Rules Guy: Can I use my phone to access my green-reading book?

Rules Guy
Does it make a difference to access printed materials on your phone instead?

The Rules of Golf are tricky! Thankfully, we’ve got the guru. Our Rules Guy knows the book front to back. Got a question? He’s got all the answers.

Our club has green-reading contour books, but the print is so small that I can’t make out the details. I took a picture of each page with my cell phone in order to be able to enlarge the image enough to see the slopes.  A competitor called me out, citing a prohibition against electronics in tournament play. I said it was previously compiled material. Who was right in this blowup?
—SCOTT KULLA, VIA E-MAIL

In all-caps, bold-faced, oversized type: YOU! A player can access or review any material that was preprinted or created prior to the round. There is no issue with accessing that info on your iPhone

Still, it’s not always smart to reach for that smartphone. Calling a friend for advice or studying an analysis of strokes made during the round, as examples, would be operator errors and land you in hot water, Rules-wise … and placing the phone on a bed of dry rice wouldn’t fix it.

Got a rules question? Of course you do! Whatever it may be, send yours to [email protected] and the question may be answered in an upcoming issue of GOLF. Until then, play by the Rules!