Sureshot GPS Owners - A Warning!

04/05/2007 at 16:59

I thought I'd put that in caps to get your attention..but it is true.

A fellow forum member and I were discussing the ability of the Sureshot to measure and then recommend clubs..and whether this was legal. Anyway, he emailed the R&A

"Can I ask a rules question please?

Certain GPS devices have the ability to measure, record and save your typical shot distance with each club and, subsequently make suggestions during the course of play as to which club the player should take for his next shot.

Are such devices in breach of the suggested local rule covering the use of artificial measuring devices (as they are able to measure something that might affect the play of the golfer)?

Do such devices that offer club selection advice breach the rule relating to players receiving advice?"

To which he received the following reply

"Dear Mr Xxxxx
I refer to your e-mail below and I would advise you that the additional ‘club recommendation’ feature you describe below would not be permitted under the Local Rule which permits the use of a distance measuring device. Therefore, the incorporation of such a feature would render a device non-conforming – and it could not be used during a stipulated round even when the Local Rule is in effect.
I hope this is of assistance, but please let me know if you have any further questions.
Yours sincerely

Assistant Director - Equipment Standards
R&A Rules Limited, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9JD"

So there you have it! If you use one of these devices in a competition, even if GPS measuring devices are allowed under local rule, you are breaking the rules and if discovered are likely to be disqualified.

I did notify Golfplus, the UK distributors of this product, of this information and even sent them a copy of the mail, yet they have chosen not to act upon it. Worse, they were still prominently selling the Sureshot units on their stand at the London Golf Show last weekend.

In fact their website at
is still displaying
"Can be used on any golf course around the world (subject to local rules)."

Caveat Emptor - But you have been warned!!

Edited: 04/05/2007 at 17:00
04/05/2007 at 18:08
This is what happens when the R&A do not make a straightforward decision.

Measuring devices should be banned - full stop!

Same as 'hot' drivers - should have been banned at the same time as the USPGA.

04/05/2007 at 18:21
I agree. GPS and other such measuring devices should be banned outright and not left to the local Rules brigade.
04/05/2007 at 18:21
Measuring devices should be banned - full stop!
Does that go for caddies, yardage markers & cards as well?
04/05/2007 at 20:29
I agree with Mike on this. What is the reasoning behind banning them?
04/05/2007 at 21:34
They shouldn't necessarily be banned, but the R&A must remove the choice by local rule and either legalise or ban.
04/05/2007 at 21:44
John, I'm afraid your "warning!" is 2 days out of date. Tee2Green, the makers of SureShot, released a software update on 2nd May that means "Club recommendation can now only be enabled from sureanalysis [the PC application]".

If the feature is disabled before the stipulated round the device is now - subject to the local rule - as legal as a Skycaddie (though not as accurate).

Release notes can be found here
Edited: 04/05/2007 at 21:47
04/05/2007 at 22:43
Hmmm..I'm not sure about that.

That feature is not very descriptive. It *suggests* that the feature can only be turned on from the Sureanalysis software application.

So what? If all they have changed is how the feature is enabled..surely, the same rule applies?

Also, haven't they just made it almost impossible to enforce this restriction?

It would be necessary to check the firmware version of the unit..and then verify the feature was disabled. I suspect that will be too much bother for most clubs and they will choose to turn a blind-eye to it, or ban the Sureshot completely from competition rounds!
Edited: 04/05/2007 at 22:51
05/05/2007 at 08:53
As I originally publicly posted my email and Claire Bates' response over at Moongolfer I'm happy to be identified as the originator of the email quoted by John.

If Motocaddy can get away with applying a sticker on their S3 LCD display to cover up the temperature gauge then I reckon Sureshot have an equally valid solution in disabling the club selection feature by using the Sureanalysis software.

I think that all we need to do is wait for the 2008 - 2011 rule book to appear and all the confusion and doubt about Distance and other artificial measuring devices will be cleared up.

04/06/2007 at 14:42
Personally, I think this is pretty petty. You still have to hit the shot. I have yet to hear of one of these things hitting the shot for you. Wind and slope are two other things that you have to consider once you know distance. Even if the sureshot does recommend the club, it's basically you making the recommendation because you have to set it up. I am in the market for one of these and I can't decide b/w the Sureshot or the Skycaddie. Does anyone have a useful opinion b/w the two. Thank you!
04/06/2007 at 15:02
I have upgraded to a Sureshot and have never used/enabled the club selection facility.

I would not even bother with a GPS device club suggestion feature, even if it were allowed by the R&A, as there are too many other variables like shape of shot, wind, slope, lie, temp etc to factor into the club selection.It doesnt take long to get to know your own yardages anyway so I cant see it being of much use.
Edited: 04/06/2007 at 15:03
07/08/2007 at 12:52
I dont know why some people are so strongly against these devices. If an individual wanted, they could make themselves a measurement book which does almost the same job. I could easily have a yardage book which gives me 50 different yardages per hole so basically I will know the distance for every single shot - just as with a gps device. The only difference is that it does not need the same preparation with the gps. In fact by using the GPS, an individual does not need to spend several minutes looking for the various trees, bunkers, markers etc. from which his yardages have been measured.
07/08/2007 at 12:57
Id have no objection quicker than pacing out from yardage markers so in effect saves time. Wouldnt help me anyway as I never hit my clubs the same distance every time anyway.
07/08/2007 at 13:16
Something stating a matter of "fact" ie yard should be allowed!

It speeds up play, saves nutters endlessly pacing distance off sprinklers and landmarks or spending ages gawping at the yardage book!

Something saying "hit 7 iron" is quite different!

(Skycaddie user...they a bloomin good!)

07/08/2007 at 13:19
Does sky caddie take into account wind speed wind direction hard ground soft ground etc Ive never used one. My mate who I played with told me to hit an 8 iron at par 3 the other day hit it through the green by 30 yds !
07/08/2007 at 13:26
No... and neither does it swing the club for you!

07/08/2007 at 13:28
So why is it such an advantage if it doesnt take any of these factors into account
07/08/2007 at 13:29
I trialled a Skycaddie SG4 a couple of weeks ago and was very impressed with it. It certainly takes out the need for pacing to & from the 150 yard markers. If my club would issue pin positions it'd be even more useful.

I suspect I'll end up buying one even though Hell would have to freeze over before my club will allow them in comps.
07/08/2007 at 13:42
The Skycaddie is without doubt the BEST range finder on the market, why do you think its the official rangefinder for the PGA and used on the EuroProTour!!
I have had one for ages had an SG2 and now the new SG4 these units are accurate very accurate!
I notice that they are adding over 100 courses a month to their site, just come back from Spain, downloaded four courses and was able to play in Yards and not Meters it was awsome.
04/09/2007 at 16:26

I went to Carnoustie this year and saw a lot of players and their caddies using another GPS product called caddyaid.

Notable users were people like Darren Clarke and his caddy as well as Richard Green who equalled the course record on the last day.

I actually got talking to the person representing the company and he showed me the Carnoustie course, and I was blown away by both how easy ot was to use and also its accuracy, not withstanding the amount of info it provided.

After looking at their website, it seems to offer a multitute of information tio the golfer, as well as showing an aerial photograph of the hole.

I would say that the CaddyAid golf GPS product exceeds both Skycaddie and Sureshot by at least as far as Tiger whollops his drives.

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