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Confused on Rules for Iphone Golf GPS


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#1 Chaztrip

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:31 AM

Hello,

I tried to search for the awnser but could not find it.  If I use my iphone on a non tournement round and use the Golfshot or Golflogix.... are you saying that I cant even turn in that score for my handicap?

Thanks


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#2 Chaztrip

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 11:27 AM

Never mind...  I beleive that I found my awnser.  So I guess all my rounds even though they were played as they lied and exact scores were kept.  I used my iphone for GPS only....  they are or could be null.   :-(



#3 TM_HOYER

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 11:28 AM

Only conforming equipment (clubs, GPS, rangefinder, etc.) can be used in submitting a round for a USGA handicap. Of course that does not mean that people are not submitting rounds using non-conforming equipment. If they do and their handicap is challenged at a tournament, their handicap could be thrown out and they would be DQ'd or the tournament committee could adjust their handicap. But I doubt you will see that happen but once in a blue moon.

#4 phil75070

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 04:59 PM

I've belonged to a CC where there was no excuse for not turning in a round. Didn't make any difference if you used a rangefinder with slope, played two balls, carried 20 clubs. They would check the scores turned in against the tee sheet. This was to try to deal with sandbaggers who would selectively enter their scores.

Usually, if one is not playing the round 100% IAW the Rules it tends to lower their handicap so I have no problem with those who enter such scores.
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#5 Chaztrip

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 07:27 PM

View PostTM_HOYER, on 30 July 2012 - 11:28 AM, said:

Only conforming equipment (clubs, GPS, rangefinder, etc.) can be used in submitting a round for a USGA handicap. Of course that does not mean that people are not submitting rounds using non-conforming equipment. If they do and their handicap is challenged at a tournament, their handicap could be thrown out and they would be DQ'd or the tournament committee could adjust their handicap. But I doubt you will see that happen but once in a blue moon.

Thanks this what I thought.  What are the chances the USGA allows smartphones for this in the future?

Edited by Chaztrip, 30 July 2012 - 07:28 PM.


#6 Andy L

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 07:50 PM

I have not seen anyone's handicap (nor have I read any reports where a handicap was DSQ'd) because rounds were played using a smartphone.

As Phil said, you have to record all your rounds-- Lots of clubs enforce that rule and it doesn't matter how many clubs you used, tried your partners new driver a on a few holes, played practice balls, took mulligans or you used a smartphone.  Heck you're even supposed to estimate a 9 hole score if you played less than 9 or estimate an 18 hole score if you only played less than 18.  Furthermore there are plenty of times when I, or others I'm playing with, use the weather app on our smartphone to look at the radar and live lightning data to see if a thunderstorm is headed our way-- technically that isn't allowed either, but we all sleep well at night not worried that we cheated our handicap.

The USGA needs to get with the times.  It's crazy they don't allow a smartphones to be used for DME, especially by amateurs, because technically the compass (or other apps) make them non-conforming.  Sure a purest might say that it invalidates a persons handicap, but it also means the person saying it is probably a jerk.

Lets be realistic-- there are a bunch of easier ways to cheat and materially manipulate your handicap if you so desired, and not a one requires a smartphone.

The root of the problem is however that the rules for weekend golfers are the same as PGA pros which doesn't make much sense.  So much could be done with modified amateur rules that would improve pace of play and aspects that adversely impact the enjoyment of the game for amateurs. Virtually every other sport has rules for pros and separate rules for amateurs, perhaps golf should also.  A well known pro golfer (can't remember who) recently interviewed commented similarly about the rules for amateurs should not be the same as pros.

With that said, if you happen to play in a tournament, you might want to ask the hosts whether golfers are allowed to use smartphone GPS apps or not.

#7 churnd

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 08:19 PM

In every local tournament I've played in, theres never been a problem with me using Golfshot on my iPhone.  It doesn't work any different than any other GPS device.  I have asked the rules official three different times, and each one said it was OK.

