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USGA position on smartphone GPSs - Page 5  

post #73 of 89

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

If you are allowed to use a smartphone on the course so long as you aren't using it as a DMD, which seems to be clearly OK, then how can you detect your competitor's cheating when he uses the compass but tells you he is texting his wife?


The same way you can ask him if his ball moved when you think you saw it move from 50 yards away. :D

 

Golfers in tournaments don't text on their phones during their rounds. They turn them off and put them away. I wouldn't call it "clearly" okay, because accidentally using any of the illegal functions would be a violation of the Rules as well, and reasonably smart golfers in tournaments don't want to give themselves the opportunity to accidentally click "Weatherbug" instead of "Messages." Not to mention that it's probably a violation of etiquette to be texting mid-tournament, and violations of etiquette can result in being DQed.

 

Look, you may not like the rule, but I think it's written pretty clearly. The DMD rule isn't a smart phone rule, it's a DMD rule. Want to use your phone as a DMD? It needs to conform (odds are it doesn't). The USGA can't disallow cell phones for the same reason they can't disallow, I dunno, a defibrillator, or a motorized golf cart, or a watch, or a Nintendo DS that you bring along to pass the time on the tee boxes waiting for the slow guys in front of you, or an electric razor so you can shave on the 18th tee, or your car keys, or a walkie talkie you have to check on your kids because you live on the golf course, etc. They can't ban ALL technology.


They can ban you from using a DMD that has functionality that would violate the rules (whether you access it or not, whether it's "disabled" or not). They can't ban you from using your phone. They can say it's a violation to text your coach to ask for input for your thin shots that day.

 

Pretty cut and dry really.

 

P.S. I can only speculate as to what the USGA is trying to do, but I think I've applied Occam's Razor pretty well in taking the simplest answer as the correct one. DMDs with other features = illegal. Any other technology that isn't affecting golf = legal (watches, phones, electric razors). Violating the rules in any way (looking on your phone at the compass, nudging your ball) = illegal. Whether you like it or not, or agree with it or not, if you're using your phone as a DMD, it's almost certainly illegal, and if we were playing a tournament together, I'd be pointing that out to you before you teed off on the first hole. I'd also happily let you use my laser rangefinder (with no slope capability at all). :)

 

P.P.S. Quote me, ask me questions, or respond to me if you'd like, but I'm finding myself repeating things again, so I'm out.

post #74 of 89

The R&A have ruled that a Committee may have a Regulation stating that mobile phones (of any type) must not be used during a round. It cannot specify a 'Rule of Golf' penalty (2 strokes say) but may specify a disciplinary penalty. An example used by England Golf is:

 

 

Mobile phones (including pagers and similar devices):

Calls may not be made or received on the course by players or caddies (including practice days) except in cases of emergency.
If a serious breach of the above Regulation occurs, or where there are repetitive breaches, a player may be DQed under R 33-7 for a serious breach of etiquette and/or barred from entering and/or may be barred from entering or playing in EG Championships for 
such period as the Championship Committee may decide. ..."

post #75 of 89

Well **** it, my grandpa tells me how back in his day he used to play with no yardage markers on the course and did everything by sight alone.

 

post #76 of 89

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

...The DMD rule isn't a smart phone rule, it's a DMD rule.

 

Actually it's a DMD rule that had to be clarified with that flowchart specifically addressing the case where the DMD is on a smart phone.  That's the nature of this entire discussion, so it doesn't really make sense to say "it's not a smart phone rule".

 

Repeating myself too, so I'm out as well.

post #77 of 89

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

Golfers in tournaments don't text on their phones during their rounds.

 

The rule is not for tournaments only. It is for "stipulated rounds", which I count most of my rounds.

post #78 of 89

Quote:
Originally Posted by luu5 View Post

The rule is not for tournaments only. It is for "stipulated rounds", which I count most of my rounds.

