Is a player permitted to use the following
equipment on a golf course?
a) Standard binoculars.
c) Booklet containing illustrations of the
holes and providing accurate distances
between various identifiable points.
d) Training or swing aid.
e) Hand warmer.
a) Yes, Decision 14-3/3.
b) No, Decision 14-3/4.
c) Yes, Decision 14-3/5.
d) No, Decision 14-3/10.
e) Yes, Decision 14-3/13. Although a hand
warmer is an artificial device, its use to
warm the hands is traditionally accepted and
a player is not in breach of Rule 14-3 if he
uses equipment in a traditionally accepted
Note: A player may not
use a hand warmer to heat a ball. Decision
What are the circumstances under which a
player is permitted to use a distance
measuring device on the course?
If the Committee has introduced a Local
Rule allowing players to use devices
that measure or gauge distance only.
Note the use of
the word "only" in the above answer.
Decision 14-3/0.5 includes these words;
..... the use of a
distance-measuring device that is
[also] designed to gauge or
measure other conditions
that might affect a player's play
(e.g., gradient, wind speed,
temperature, etc.) is not permitted
regardless of whether such an
additional function is used.
interesting consequence to the above is
that a player may not use an iPhone on
the course for measuring distances,
although there are numerous applications
available for this purpose. The reason
is that all iPhone models have an
inbuilt compass feature, which cannot be
removed. I have expanded on this subject
in a July 2010 blog item, which can be