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Cell Phone GPS Apps Legal or Not? - Page 4

post #55 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by WUTiger View Post

 

 

 

A personal bother is this. I recently bought an iPhone 4 as a replacement for my very basic cellphone. I would like to use one of the rangefinding apps while I'm playing golf. I really don't want to spend another $300 for a more-primitive dedicated GPS/rangefinder unit.

 

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While it is less feature laden than your iPhone, my Approach G5 is certainly not primitive.  And the fact that it's weatherproof makes it quite appropriate for an outdoor sport like golf. 

 

I guess I don't see the difference between buying a new $400 driver each year, or buying a $300 device one time which will give me all I need for years to come.  Half the people who post on this forum spend more than $300 a year just replacing gear that doesn't even need replacing, yet they agonize over spending that amount on a rangefinding device.   To each his own, I guess. a2_wink.gif
 

 

post #56 of 73

Overall I agree with your post given most people spend much more on clubs than the cost of a golf GPS.  I just bought a SkyCaddie SG5 for $159 for a friend so cost isn't even a real issue any longer.  I own a Callaway uPro and compared it side by side with my iPhone GolfShot app during a practice round.  The two devices were within a yard of each other the entire time. 

 

The minor annoyance isn't the expense but that it's another device I need to remember to take, carry, charge and connect to my PC.  I've gotten to the same place with point and shoot digital cameras, I have stopped carrying them and use on my iPhone 4 for casual shots.  For important events or vacations I take my DSLR or HD video camera.   

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

While it is less feature laden than your iPhone, my Approach G5 is certainly not primitive.  And the fact that it's weatherproof makes it quite appropriate for an outdoor sport like golf. 

 

I guess I don't see the difference between buying a new $400 driver each year, or buying a $300 device one time which will give me all I need for years to come.  Half the people who post on this forum spend more than $300 a year just replacing gear that doesn't even need replacing, yet they agonize over spending that amount on a rangefinding device.   To each his own, I guess.
 

 



 

post #57 of 73
Thread Starter 

Well the new rules have been published and from the looks smartphones are still illegal. Screw the R & A, what a bunch of muppets. It makes you wonder who is pulling the strings. All the big golf companies make GPS devices and if smartphones are allowed it certainly would reduced the $$ going to them. /conspirytheory b1_ohmy.gif

 

If anyone is interested, here is a good site to get a read of the amendments.

post #58 of 73

The logic that the devise MAY allow you to break the rules by using it for illegal information makes no sense to me. Every club in your bag could be used illegally. You could use a putter like a pool cue. Alinement sticks could be dropped to help line up a shot. It is not about having something that has the potential to allow you to break a rule. It is about breaking the rule. When using the GPS app, there is no information available that you wouldn't have on your SkyCaddie. You'd have to decide to use other apps on the devise illegally in order to use it illegally. Like you need to decide to use a club illegally.

 

BTW, SkyCaddie erasing all my loaded courses and forcing me to keep a subscription active even if I don't wish to load or update course has made me an iPhone fan.

post #59 of 73

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by k14 View Post

Well the new rules have been published and from the looks smartphones are still illegal. Screw the R & A, what a bunch of muppets. It makes you wonder who is pulling the strings. All the big golf companies make GPS devices and if smartphones are allowed it certainly would reduced the $$ going to them. /conspirytheory b1_ohmy.gif

 

Smart phones also let you check the weather, etc. You can't even USE a device that includes slope % even if it's turned off. Cell phones are the same way: they allow you to easily, surreptitiously, and even accidentally see things like the weather forecast (which can tell you which direction the wind is blowing, how strong it is, etc.).

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by rustyredcab View Post

The logic that the devise MAY allow you to break the rules by using it for illegal information makes no sense to me. Every club in your bag could be used illegally. You could use a putter like a pool cue. Alinement sticks could be dropped to help line up a shot. It is not about having something that has the potential to allow you to break a rule. It is about breaking the rule. When using the GPS app, there is no information available that you wouldn't have on your SkyCaddie. You'd have to decide to use other apps on the devise illegally in order to use it illegally. Like you need to decide to use a club illegally.

 

You could do those things, but you'd be easily caught and punished. Unless someone sees what you're doing on your phone all the time, you could be cheating.

 

That makes a difference.

post #60 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

 

Smart phones also let you check the weather, etc. You can't even USE a device that includes slope % even if it's turned off. Cell phones are the same way: they allow you to easily, surreptitiously, and even accidentally see things like the weather forecast (which can tell you which direction the wind is blowing, how strong it is, etc.).


But it's fine to use an iPhone on the course to do something like look up the rules, get the football scores etc. and the risk of seeing a weather forecast, or viewing a compass is just as great as if you are using the iPhone as a DMD. But using it as a DMD is illegal, due to it's other functions, but using it as a phone is legal, despite it's other functions. That doens't make much sense to me.

 

post #61 of 73

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mordan View Post

But it's fine to use an iPhone on the course to do something like look up the rules, get the football scores etc. and the risk of seeing a weather forecast, or viewing a compass is just as great as if you are using the iPhone as a DMD. But using it as a DMD is illegal, due to it's other functions, but using it as a phone is legal, despite it's other functions. That doens't make much sense to me.


