Can College Golfers Use Rangefinders

It’s college! The time of free-spiritedness and fun. You have never felt younger and more alive. What better time to take sports more seriously? Especially the sport of your dreams; golf.

You started in high school playing just for fun before your impressive talent was discovered, and now you’re off to college golfing and wondering what exactly is going to be different about college golf.

Can College Golfers Use Rangefinders

Are the rules for high school golf similar to those for college golf? Or is there a drastic difference? And above all, can you use your trusted rangefinder?

Answers to questions like these may just be the only thing standing in the way of you getting penalized, or worse disqualified.

Can College Golfers Use Rangefinders

Is It Legal To Use Rangefinders In College Golf?

According to the 2006 revised rule book of the US Golfing Association (USGA), devices that measure distance like rangefinders and the likes were allowed in the golfing association and on the golf course.

The new revision of the rule book in 2006 allowed for the use of rangefinders which often gave golfers that utilized them an unfair advantage.

Later on, a further revision was carried out on this law, and the new law stated that “Professional golfers will not be allowed to use distance measuring devices such as rangefinders in competitions, or for any handicapping purpose”.

This is because the law permitting golfers to utilize rangefinders was changed. 

Letting rangefinders continue assisting golfers in measuring distances on a course meant that other playing tools had to also be permitted, which should have caused a serious breach of golfing rules. 

In addition, the overuse of these helpful distance measurement devices also seemed to hasten the pace at which the game of golf was played.

Golfers did not have to walk a relatively long distance to every successful hole, which has always been a rule enforced by all golf organizations.

However, with golf rangefinders available to inform these golfers about the elevation, terrain, wind speed, and wind direction, they haven’t needed to walk after each hole.

This relevant information must be obtained by the college golfer on his own. This is part of his development and training.

What Are The Rules For College Tournaments?

In 2011, the NCAA golf championship laid down very strict rules to be followed by both men and women playing the game.

The rule is pretty straightforward.

  • Do not use golf rangefinders that are efficient in distance measurement in competitive rounds. Instead, you employ their services during practice or personal tutorials with friends and family. 
  • Rangefinders that give golfers an unfair advantage while playing against an opponent who may not be able to perhaps afford one during a friendly game are considered unethical and a breach of the college golf rules.
  • In addition, distance measurement is illegal, even if the golf player with the rangefinder decides to disable a few extra features that will give him too much of an added advantage,  the player is still regarded as having an unfair advantage.
  • A golfer utilizing such a rangefinder device with included features and advantages during general practice rounds with teammates or during major or minor competitions will be outrightly disqualified.

It is however advisable to ensure you comply vehemently with the USGA rules and regulations that govern having additional help from devices like rangefinders and comply with its other protocols when it comes to measuring distances in general.

Final Words…

It might be very tempting to disregard the rules as a fresh college student not used to being restricted from using rangefinders during your games, especially the friendly games with friends.

It might turn out to be in your best interest if you do begin training and practicing without your rangefinder. You will build a general ability to approximately measure distances with your naked eye.

However, if you decide to go play professionally after college, there are several variations to the rules that then apply to you. This also applies to you if you play at a professional level even while in college. We have written dedicated articles on what rangefinder Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods use.

You may be permitted to train or practice with rangefinders to perfect your skill when you go against some of the best from around the world.

Some professionals may possess some books that contain several yardages. They use this information to predict the accurate distance measurement of each hole on the golf course.

This book of yardages is always formed on the training field where they record the different distances with the help of a rangefinder.

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