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30-06-2010, 10:08   #1
PGL
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Are iPhone Golf GPS Apps allowed in club comps?

I have come across speculation on different threads that iPhone Golf GPS Apps are illegal in club competitions - can someone give a definitive answer to this? Given that dedicated GPS units are allowed by quite a lot of clubs for their comps (depending on their local rules), I don't see the problem in using an iPhone App which does the same thing.....

I have brought this issue up in other threads without much of a response, so decided to dedicate a thread to a pretty fundamental discussion, given the growing list of golf gps iphone apps floating around....

I would like to get a Golf GPS unit of some sort, and would like to know if the iPhone is a runner or not.....

all feedback is welcome
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30-06-2010, 11:15   #2
Tom Ghostwood
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Your club must make a local rule allowing the use of distance measuring devices in club competitions.
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30-06-2010, 11:31   #3
PGL
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Originally Posted by Tom Ghostwood View Post
Your club must make a local rule allowing the use of distance measuring devices in club competitions.
As outlined in my post, I'm aware that local rules apply regarding the use of DMDs - this debate relates to whether the use of iPhones are legal... Are iPhones covered under the definition of DMDs?
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30-06-2010, 11:46   #4
Tom Ghostwood
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Well if you're using it to measure the distance its a dmd no?
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30-06-2010, 11:50   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Ghostwood View Post
Well if you're using it to measure the distance its a dmd no?
I think the OP is specifically referring to iphone apps, as opposed to DMD's. Some DMD's are precluded from use, others are not. For example a DMD which includes a device for detecting wind direction/speed is not allowed under any exemptions, even if the wind application is not in use on the device.

I would suspect that this is why there is some confusion over the iPhone, although I don't know for sure.
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30-06-2010, 11:51   #6
Jimdagym
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Does your club allow mobile phones of any description out on the course?
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30-06-2010, 11:59   #7
PGL
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Originally Posted by Tom Ghostwood View Post
Well if you're using it to measure the distance its a dmd no?
I agree with you Tom. However as I mentioned earlier, there has been speculation that the use of iPhones are illegal regardless of what local rules apply. I have logged this query with the makers of the GolfShot iPhone App.

Can anyone else shed some light on this?

cheers
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30-06-2010, 12:23   #8
Jasonw
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i THINK THIS SHOULD CLARIFY THINGS:


http://www2.randa.org/news/files/Joi...A%20Final_.pdf


As I interpert the statement if for example you had the 'spirit level' app loaded - even if you didn't use it - you would be in breech of the rules. Provided as Tom points out the local rule allowing dmd's is in effect in the first place.
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30-06-2010, 12:55   #9
PGL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasonw View Post
i THINK THIS SHOULD CLARIFY THINGS:


http://www2.randa.org/news/files/Joi...A%20Final_.pdf


As I interpert the statement if for example you had the 'spirit level' app loaded - even if you didn't use it - you would be in breech of the rules. Provided as Tom points out the local rule allowing dmd's is in effect in the first place.
thanks for that Jason

So as I read it, the iPhone is illegal as there are apps available capable of measuring slopes, temperature, and possibly wind speed and direction - do you all concur?

I would like to hear the response of the manufacturers of the numerous iPhone golf gps apps to this rule, which effectively means that their apps can only be used for practice and non-competition use....
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30-06-2010, 13:00   #10
Jasonw
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It's a tough one the more I think about it the more questions I have. fOn first reading I would have said if thoses apps were not loaded you should be ok but then I wonder if the fact that the Iphone can access the internet mean that it falls foul of the joint statement?
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30-06-2010, 14:33   #11
mike12
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They are Definitely not allowed in comps there are actually a few GPS devices that used to give elevation and suggest club selection that are now illegal for comp use the device cannot be capable of measuring wind slope ect and the phone can do that so its for practice rounds only.
Mike
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30-06-2010, 14:37   #12
PGL
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Originally Posted by Jasonw View Post
It's a tough one the more I think about it the more questions I have. fOn first reading I would have said if thoses apps were not loaded you should be ok but then I wonder if the fact that the Iphone can access the internet mean that it falls foul of the joint statement?
My reading of these rules would suggest that iPhones would definitely be illegal. However given that: a) these rules were probably written before the dawn of iPhones; and b) there are so many golf gps apps on the market, the R&A / USPGA should come out, confirm their stance and amend the rules to include for iPhones
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30-06-2010, 14:39   #13
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Originally Posted by mike12 View Post
there are actually a few GPS devices that used to give elevation and suggest club selection that are now illegal for comp use.
Mike
do you know what GPS devices are now illegal?
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02-07-2010, 09:57   #14
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I have got some interesting feedback from the makers of the GolfShot iPhone App. You can read the responses below, but in summary, an app is legal as long as it can only measure distance.