To be honest, it doesn't to me either, really. I was trying to explain it the way perhaps the USGA sees it, but at the end of the day you can be honest or not. I think the USGA and R&A are just years behind on some of this technology (smart phones, namely).

 

post #62 of 73

My USGA Rules issue (NOT anchoring related)

It started when manufacturers came out with laser rangefinders that took slope into account.  They made their products in such a way that the slope capability could be disabled, yet the USGA still ruled them illegal.

 

It continued when apps became widely available for smartphones which gave distances using built in gps.  The USGA ruled that if the phone had any built in capability, sich as a compass, which was not allowed then even if that capability was disabled or not used it was still illegal to use a distance measuring app on such a smartphone.

 

OK, fine.  The principle is firmly established by these two situations that equipment may not have an illegal capability even if the capability is not used, not even if it is present but disabled.  It seems like a pretty clear principle.

 

So now comes my problem.  In light of this principle how do the USGA and R&A justify allowing the use of golf clubs that have the capability to be adjusted during the round, in violation of Rule 4-2a., just because the player doesn't use that capability during the round? 

 

I just don't see the difference between having the capability of using a compass but not using it and having the capability of adjusting your club but not using it.  Either having the capability should be enough to outlaw the device even if not used, or any device with a prohibited capability should be allowed so long as the prohibited capability is not used.

post #63 of 73

It's a lot more obvious when you pull out the wrench to make an adjustment to your driver than when you enable the slope on your range finder.

post #64 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by tristanhilton85 View Post

It's a lot more obvious when you pull out the wrench to make an adjustment to your driver than when you enable the slope on your range finder.

I agree.  I can't look over your shoulder and see what you are doing on your phone, but I can guarantee you I will see you messing with your clubs.  It could be a harmless text or something illegal, your competitors have no idea so to avoid the issue it's just not allowed.

post #65 of 73
I don't think its the ability to change that makes the rangefinder in your example illegal. It's the ability to change to a completely forbidden function/capability. The adjustable club has no capacity to be made non-conforming. It would be different if, for example, the COR of the driver could be adjusted to a level outside that allowed by the rules. I'm sure such a club would be deemed non-conforming for tournament play, even if set to a conforming COR.......
post #66 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by tristanhilton85 View Post

It's a lot more obvious when you pull out the wrench to make an adjustment to your driver than when you enable the slope on your range finder.

 

Really?  With a big orange plate?

 

Besides, the rational expressed by the USGA was strictly related to the existence of the capability, not how easy or hard it might be to detect the use of the capability.  There are a lot of rules that, from a practical point of view, unless we are talking about a PGA Tour player on TV (in HD, yet), only the player himself knows if something illegal occurred.  E.g., slight brush of the sand in a bunker. 

post #67 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

I don't think its the ability to change that makes the rangefinder in your example illegal. It's the ability to change to a completely forbidden function/capability. The adjustable club has no capacity to be made non-conforming. It would be different if, for example, the COR of the driver could be adjusted to a level outside that allowed by the rules. I'm sure such a club would be deemed non-conforming for tournament play, even if set to a conforming COR.......

This too... good point.

post #68 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

I don't think its the ability to change that makes the rangefinder in your example illegal. It's the ability to change to a completely forbidden function/capability. The adjustable club has no capacity to be made non-conforming. It would be different if, for example, the COR of the driver could be adjusted to a level outside that allowed by the rules. I'm sure such a club would be deemed non-conforming for tournament play, even if set to a conforming COR.......

 

That seems a pretty logical explanation to me.

 

Even though I wish they'd just say that iPhones are ok for use as DMDs.

post #69 of 73

Thread merged.

 

I think you got some good answers above.

post #70 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by tristanhilton85 View Post

It's a lot more obvious when you pull out the wrench to make an adjustment to your driver than when you enable the slope on your range finder.

 

Really?  With a big orange plate?

 

The problem is there are plenty of range finders out there with slope capability that don't require a special plate to enable it.

post #71 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by sacm3bill View Post

The problem is there are plenty of range finders out there with slope capability that don't require a special plate to enable it.

 

Plus you could just switch the little circuit completer or whatever is in the orange plate with the one inside the black or silver one. The actual slope electronics are still inside the laser.

post #72 of 73

I have just spoken with NZ Golf and there is no rule outlawing GPS devices in smart phones until 2015 when they will clarify the rules then. Until then it is up to the local club Committees and Tournament officials to put in a local rule if they wish to. At the moment some clubs and Tournaments allow them. The guy I spoke with at NZ Golf agrees with me that most or all smart phones DO NOT give any more advantage than a lazer or GPS golf buddy type device does.. You can on some phones access the net for weather information, but that information is only based on the town or city where the weather station is. Any normal person with an ounce of brains can tell the the wind is blowing from what-ever direction at their course, so there for no greater advantage.  Come on clubs get with the times eh and stop trying to out-law these phones just because you don't understand them, not everyone can afford the more expensive devices on the market today. We don't use them to cheat we use them as a guide only ok.

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