Can Golf Pros Use GPS/Range Finder Devices?

Keiser University Question of the Month:
Can Golf Pros Use GPS/Range Finder Devices?

By Brian Hughes, PGA Master Professional


One of the changes in the rules of golf effective in January of 2019 regards the use of range finders. These devices can tell you exactly your distance to the flag and obstacles impairing your trip to the flag and are an extremely popular aid for players in navigating their way around the course.

Until now, the rules of golf have prohibited their use in most major events and allowed their use if provided for in the conditions of competition (rules for specific events).  Given that most local events do not utilize professional caddies, the devices have been acceptable in these events because they make determining yardages quicker and more precise, helping speed of play.

With the new rules, this situation has essentially been reversed. New rule 4.3 now gives players permission to use the devices for the purposes of measuring distance or direction (gauging elevation change is still prohibited) at any time, unless the event organizers add to the event rules a stipulation that they cannot use them.

What remains to be seen is if professional tours adopt the new rule or continue to prohibit their use. All signs indicate the devices will continue to be banned, leaving distance determination to professional caddies. Hopefully, the tours will eventually approve their use, as they could use a little bump forward regarding the pace of play and possibly influence those watching the game to do likewise.

If you’d like to study with Brian Hughes and other PGA Master Professionals, contact the College of Golf today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Comments are moderated. If you don't see your comment, please be patient. Required fields are marked with *.