November - 2014
One of the new additions to the Rules of Golf that occurred this year is the ability to use electronic devices to access weather reports while playing in a tournament.
In the past this was considered a violation because it might influence play. The USGA decided to keep in step with new technology-many golfers carry cellphones, and allowing players to check for threatening weather, is a great step forward.
Decision 14-3/16 explains what you can do, and what you can't do with the use of and electronic device during a stipulated round.
(I found it fascinating-you might too!)
Using the device for matters unrelated to golf (e.g., to call home);
Use of Electronic Devices
As provided in the Etiquette Section, players should ensure that any electronic device taken onto the course does not distract other players.
The use of an electronic device such as a mobile phone, hand-held computer, calculator, television or radio is not of itself a breach of Rule 14-3. For example,
the following uses of an electronic device during a stipulated round are not a breach of the Rules:
Using the device to access information on advice-related matters that was produced prior to the start of the player's round (e.g., an electronic yardage book, swing tips);
Using the device to access (but not interpret or process) playing information from previous rounds (e.g., driving distances, individual club yardages, etc.); or
Using the device to obtain information related to the competition being played (e.g., the leader board or projected "cut").
However, examples of uses of an electronic device during a stipulated round that are a breach of Rule 14-3, for which the penalty is disqualification, include:
Using the device (e.g., a television or radio) to watch or listen to a broadcast of the competition being played;
Using the device to ask for or give advice in breach of Rule 8-1 (e.g., calling a swing coach);
Using the device to access information on advice-related matters that was not produced prior to the start of his round (e.g., analysis of strokes made during that round); or
Using the device to interpret or process any playing information obtained from current or previous rounds (e.g., driving distances, individual club yardages, etc.) or to assist in calculating the effective distance between