Distance Measuring Devices
The use of distance measuring devices during a stipulated round remains contrary to the Rules of Golf, however, the Note to Rule 14-3 allows the Committee to introduce a Local Rule to permit the use of such devices. Ultimately, it is for each individual Committee to decide whether it wishes to allow the use of distance measuring devices for play on the course or in any of its competitions. In the absence of a Local Rule, the use of such a device is contrary to the Rules of Golf.
If the Committee wishes to act in accordance with the Note under Rule 14-3, the recommended wording for the Local Rule is contained in Appendix I, Part B. It is important to note the use of a distance-measuring device that is designed to gauge or measure other conditions that might affect a player’s play (e.g. gradient, wind speed, temperature, etc) is not permitted regardless of whether such an additional function is used.
In November 2009, The R&A and USGA released a Joint Statement On Electronic Devices, Including Distance-Measuring Devices.