Are Golf GPS Devices & Rangefinders ‘Legal’ for Tournament Play?

Not so long past, electronics weren’t allowed anywhere close to the course on tournament days. a bit presently, they were allowed with conditions. Now, it looks there’s even an additional allowance for golf optical maser rangefinders and GPS devices to be utilized in a game. However, most playing GPS devices are currently legal to be used in tournaments and championships though some advanced varieties stay banned. Thus if you’ve found an extremely sensible GPS watch and you’re about to use it in a very tournament, simply apprehend that it’s additionally possible to be legal than not.

Many folks have smartphones currently and use them as our beat all devices most of the time. 

Not solely smartphones are used for his or her high useful quotient, however additionally as a result of they’re fun to use.  whereas it’s convenient for the US to use Golf GPS apps to help us in our golf games, some rules are obligatory by the golf governing bodies like USGA and R&A. To perceive the lawfulness of playing GPS devices, you need to 1st perceive what they’re. playing GPS devices are watches or hand-held devices that are primarily GPS receivers. They receive and use knowledge from GPS satellites to calculate your distance from any purpose on the course.

Here, we’ll lay out what you wish to grasp concerning employing a GPS device on the course on a massive day. It might be the distinction between earning that trophy or embarrassingly being kicked out of the sport. First, we need to know;

Are Golf GPS Devices & Rangefinders Legal

Are GPS devices even allowed? 

The easiest answer will be for this question “Yes”. Yet, you need to know some facts.  Golfing GPS devices have solely surged in quality over the past few years. Yet it’s these days progressively turning troublesome to envision a golf player who isn’t exploiting such devices, it was solely many years past that the devices were thought of to be dirty. This is often as a result of it being ab initio thought that such devices gave some players undue advantage.

However, the principles were modified by USGA to permit the utilization of rangefinders since the knowledge such devices give is already accessible on track markers. Even so, not all GPS devices are allowed to be used in golf tournaments. This is often as a result of a number of them having additional capabilities that will give undue advantage to the players who own them.

The USGA 14-3 Rule

The other rule is that no link is authorized to use a contraction in computing, which would assist the link during a game. Rule 14-3 includes “Artificial machines and odious instrumentation.” Any system endorsing a player’s abilities, abilities, or viewpoint on the race during a tournament is unconstitutional, supported by this law. You can find under your belt that in tournament play no optical measurement machine or GPS unit is used. If such an instrument was used, Law 14-3 would be infringed.

Law 14-3 has, however, been updated in 2006 to allow the use of remote measurement instruments. In 2016, the machines to carry banned choices were entirely updated again as long as they were restricted, restricted, or available during the game stipulated. The explanation given previously is that USGA assumed that the retailers presented material which was already in the course and thus did not provide an unfair profit. Therefore, event planning committees create the “Street Law” so that remote measuring equipment can be used officially in their tournaments.

What is Legal & Illegal?

There’s an app for almost everything, beginning with time pass games to extremely intellectual brain games, weather apps, searching apps, travel apps, social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, and such website apps, and even different hunter apps! thus, naturally, golfers tend to transfer any golf GPS connected apps to be accustomed to improve their game. The gist of it’s, golf GPS devices are legal for several tournament events. Whereas the revised rule has restrictions, you’re currently able to own a feature-loaded GPS device whereas still having it qualify for tours. But, there’s a catch!

Through much research, we found two kinds of distance-measuring instruments are available from the USGA

  • Multi-functional:  These are what laser receptacles and GPS receptacles should be considered for. You should get the GPS systems by hand or by time. 
  • Single-functional: These are other machines such as telephones or computers for general use. If, however, a remote measurement system for golf is available to download an app or application, it is enabled.

But for these allowances, you need to follow some strict rules. Or we can say,


  • May share between players the GPS. 
  • Calculate and calculate the target distances. 
  • Measure and log shooting distances. 
  • Enable GPS to provide other conforming functions such as a clock, calendar, fundamental details on the scorecard, etc. 
  • Telephone, fax, email, and meteorological connectivity. 
  • Link to the recording swing after the required round for review.

With allowed tasks, there are also some “ Not Allowed” tasks, or we can say,


  • Calculated pitch gap estimation and gage 
  • Evaluate whether conditions and evaluate them with integrated functionality 
  • Swing coach call/text/email during the specified round 
  • Take a shot of a swing taken during a specified round and study it. 
  • Swing characteristics 
  • Features of the Club plan

Before going to the conclusion part, let us introduce you to some legal Golf Gps and Rangefinders. The distance measurement systems, particularly pimped-out GPS devices, are readily available. There is a decent way of doing so. When it comes to their use, the code of honor is constantly applicable. If you’re not honest, you’re sure to be caught!

GPS & RangefindersCheck them out!!
Laser Link XL 1000 RangefinderGet Review
Leupold Pincaddie 2 Laser RangefinderGet Review
TecTecTec VPRO500 Golf RangefinderGet Review
Garmin Approach G10Get Review
GolfBuddy WT6Get Review
GolfBuddy Aim W10 Golf GPS WatchGet Review


Now, as licensed by local golf clubs, GPS golf watches have become lawful. Many associations have adopted local rules, so when using a GPS golf watch you have little to think about. The use of golfing GPS systems during the tournament has been a lot of difficulties. However, the 14-3 law was amended to allow for the use of certain machines as long as their owners complied with local rules restrictions. It is also a little unclear the legal and forbidden elements of Rule 14-3 and its amendments. While a great deal has been made clear, before you take the local law into account, it is still best to review what rules apply to each case.