GPS Apps NOW BANNED
The Rules of Golf 2012 - 2015 generated headlines for some rule changes (eg wind moving ball, raking bunkers, etc) another ruling on use of smartphones & iPhones with GPS escaped notice!
Do you have a phone with GPS and other Apps?
Then you definitely should read on!
The rule in question, Rule 14-3, says in effect, "A multi-functional device such as a smartphone or PDA may be used as a distance measuring device provided it measures distance only. In addition ... there must be no other feature or application installed on that device. If the device is used, the player would be in breach of the Rules whether or not they are actually used." (Appendix IV, p162) The penalty for breach of Rule 14-3 is DISQUALIFICATION!
At the heart of the matter is the fact that such devices (smartphones etc) have Apps built into them that could give a player information about weather, slope and/or compass bearings. Now, with this new Rule added, simply having an offending App on your phone is cause for disqualification if you use your phone's golf Apps during a round.
Why not just remove the offending App/s from your phone? In fact it is impossible for some phones as they are hard-coded into the operating systems, as is a web browser (which could give the player access to weather, wind info, etc.)
BUT - it is still OK to have your smartphone in your bag - on condition it is used only as a phone!!
NB: This ruling does NOT apply to those GPS devices dedicated to course maps (eg Golf Buddy, SureShot, Sonocaddie), nor to rangefinder devices.