Friday, 19 February 2010

Measuring Club-lengths

Often when I write a blog on one issue it leads naturally into another. Since last week’s blog I have received several comments and questions on how to correctly measure club-lengths in different circumstances. Here are some graphics that I think will help you understand the concepts (with acknowledgements to

From this last example you will see that when the ball lies on ground it is not permitted to measure horizontally across different levels. If the ball is on the top level you may either measure to the edge of the wall, down the wall and along the ground at the lower level, or to the wall and directly over it as in the 5th illustration.

However, if a ball lies off the ground (e.g. in a tree) then you may measure the club-lengths from the point on the ground immediately below the place where the ball lay in the tree.

(Edit: Decision 20-2b/2 was revised at 1st January 2012 with the following wording, "However, a player may not measure through a natural undulation of the ground.")

Good golfing,

Barry Rhodes

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Anonymous said...

Hi Barry,

I would like to submit 3 points to you:
1. I am very happy to have subscribed to your Forum, which I find very
interesting and "refreshing"!
2. Re long putters: don't worry - I didn't notice any improvement in the
score of players using such putters!!
3. Your pictures re the use of clubs for measuring is very useful and again
congratulations for all your are doing.

Regards. JMC (Switzerland)

Anonymous said...

Is it illegal to use a Bushnell Lazer V2 in competition golf. I have not seen anybody using one or something like it on the tour. Is it banned on the PGA TOUR. The company's say it is legal to use but haven't seen one yet on tour. Thanks JB.

Barry Rhodes said...


The Rules of Golf do not permit the use of distance measuring devices. However, there is a note to Rule 14-3, Artificial Devices, Unusual Equipment and Unusual Use of Equipment, that says;
"Note: The Committee may make a Local Rule allowing players to use devices that measure or gauge distance only."

So, you have to check the Local Rules carefully before you take a distance measuring device onto the course. Many resort 'pay-as-you-play' courses do permit them, but many private member Clubs do not.

You may find also this recent blog of mine interesting on a similar subject;