 

I know that. The Rules also allow you to write down the score you'd have "likely" made during handicap rounds. They're not entirely the same, and people don't treat them the same.

post #79 of 89
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 


The same way you can ask him if his ball moved when you think you saw it move from 50 yards away. :D

 

Golfers in tournaments don't text on their phones during their rounds. They turn them off and put them away. I wouldn't call it "clearly" okay, because accidentally using any of the illegal functions would be a violation of the Rules as well, and reasonably smart golfers in tournaments don't want to give themselves the opportunity to accidentally click "Weatherbug" instead of "Messages." Not to mention that it's probably a violation of etiquette to be texting mid-tournament, and violations of etiquette can result in being DQed.

 

Look, you may not like the rule, but I think it's written pretty clearly. The DMD rule isn't a smart phone rule, it's a DMD rule. Want to use your phone as a DMD? It needs to conform (odds are it doesn't). The USGA can't disallow cell phones for the same reason they can't disallow, I dunno, a defibrillator, or a motorized golf cart, or a watch, or a Nintendo DS that you bring along to pass the time on the tee boxes waiting for the slow guys in front of you, or an electric razor so you can shave on the 18th tee, or your car keys, or a walkie talkie you have to check on your kids because you live on the golf course, etc. They can't ban ALL technology.


They can ban you from using a DMD that has functionality that would violate the rules (whether you access it or not, whether it's "disabled" or not). They can't ban you from using your phone. They can say it's a violation to text your coach to ask for input for your thin shots that day.

 

Pretty cut and dry really.

 

P.S. I can only speculate as to what the USGA is trying to do, but I think I've applied Occam's Razor pretty well in taking the simplest answer as the correct one. DMDs with other features = illegal. Any other technology that isn't affecting golf = legal (watches, phones, electric razors). Violating the rules in any way (looking on your phone at the compass, nudging your ball) = illegal. Whether you like it or not, or agree with it or not, if you're using your phone as a DMD, it's almost certainly illegal, and if we were playing a tournament together, I'd be pointing that out to you before you teed off on the first hole. I'd also happily let you use my laser rangefinder (with no slope capability at all). :)

 

P.P.S. Quote me, ask me questions, or respond to me if you'd like, but I'm finding myself repeating things again, so I'm out.

 

Can you get it through your head that I don't care about tournaments??  That I, and most serious golfers, play as much by the rules in their non-tournament rounds as you do during tournament rounds?  And it is crazy on your part to say just ignore the rules unless you're playing in a tournament.  That certainly cannot be the USGA or R&A's intent - to make golfers into cheaters in all but tournament rounds.  That is a fine way to build respect for and compliance with the rules </sarcasm>.  And yet, as you say, you just keep repeating yourself on this point.

 

You can say it is a DMD issue all you like, but the fact is that if you are carrying a smartphone during a round you are carrying features and capabilities that are non-conforming.  Your silly diatribe about "a defibrillator, or a motorized golf cart, or a watch, or a Nintendo DS that you bring along to pass the time on the tee boxes waiting for the slow guys in front of you, or an electric razor so you can shave on the 18th tee, or your car keys, or a walkie talkie" is ridiculous because none of those things has anything to do with playing golf.  They are ancillary to the process.  They have no features that could be deemed non-conforming, while phones do.  So the situation is not analogous at all.

 

And it is just as easy for me to say, "then get a dumbphone to use when you are playing golf", if you want to allow phone calls and texting, as it is for you to say "get a dedicated GPS".  The fact is that I have BOTH a smartphone with a DMD and a dedicated GS and I like the smartphone app better.  But for a lot of guys who don't have a dedicated GPS but who already have a smartphone, being able to download a free DMD provides them with a capability on which they might not wish to spend $100 or more.  I'm fine with you metaphorically playing expensive golf balls.  I'm not fine with the USGA telling folks they can't play with cheap golf balls when there is no practical reason for it.

 

As far as your comment "The same way you can ask him if his ball moved when you think you saw it move from 50 yards away." you are just being a cynical smart@ss again.  Because that goes against YOUR OWN argument that all forms of cheating must be observable by your fellow competitors.  So I give you some examples where that is not the case and you come back with this.  When the fact is that if someone is going to cheat in the first place they are not going to answer honestly when you ask that question.

