-Seeker technology to accurately measure overlapping subjects, perfect for measuring golf flags, hazards and wooded areas.
- THROUGH THE LENS DISPLAY; Premium, ultra-clear, multi-layered optics with easy read, through the lens display with distance and low battery indicator, and continuous measurement mode for fast and convenient measurements.
- LIGHTWEIGHT, PORTABLE AND DURABLE; Measures just 4.09 x 2.83 x 1.61 inches and weighing just 6.52 oz with a rain resistant, durable body, perfect for carrying while golfing or hunting or for measuring and surveying without extra weight or bulk. High-quality 6x monocular lens with multi-layer coating for bright clear images.
- FULL PACKAGE; Complete rangefinder package for quick setup, including premium carrying pouch, CR2 battery, wrist strap, microfiber cleaning cloth, quick start guide, TecTecTec Happiness Guarantee for 2 Years (Online Registration Required) and Lifetime Customer Support. That's what we call a full package!
- The most cost-effective rangefinder you can find on the market to provide you everything you need for golfing, hunting, bowhunting, and other professional application with reliable product quality and after-sales service. Both models have slope function. The physical slope switch is for tournament legal.
- Provide high-precision distance measurement. Integrates latest functions such as continuous range readings, ARC (angle range compensation), Pin-Seeking and Flagpole-Locking Vibration (Vibrate when the flagpole is locked), and Speed Measuring
- Measuring range from 5 to 650 yards, with +/- 1m high accuracy and 6x magnification. The flagpole locking function supports a distance up to 150 yards (Flagpole only) and 250 yards (Aim the flag when it's unfolded). Our rangefinder can meet most user’s needs
- Fully multi-coated optics lenses effectively reduce reflected light and increase the transmission of light giving you a brighter clear image. The diopter is adjustable for precise focus on display
- We are confident in our product and will provide a 1-year warranty. If you meet any quality issue with our product, we’ll directly send a new one or a full refund is optional.
Rules to Using Laser Rangefinders as a Distance Measuring Device
There are specific rules that govern the use of distance measuring devices, such as laser rangefinders. Such include:-
- You can measure a straight line between two points
- Players can share DMDs and information. On the course, all the information, such as distance between markers and obstacles to avoid, is readily available. The players, therefore do not contravene any USGA rules by sharing such
- Players can measure, gauge and record distances
- Players can use features such as calendars, clocks, scorecards, email, and texts. You cannot, however, communicate with your coach during play
- Players cannot use any features that may give information such as humidity, wind direction, and angle of slope. You can, however, access the local weather forecast. Even if the features are on the device you are using, you must turn them off or disable them on the greens.
- When you finish the stipulating round, you can record the swings for future reference or reviews. You can, however, not recall or review any videos or images during the round.
- The USGA and PGA do not allow the use of DMDs during major tournaments such as the PGA. The players can, however, use them during the practice sessions. It is critical to note that the same applies to the caddie as well. The golfer may face penalties or disqualification if the caddy contravenes this rule.
In an interesting turn of events, the USGA allowed the use of two laser rangefinders, the Bushnell Tour x, and the Leopold GX-41 laser rangefinders. The players, however, needed to remove the brightly colored faceplate for the slope feature. Without the faceplate, the players cannot access the slope feature, making it legal to have on the greens.
- Exchange technology offers you Slope when you want it and makes it tournament legal when you need it
- Dual Display Technology lets you toggle between bright red display or the crisp black display based on lighting conditions or user preference
- PinSeeker with JOLT Technology provides feedback that you have locked onto the flag
- 2nd generation E.S.P provides faster and more accurate yardages than ever. Slope Technology provides compensated distances for elevation changes
- 6x magnification ranges between 5 and 1,300 yards and is accurate to +/- 0.5 yards
- Class 1 laser with <0.5mW average power output
A laser rangefinder is a fantastic tool to have whether you’re a beginner or advanced level. You get to measure distance without having to do it manually. It is easy to use and gives high levels of accuracy. You can use the results to pick the golf clubs you want to use based on the information you get. It is important to know the rules governing the use of DMDs, such as the rangefinders. If you are going in for a tournament, the committee organizing the event will probably have their own set of local rules.