I wish I could get an official GHIN from scores in Golfshot.  Its no different than keeping a scorecard and turning it in to the pro shop.  I just chalk it up to being behind the times.

#8 Andy L

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 08:28 PM

View Postchurnd, on 30 July 2012 - 08:19 PM, said:

In every local tournament I've played in, theres never been a problem with me using Golfshot on my iPhone.  It doesn't work any different than any other GPS device.  I have asked the rules official three different times, and each one said it was OK.

I wish I could get an official GHIN from scores in Golfshot.  Its no different than keeping a scorecard and turning it in to the pro shop.  I just chalk it up to being behind the times.

Well that's good to hear there's been no issue with local tournaments... at least they are being sensible.

Also, while golfshot (or any other GPS app that I know of) doesn't interface directly with GHIN for handicaping, there is a fairly new GHIN App for both the iPhone and Droid which does load and track your handicap in the GHIN system.  Just go to the App store or Android market and search for GHIN--it's free and comes directly from GHIN. You can't do hole by hole and you have to manually correct for ESC, but I load my 9 and 18 hole scores as soon as I'm done playing using  this app.

#9 TM_HOYER

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 08:37 PM

The earliest there could be change is 2016 when the next rules revision is out. The issue is not because it has a "compass" app as some will quote. The issue is the same as with the Leupold GX-4, the internal hardware and software built into the device has features in it that the USGA does not allow, even if they can be turned off. Also if a person uses a smartphone during a competition and they are either allowed or nothing is done when reported, that competition is not being run to USGA rules. And every tournament I have played in, it is very specific, non-slope lasers and dedicated golf GPS only. Anything else is not allowed.

#10 Willie Malay

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 09:08 AM

No it's just the i-Fauxn. It's OK to use an Android though


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#11 phillypete

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 05:41 PM

Would it also then be illegal to take a call, or check texts & email?

#12 BrianL99

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 07:40 PM

View PostChaztrip, on 30 July 2012 - 09:31 AM, said:

Hello,

I tried to search for the awnser but could not find it.  If I use my iphone on a non tournement round and use the Golfshot or Golflogix.... are you saying that I cant even turn in that score for my handicap?

Thanks

The iPhone has a compass, an inclinometer & a weather application, all of which make it illegal as other have pointed out.   They are clearly illegal for tournament play, unless a local rule allows them (although I suppose they couldn't hold a tournament pursuant to USGA Rules & make up a rule of their own?).

#13 Pexeter

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 11:45 PM

Although I know that's what the rules state, how do those items help anybody let alone give them an advantage? Oh, were hitting East not South?? Were sure to Birdie now! Oh, its overcast and 85 degrees?  Now i KNOW i'll break 70!  Give me a break.

#14 TM_HOYER

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 07:24 AM

The smartphones are not non-conforming because of apps. There is a lot more than that. The USGA has a list of functions that make lasers / GPS non-conforming. Even if they can be turned on or off, as long as it is built into the device, it is non-conforming. Smartphones have hardware and software built into them that can tell the break of a green, tell the slope to the hole, and tell direction. The apps just tap into that hardware and software. Since these functions are built in to the smartphones they are non-conforming. The Leupold GX-4 / GX-4i is non-conforming because it has slope built into it (and despite you can visibly see that function is turned off). If smartphones are to be allowed, you would also have to allow the Leupold when the slope function is turned off.

#15 ultra45

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 08:13 AM

View PostTM_HOYER, on 01 August 2012 - 07:24 AM, said:

The smartphones are not non-conforming because of apps. There is a lot more than that. The USGA has a list of functions that make lasers / GPS non-conforming. Even if they can be turned on or off, as long as it is built into the device, it is non-conforming. Smartphones have hardware and software built into them that can tell the break of a green, tell the slope to the hole, and tell direction. The apps just tap into that hardware and software. Since these functions are built in to the smartphones they are non-conforming. The Leupold GX-4 / GX-4i is non-conforming because it has slope built into it (and despite you can visibly see that function is turned off). If smartphones are to be allowed, you would also have to allow the Leupold when the slope function is turned off.

