Is it legal to use a Stimpmeter to measure green speed before playing?

A man using a Stimpmeter on a green

What do the rules say about using a Stimpmeter to measure green speed before playing?

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The rules of golf are difficult! Luckily we have the guru. Our Rules Man knows the book from cover to cover. Do you have a question? He has all the answers.

I’m the type of guy who likes to know what I’m getting into before I play. Can I use a Stimpmeter to check the speed of the greens on the day of a match? —Douglas Wilson, Blairgowrie, Scotland

Nae, Douglas, at least in stroke play – Rule 5.2 prohibits rolling a ball over the surface of a green on the course before a round in stroke play.

If you were to do this on more than one putting green you would be disqualified.

However, in match play it is allowed to practice on the court beforehand. That said, if we’re talking about Scotland, green speeds will be in the single figures, I promise. Give those putts a good rap!

For more green reading guidelines from our guru, read on…

Green reading book

Rulesman: Is it against the rules to use glasses to access the information in a green reading book?

By means of:

Rules dude

Our club has contour books with green reading value, but the print is so small that I can’t make out the details. I took a photo of each page with my cell phone to be able to enlarge the image enough to see the slopes. A competitor called me and mentioned a ban on electronics at tournaments. I said it was previously compiled material. Who was right in this outburst? —Scott Kulla, via email

In all caps, bold, oversized type: YOU! A player can access and view any material pre-printed or created before the round. There is no problem accessing that information on your iPhone.

Yet it is not always smart to reach for that smartphone. Calling a friend for advice or studying an analysis of the shots taken during the round, for example, would be operator error and land you in hot water. As for the rules… and placing the phone on a bed of dry rice wouldn’t solve the problem.

Need help unraveling the greens on your home course? Buy a customized Green Book at Golf Logix.

Do you have a question about the Rules? Ask the rules man! Send your questions, confusion and comments to [email protected]. We promise he won’t throw the book at you.

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