In an age where people cannot bear to be separated from their mobile for more than 10 minutes, phones on the golf course are a common sight. But before you reach for yours, make sure you know what you can and can’t do with it…
Use the device for matters unrelated to golf
Calling home to say you’re stuck in the office and going to be home late is fine. Calling a swing coach to get some tips on tempo is not.
Access information produced prior to the start of a round
This could include an electronic yardage book, or even swing tips that you and your coach have noted down before your round.
Access information from previous rounds
It’s perfectly fine to store a list of how far you hit each club, and you can look at it as often as you like.
Obtain information related to the competition being played
You can check live updates of the leaderboard of whatever competition you’re playing in, or, if you’re struggling, the projected cut.
Watch or listen to a broadcast of the competition you’re playing in
Unlikely to be an issue in your midweek stableford, but watching people play holes you’re yet to tackle could give you an advantage.
Ask for or give advice
So you can’t call your swing coach to ask him why you’ve shanked the last seven wedges in a row.
Access information not produced before the start of your round
Using your phone to analyse the strokes you’ve made during your current round is forbidden.
Interpret or process any playing information obtained from current or previous rounds
While it’s fine to simply look at data from previous rounds, your phone cannot be used to help you interpret and analyse this data.
Use it to calculate effective distances (i.e. including slope)
It’s okay for your phone to tell you that you have 152 yards to the pin (provided your committee has allowed the use of distance-measuring devices), but if it gives you a yardage factoring in slopes, wind, temperature or other factors, this is banned.