The angle leupold is going with is that the different face plate does completely disable the other functions though... so it would be a distance only device without having to trust that someone is not using different aps that competitors can't see


#16 baseballfrk8998

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 12:21 PM

View PostTM_HOYER, on 01 August 2012 - 07:24 AM, said:

The smartphones are not non-conforming because of apps. There is a lot more than that. The USGA has a list of functions that make lasers / GPS non-conforming. Even if they can be turned on or off, as long as it is built into the device, it is non-conforming. Smartphones have hardware and software built into them that can tell the break of a green, tell the slope to the hole, and tell direction. The apps just tap into that hardware and software. Since these functions are built in to the smartphones they are non-conforming. The Leupold GX-4 / GX-4i is non-conforming because it has slope built into it (and despite you can visibly see that function is turned off). If smartphones are to be allowed, you would also have to allow the Leupold when the slope function is turned off.

That's fine, I'd be okay with that.

The bottom line here is this: The USGA is about 10 years behind the times.
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#17 Truman

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 07:38 PM

Using unapproved equipment is not a valid excuse for failing to enter scores in the GHIN system.

#18 BrianL99

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 07:42 PM

View PostTruman, on 22 August 2012 - 07:38 PM, said:

Using unapproved equipment is not a valid excuse for failing to enter scores in the GHIN system.

I agree 100%, but I hope you're wearing a flak jacket ... the USGA/Handicap/Rules Nazis will show up any minute.

#19 matchavez

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 01:03 PM

It's pretty clear that the rules of golf are self-enforced.  Handicap rounds should be no problem as long as the player isn't using any indication of advice from multi-use devices. It is no different from advice from another player. Should you ask someone what they hit, you are breeching a rule. As such, if you ask your iPhone, you are breeching a rule. But as another player is still going to use a club, and should you know what it is by sight, you are not penalized. Nor should you be penalized for having a device that is capable of doing things but not in use. You're allowed to carry aiming sticks, but you can't use them in a round. How is this different?

Anyhow, as it is a game of honesty, you should IMO not worry about rounds turned in when using a GPS app. The apps are designed to function within the rules, and as such, the technicality is absurd.
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#20 Rock Chalk Jayhawk

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 01:48 PM


http://www.usga.org/...ng-Devices-FAQ/



Q. What about multi-functional devices, such as a mobile phone, with a distance-measuring application?

A. On the course, subject to any club or course regulations, a multi-functional device may be used to phone, text, access the Internet or e-mail – provided the purpose is not a breach of the Rules, e.g. you are not asking for advice or accessing an application which gauges, measures or reports conditions that might affect a player’s play. Using the device for any prohibited function would result in disqualification.
When an application that measures distance has been downloaded to the device, the application must be restricted to providing only distance information in order to conform to the Local Rule. If there are any other features or applications on the phone that gauge or measure other conditions that might affect a player’s play, such as a temperature gauge, compass or anemometer, this would render the device non-conforming regardless of whether these features or applications are used or not. If such features or applications exist, use of the distance-measuring application would result in disqualification. The device could still be used for other permitted purposes as described above.
If the device contains applications specifically intended to access the Internet to gather information regarding conditions that might affect a player’s play such as the local wind speed or temperature, these applications must not be used, but the device may still be used for distance measurement or other permissible uses.
If the device contains general purpose applications which access the Internet such as a browser, the applications may be used so long as they are not used to access information regarding conditions that might affect a player’s play. The device may still be used for distance measurement.
If the device has a weather application that is active on the home page of the device and that shows the temperature or other weather information when the device is accessed for any reason, the player is in breach of Rule 14-3 and would be disqualified.
The flowchartprovided also covers the use of multi-functional devices and should be of assistance in determining whether a particular device is permissible or not.  