 

I have a Droid X2 and I have no idea if it has a compass built in.  I know that when I run Swing by Swing, my DMD APP, it doesn't show anything that would be non-conforming.   It doesn't show direction, weather conditions, wind speed, slope, etc.  If I pull up a separate map APP, that might show directions.  But is that evidence of a built in compass or is it getting that information through GPS from the satellite?  I don't know.  And is there ANY functional difference either way? And if it is getting that information from the satellite I don't really see it as any different from using a browser to get weather information.  And according to the statement previously posted here, while doing so is illegal, having the capability to do so does not make use of the DMD non-conforming.  So if I can have the capability of getting weather info from an outside source through a browser and be OK so long as I don't actually do it, it seems to me that having the capability of getting true North through a map APP from an outside source should also be OK so long as I don't actually do it.

 

And BTW, the reason you keep repeating yourself is that you don't actually address the issues being raised , you just keep saying the same thing over and over, or make a smart@ss comment, hence you are repeating yourself.

 

Cheating is illegal.  If they are going to try to continue this line of making it illegal to have the capability of cheating, as seems to be the case with DMDs and smartphones, then this is a very arbitrary area.  You scoffed at my suggestion that their "logic" could dictate that carrying a watch should be illegal since it can be used to directly measure where thue North is, but you didn't refute it.  How is having a watch any more non-conforming than having a built-in compass in a smartphone that is not accessed by the DMD?  It is not by any reasoned approach, it is just by fiat.  If they are going to truly go in and try to make anything illegal that COULD BE used to cheat whether or not it actually IS used for cheating then they are going to have to eliminate an awful lot of things.

 

 

Quote:
iacas:
 
I know that. The Rules also allow you to write down the score you'd have "likely" made during handicap rounds. They're not entirely the same, and people don't treat them the same.

 

So are you saying that because the Rules allow deviations between your real score and your score for handicap purposes, that gives free reign to ignore the DMD rules in non-tournament rounds?  Surely you realize that writing down the "likely" score is in accordance with the rules and using a non-conforming DMD is not in accordance with the rules.  You seem to evince a very casual attitude towards the rules in all but tournament rounds.

post #80 of 89
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post

The R&A have ruled that a Committee may have a Regulation stating that mobile phones (of any type) must not be used during a round. It cannot specify a 'Rule of Golf' penalty (2 strokes say) but may specify a disciplinary penalty. An example used by England Golf is:

 

 

Mobile phones (including pagers and similar devices):

Calls may not be made or received on the course by players or caddies (including practice days) except in cases of emergency.
If a serious breach of the above Regulation occurs, or where there are repetitive breaches, a player may be DQed under R 33-7 for a serious breach of etiquette and/or barred from entering and/or may be barred from entering or playing in EG Championships for 
such period as the Championship Committee may decide. ..."

 

But, but, but ..... iacas just said that they CAN'T ban cell phones.  LOL

post #81 of 89

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post

The R&A have ruled that a Committee may have a Regulation stating that mobile phones (of any type) must not be used during a round. It cannot specify a 'Rule of Golf' penalty (2 strokes say) but may specify a disciplinary penalty. An example used by England Golf is:

 

 

Mobile phones (including pagers and similar devices):

Calls may not be made or received on the course by players or caddies (including practice days) except in cases of emergency.
If a serious breach of the above Regulation occurs, or where there are repetitive breaches, a player may be DQed under R 33-7 for a serious breach of etiquette and/or barred from entering and/or may be barred from entering or playing in EG Championships for 
such period as the Championship Committee may decide. ..."

 

But, but, but ..... iacas just said that they CAN'T ban cell phones.  LOL

A committee cannot ban mobile phone by use of a Local Rule or Condition of Competition, both of which are Rules as defined in the Rules of Golf.

However, they can introduce a Regulation which covers etiquette and disciplinary matters. Regulations are not Rules as defined and do not come under the authority of the R&A/USGA Rules of Golf. 