Furthermore, the iPhone must not have apps installed which can measure slopes, temperature and wind (speed and direction) - don't ask me how this would work in reality i.e. can you really see golf club officials scrolling through your iPhone making sure you have none of these apps?. And if you really want to be pedantic, whats stopping you downloading these apps once you are out on the course? It looks like they are relying on everyone's integrity similar to keeping scores etc.

So in theory if a club has a local rule permitting the use of DMDs, then a distance measuring iPhone App falls under this category. However they recommend that you check with your club first.

Do clubs have local rules banning the use of mobile phones? If so then that rules out the iPhone straight away...

I'm just not convinced on this one as there are a lot of grey areas.

Anyways with regards to the thread on GPS friendly clubs, I wonder would it be an idea to modify it to include whether or not the club also permits iPhone Apps? - just a thought....

Response from makers of GolfShot:

Quote:
Not sure if you saw this article or not but I'll quote the text below:
http://gps.about.com/od/gpsproductov...-gps-rules.htm
"Smartphones and Other Multi-function Devices"
In the case of multi-function and smartphone devices that can run golf GPS apps, such as the iPhone and BlackBerry, the ruling is more complex, but it is clear. Some have interpreted the 2009 USGA/R&A Joint Statement to mean that multi-function devices that may include phone, Web-browser, and weather app capability, are not permitted for competition under any circumstances.
That is not the case, says Carter Rich, equipment standards manager for the USGA Test Center, based in Far Hills, New Jersey. For example, use of a conforming golf GPS app on an iPhone or BlackBerry is allowed when the local rule permitting use of such apps is in effect, with some qualifiers. These fall into two categories:
1. Resident functions normally found on smartphones, such as web browsers, and calling capability.
2. Golf-specific apps or other apps that might assist the player in making a stroke or in his or her play.
Even though a golfer could potentially open a weather site via a Web browser during competition, Rich says, the rules do not prohibit the use of a Web browser-equipped smartphone in competition. There are other, permitted uses for a Web browser, such as checking e-mail, for example (don’t do that in my foursome, though!).
As with many rules of golf, it’s up to the golfer to stay within the rules with these capabilities on devices in his or her possession during competition. The same is true for phone calling capability, for example. “It’s fine to call your family and let them know you’ll be late for dinner. But calling your coach for swing tips is of course not permitted under the Rules of Golf,” says Rich. Regarding specific apps, there are some that you may not have on your device, whether you use them or not. For example, green slope-reading capability is not permitted on dedicated GPS or laser rangefinders, nor is it permitted on smartphones and other multi-function electronic devices, says Rich. Simply having a green-slope reading app or functionality on your device is enough to make it non-conforming, and to disqualify the golfer. However, a conforming golf GPS smartphone app that provides distances is still permitted.
The bottom line? Keep using conforming dedicated GPS devices and smartphone apps when the local rule permitting them is in effect, taking care to keep in mind the letter and intent of the rules as clarified above."
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02-07-2010, 10:20   #15
MiniGolf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PGL View Post
I have got some interesting feedback from the makers of the GolfShot iPhone App. You can read the responses below, but in summary, an app is legal as long as it can only measure distance.

Furthermore, the iPhone must not have apps installed which can measure slopes, temperature and wind (speed and direction) - don't ask me how this would work in reality i.e. can you really see golf club officials scrolling through your iPhone making sure you have none of these apps?. And if you really want to be pedantic, whats stopping you downloading these apps once you are out on the course? It looks like they are relying on everyone's integrity similar to keeping scores etc.

So in theory if a club has a local rule permitting the use of DMDs, then a distance measuring iPhone App falls under this category. However they recommend that you check with your club first.

Do clubs have local rules banning the use of mobile phones? If so then that rules out the iPhone straight away...

I'm just not convinced on this one as there are a lot of grey areas.

Anyways with regards to the thread on GPS friendly clubs, I wonder would it be an idea to modify it to include whether or not the club also permits iPhone Apps? - just a thought....

Response from makers of GolfShot:

Nice work there PGL....... It is far from crystal clear and as I think you have already said in another post the powers that be, The R & A, etc need to clarify these smart phones as they are getting more common. If they, the R & A, give a similar ruling as for dedicated DMD's, they can leave it up to individual clubs to decide to allow or not - as per DMD's. The only issue will be the other, non-conforming, apps that "possibly" be on the device. I would like to think that the integrity of the sport will prevent (reduce??) the abuse of the device's capabilities. I can hear some of you laughing at the last line....... I know there are cheaters and they will always try to gain any opportunity wherever they can, but, MOST golfers are essentially honest when playing the game and as has been seen from other threads people even at the highest levels cheat!
I have Golfshot, as you know, but I have NOT used it in competition and would be inclined NOT to use it until the situation is clarified and/or I got clear instruction from an official in the club that I was playing in that it was ok!

EDIT: I have just read that article properly... DOH!! It seems it is OK to use a smart phone app as per the normal DMD rules!!

Last edited by MiniGolf; 02-07-2010 at 10:24.
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