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#21 matchavez

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 04:57 PM

"If there are any other features or applications on the phone that gauge or measure other conditions that might affect a player’s play, such as a temperature gauge, compass or anemometer, this would render the device non-conforming regardless of whether these features or applications are used or not."
This sentence is the worst thing the USGA has going right now.
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#22 tiger-vs-me

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 12:42 AM


In Germany you have to put the Iphone in FLIGHTMODUS
But we can use Lasers and Golfbuddy etc.
Is it  allowed to use a Laser in USTournaments ?

#23 phil75070

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 06:33 AM

How does putting the phone in Flight Mode assure that other features can't be used? Does anyone check to see if the phone is in flight mode before and during the round? How would any one know if Flight Mode has been switched off?

As far as tournaments here, every club level torunamnet that I have ever played in has, under local Rule, allowed the use of lasers and GPS.
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#24 highergr0und

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 08:28 AM

I completely get the rule.....  after all, rules officials can't watch everyone and one COULD gain an advantage if they weren't being honest.

But I don't really agree with it......  Like it or not from a purist standpoint, shot execution is what the game is about today.  The pros have yardage books that are so detailed that caddies often don't even have to pace off much yardage.  They use lasers with slope to get exact distance from just about anywhere and book it.  They use levels and devices on the green to measure every bit of slope.  There is more info in that book than any device we could use would give us.  Heck, the tour even provides them with tee sheets notating the exact location of the pin each round!!!

Heck, even using a caddy can get a good bit of local knowledge that is prohibited to be programmed into a device.

#25 phil75070

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 11:00 AM

One has to question whether the Rules of Golf are truly applicable to "casual" (i.e. non-tournament) golf, other than to be a framework. For example, is stroke and distance really the most realistic penalty to apply on a crowded course, especially on a weekend when pace of play is already 4:30 or longer? I think if we played more match play instead of focusing on our scores, then OB or lost ball would just result in loss of hole, pick up and move on. Pace of play would no longer be an issue and for as for posting a score  you do so as directed by the Handicap Manual:

4-1. Unfinished Holes and Conceded Strokes
A player who starts, but does not complete a hole or is conceded a stroke must record for handicap purposes the most likely score. The most likely score may not exceed the player's Equitable Stroke Control limit, defined in Section 4-3. This most likely score should be preceded by an "X." (See Decision 4-1/1.)
There is no limit to the number of unfinished holes a player may have in a round, provided that failure to finish is not for the purpose of handicap manipulation.

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#26 TM_HOYER

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 11:12 AM

View Postmatchavez, on 24 August 2012 - 04:57 PM, said:

"If there are any other features or applications on the phone that gauge or measure other conditions that might affect a player’s play, such as a temperature gauge, compass or anemometer, this would render the device non-conforming regardless of whether these features or applications are used or not."
This sentence is the worst thing the USGA has going right now.

This is the fairest way to handle this issue. The same rules apply to everyone from the weekend golfer to the PGA Tour pros. They made the rules so if you are playing against someone. you should be able to know the device your competitor is not being used in a way that breeches the rules. The only way to make sure that is the case is to rule that only devices that conform to the rules can be used. Do not blame the USGA for the fact smartphone apps are non-conforming. Blame the people that wrote the apps in order to make a buck even although they are non-conforming. They did not care about the rules, they cared about the money it would put in their wallet.

#27 SnowPlow

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 12:43 PM

View PostTM_HOYER, on 26 August 2012 - 11:12 AM, said:

View Postmatchavez, on 24 August 2012 - 04:57 PM, said:

"If there are any other features or applications on the phone that gauge or measure other conditions that might affect a player’s play, such as a temperature gauge, compass or anemometer, this would render the device non-conforming regardless of whether these features or applications are used or not."
This sentence is the worst thing the USGA has going right now.

This is the fairest way to handle this issue. The same rules apply to everyone from the weekend golfer to the PGA Tour pros. They made the rules so if you are playing against someone. you should be able to know the device your competitor is not being used in a way that breeches the rules. The only way to make sure that is the case is to rule that only devices that conform to the rules can be used. Do not blame the USGA for the fact smartphone apps are non-conforming. Blame the people that wrote the apps in order to make a buck even although they are non-conforming. They did not care about the rules, they cared about the money it would put in their wallet.