 

This is what they told me

 

It is not permissible to have a condition of competition prohibiting the carrying and use of mobile phones and to impose a penalty under the Rules of Golf for failure to do so, e.g. two strokes/loss of hole, disqualification. Decision 14-3/16 provides that a mobile is permissible, it is how it is used that may constitute a problem. However, a Committee could have a regulation governing this matter - outside the conditions of competition - i.e. a regulation that is akin to a Club regulation on acceptable clothing on the course, and that regulation could allow the Committee to impose a disciplinary penalty.

 

Subsequently I was advised that examples of such a penalty could be, prohibition of entry into other competitions, revocation of entry (in effect DQ) or a cash fine.

 

post #82 of 89

I'm not sure this discussion is going to get us very far.  The current rule doesn't allow a smart phone (especially with built-in compass) to be used as a DMD.  I understand why the USGA has made the rule and the headaches they'd have if they allowed smartphones to be used as a DMD.  I use a laser rangefinder and am not impacted by the rule so I can see it objectively without any personal bias.  I can also understand why people that wish to use their smartphones either due to cost, preference or convenience are unhappy with the rule.   

 

Those of you that don't want to spend money on a golf GPS or prefer their smartphone app over a golf gps or laser range finder have two choices; break the rules and try to get the USGA to reconsider their position, conform to the rules and try to get the USGA to reconsider their position.  We can nitpick each others arguments all day, but utlimately we don't make the rules.  If playing by the rules is important to you then you can't use your smart phones as a DMD during stipulated or tournament rounds.  Convincing us the rule isn't right won't change the rule or the fact that you'd be violating the rules if you used your smartphone as a DMD. 

post #83 of 89

Agree. The argument has played itself out (again). The last few posts haven't even really been arguing against each other. It's been one side (which I happen to align with) sort of saying "The rule is X," and the other side sort of saying, "The rule should be Y." Between that and the fact that I haven't seen (or made) any new arguments in weeks, "played out" is the phrase that comes to mind. :-)

post #84 of 89

Definitely played out.  When a person can write that the rule is written clearly even though it contradicts it's own illustration/interpretation of said written rule, there probably isn't anything left to discuss.  We just aren't seeing eye to eye.

 

Brandon

post #85 of 89

It's only contradictory because you want to see it as such.  Here is the original rule posted on Page 1.

 

"5. Distance-Measuring Devices (Rule 14-3)

During a stipulated round, the use of any distance measuring device is not permitted unless the Committee has introduced a Local Rule to that effect (see Note to Rule 14-3 and Appendix I; Part B; Section 9).
Even when the Local Rule is in effect, the device must be limited to measuring distance only. Features that would render use of the device contrary to the Local Rule include, but are not limited to:
• the gauging or measuring of slope;
• the gauging or measuring of other conditions that might affect play (e.g., wind speed or direction, or other climate-based information such as temperature, humidity, etc.);
• recommendations that might assist the player in making a stroke or in his play (e.g., club selection, type of shot to be played, green reading or any other advice related matter); or
• calculating the effective distance between two points based on slope or other conditions affecting shot distance.
Such non-conforming features render use of the device contrary to the Rules, irrespective of whether or not:
• the features can be switched off or disengaged; and
• the features are switched off or disengaged.
A multi-functional device, such as a smartphone or PDA, may be used as a distance measuring device provided it contains a distance measuring application that meets all of the above limitations (i.e., it must measure distance only). In addition, when the distance measuring application is being used, there must be no other features or applications installed on the device that, if used, would be in breach of the Rules, whether or not they are actually used."

 

And here is the flow chart from R and A

 

DMD


 

It's very clear "Does the device contain other applications or features (golf related or otherwise) capable of measuring conditions or providing information (e.g. compass, current local weather conditions, temperature, wind, slope or club recommendation" 
 
If the answer is yes, which is the case for at least iPhones then it's a breach of local rule if device is used as a DMD You can call home or text but you can't use it as a DMD.  The rules are addressing DMD's so I believe it's very clear, I think you're confusing the rules clarity with you just not liking the rule or agreeing with it. 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bplewis24 View Post

Definitely played out.  When a person can write that the rule is written clearly even though it contradicts it's own illustration/interpretation of said written rule, there probably isn't anything left to discuss.  We just aren't seeing eye to eye.

