GAM CLARIFIES POLICY ON DISTANCE MEASURING DEVICES RELATING TO
DOWNLOADABLE SMART PHONE APPLICATIONS
Rule 14-3 states that during a stipulated round, a player must not use any artificial device or unusual equipment, or use any equipment in an unusual manner:
a. That might assist him in making a stroke or in his play; or
b. For the purpose of gauging or measuring distance or conditions that might affect his play; or
c. That might assist him in gripping the club, except that:
(i) plain gloves may be worn
(ii) resin, powder and drying or moisturizing agents may be used; and
(iii) a towel or handkerchief may be wrapped around the grip
However, in 2006, the GAM adopted the Local Rule, per Decision 14-3/0.5, allowing players to use devices for measuring and gauging distance ONLY. The use of a distance-measuring device for measuring other conditions that might affect a player’s play (e.g., gradient, wind speed, temperature, etc.) is not permitted. In 2016, the GAM adopted the USGA and R&A Local Rule (see Appendix IV-5) that states distance-measuring devices that have features capable of measuring other conditions may be used so long as those features are disabled. This includes using a cell phone as a distance-measuring device.
However, should a player be using his cell phone for something other than a distance-measuring device in a non-urgent situation, the player may be subject to penalty under the GAM Player Code of Conduct. This includes, but is not limited to, social media usage, texting, e-mail, calls and web browsing.