Your hypocrisy is astounding. Skycaddie was selling their GPS systems for years to the public which were non conforming up until 2007. Should they be blamed for selling a product that was non-conforming to make money, did they care about the rules then? These app developers are doing no different now. People have more choices at a fraction of the cost and apparently more people are going that direction....time to move on. Heck....even Golf Digest has got in on the act by partnering up with one of the apps. These apps have been around for years...they are only becoming more popular not less. It's not some fad that is going to go away, more and more people are seeing the value in them, non conforming or not, just as people bought non conforming Skycaddies at the time.

#28 jaskanski

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 12:57 PM

View PostSnowPlow, on 26 August 2012 - 12:43 PM, said:

View PostTM_HOYER, on 26 August 2012 - 11:12 AM, said:

View Postmatchavez, on 24 August 2012 - 04:57 PM, said:

"If there are any other features or applications on the phone that gauge or measure other conditions that might affect a player’s play, such as a temperature gauge, compass or anemometer, this would render the device non-conforming regardless of whether these features or applications are used or not."
This sentence is the worst thing the USGA has going right now.

This is the fairest way to handle this issue. The same rules apply to everyone from the weekend golfer to the PGA Tour pros. They made the rules so if you are playing against someone. you should be able to know the device your competitor is not being used in a way that breeches the rules. The only way to make sure that is the case is to rule that only devices that conform to the rules can be used. Do not blame the USGA for the fact smartphone apps are non-conforming. Blame the people that wrote the apps in order to make a buck even although they are non-conforming. They did not care about the rules, they cared about the money it would put in their wallet.

Your hypocrisy is astounding. Skycaddie was selling their GPS systems for years to the public which were non conforming up until 2007. Should they be blamed for selling a product that was non-conforming to make money, did they care about the rules then? These app developers are doing no different now. People have more choices at a fraction of the cost and apparently more people are going that direction....time to move on. Heck....even Golf Digest has got in on the act by partnering up with one of the apps. These apps have been around for years...they are only becoming more popular not less. It's not some fad that is going to go away, more and more people are seeing the value in them, non conforming or not, just as people bought non conforming Skycaddies at the time.
Huh?
It's worth noting that golf existed and people fared just fine long before any mobile device was even created. My advice is to leave your iphone or whatever in the car where it belongs prior to any round. Use your skill and judgement (and maybe a yardage chart) to get to grips with navigating your way around a golf course. Then perhaps post your impressive score on Facebook after your round in the parking lot. GPS on the course? get over yourself - it's just another piece of information to confirm a distance you can't hit.

#29 Andy L

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 01:10 PM

View Postphil75070, on 26 August 2012 - 11:00 AM, said:

One has to question whether the Rules of Golf are truly applicable to "casual" (i.e. non-tournament) golf, other than to be a framework. For example, is stroke and distance really the most realistic penalty to apply on a crowded course, especially on a weekend when pace of play is already 4:30 or longer? I think if we played more match play instead of focusing on our scores, then OB or lost ball would just result in loss of hole, pick up and move on. Pace of play would no longer be an issue and for as for posting a score  you do so as directed by the Handicap Manual:

4-1. Unfinished Holes and Conceded Strokes
A player who starts, but does not complete a hole or is conceded a stroke must record for handicap purposes the most likely score. The most likely score may not exceed the player's Equitable Stroke Control limit, defined in Section 4-3. This most likely score should be preceded by an "X." (See Decision 4-1/1.)
There is no limit to the number of unfinished holes a player may have in a round, provided that failure to finish is not for the purpose of handicap manipulation.

Phil, highly logical and sensible.... great idea!

#30 SHIVAN

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 01:12 PM

Unfortunately, I believe the RoG are pretty clear on this one, and despite what a private club might require, I don't know how you can make 18 "X" scores for all 18 holes you did not actually play under the RoG, and consider it a true handicap.


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