 

Brandon

 

 

post #86 of 89

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

It's only contradictory because you want to see it as such.  Here is the original rule posted on Page 1...

 

The contradiction being referred to is the fact that the flowchart you reference states that mobile phones would be legal for use as DMDs if they don't have non-conforming features, but no such mobile phones exist.

 

Not to mention the contradiction inherent in: "If your phone has any illegal apps, then we trust you to use the phone for some things without being tempted to use the illegal apps. But if you use if for a DMD, we don't trust you to not use the illegal apps."

 

Are we really going to start this all over again?

post #87 of 89

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

It's only contradictory because you want to see it as such. 

 

 

What I think he is saying is contradictory, and what I'm saying is that the rules say

 

"A multi-functional device, such as a smartphone or PDA, may be used as a distance measuring device"

 

and then they go on and say oh waitttttt every single smartphone has this feature so no nevermind, you can't actually use it. I'm really surprised that some of you are so confident that the USGA understands smartphones and don't want them being used (I personally imagine them being a bunch of un tech savvy individuals but i guess i'm stereotyping). Maybe you don't understand them yourself? I have still yet to see a good explanation as to the difference in being allowed to send texts on your compass phone, vs being allowed to measure distance with your compass phone.... if i see my competitor on his phone the only way to know he is not cheating is to ask what he is doing, the response would either be something illegal or not. there is no difference that I can see between the 2.

Also newtogolf could you explain the headaches that would come with allowing smartphones to be DMDs(especially things that they don't already deal with when they allow smartphone users to text, call email, etc...)?

 

 

Since this thread is going nowhere here is a new slightly different question.

Do YOU think that smartphones should be allowed to be used as DMDs or not and why/whynot?

 


 

post #88 of 89

Quote:
Originally Posted by jshots View Post

Do YOU think that smartphones should be allowed to be used as DMDs or not and why/whynot?

 

That's not the topic.

 

- You can have a smart phone for the same reason you can carry a Nintendo DS or just about whatever else you want (not 27 golf clubs, etc.) on the golf course. The USGA can't legislate ALL things a person might carry onto the golf course, so they legislate the "illegal" acts you can do with them.

- If you're using your smart phone as a DMD, then it significantly narrows "all things" to "a DMD" and the USGA can legislate that, and the smart phone needs to comply with a stricter set of rules (just as a Nintendo DS would if it was being used as a DMD, or just as a laser rangefinder must, or a GPS one).

 

I think that's pretty simple.

post #89 of 89

I see this rule as being similar to the rules for calculators during my college years (late 80's).  In some of my math classes we were allowed to use calculators, but not the programmable kind that had static memory out of fear we'd use them to cheat.  Fast forward to today, my daughter is allowed to use programmable, graphing calculators for her AP Trig class that have static memory.  Her batteries died in the middle of a test so she asked the teacher if she could use an app on her iPhone that exactly simulated the calculator functions, she was told no. 

 

The USGA has clearly specified that certain functions cannot be present on a smart phone if it is to be used as a DMD device.  The fact is they do understand technology and realize that any phone that provides these features could easily have golf gps apps built that make use of these features.  They would then have to undertake the task of figuring out which apps are permissable and which are not, which would probably require more resources than they have available, and cause them a lot of headaches.  

 

As Erik states you can have a Nintendo DS on the course, just as you can carry a smart phone, neither can be used as DMD devices if they don't conform to the rules.  It seems some of you won't accept the basis for the DMD rule unless the USGA bans smart phones on golf courses, which would hurt the sport and wouldn't serve any real purpose.   

 

You guys that are upset with the rule should petition the USGA to reconsider their position on smart phones.  I'm not against using smart phones as DMD's for those that wish to, I just don't agree the rule isn't clear or that it's contradictory. 

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