Review: Quick Reference Golf Rules + Iphone App

The best $10 you can spend on golf.
There aren’t too many things for $10 or less that you can buy for golf.  Surprisingly, one of the most useful and practical products is sold for $10.  The Golf Rules Quick guide should be required of every golfer.

The intent of the first Golf Rules Quick Reference published in 2004 was to take the USGA rulebook, and make it simple.  If you have ever picked up the rulebook, you might think you are reading Greek it has so many words, so many confusing explanations and not nearly enough drawings to make it clear.
Yves Ton-That took the USGA rulebook and gave us the illustrated Cliff Notes version.  If you bought the original Quick Rules of Golf, you may want to upgrade since there are 8 more pages, 134 more illustrations and the addition of match play rules.

How many rules of golf do you know?  I learned a few new rules about drops and hitting a ball out of the rough.  Depending on how much you know, maybe you won’t learn anything, but I have to believe a large percentage of golfers (even some here) don’t know all the rules or even many common ones.

The laminated book will fit in any golf bag, and will hold up to some abuse.  It is not made of metal, but the very sturdy construction should be able to take your hard handling.  It is the same size as most scorecards.

If you are not much of a reader and just like the shortened version of the already shortened version, the back page is about as simple and quick as it gets.  It is a chart about relief procedures from fairway, bunker, water hazard, and greens.

For more detailed rules open the cover to find a quick flip book with tabs down the right side which include Dropping, Tee, Fairway/Rough, Bunker, Water Hazard, Provisional, Green, Deflected.  Each section then walks you through many possible scenarios. If you have a question about where these rules are found, the official rule number is in parentheses.

Out on the course it was simply a breeze to use.  You can figure out the correct ruling within seconds.  This will also eliminate those uncomfortable arguments about the correct procedure for a drop or how many penalty strokes should be assessed for certain rule infractions.

So one of your playing partners doesn’t speak English, no problem, the quick rules book can be purchased in 20 different languages. I found little to improve on this product.  The only thing I could think of is to use a carabineer to hold it together instead of spiral bound so it could be clipped to any bag for quick and easy reference.

Need a Christmas present for a friend or golfing buddy and don’t want to spend too much, this is the best $10 you can spend.

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1 of the Best Golf Apps Available.With the invention of the iPhone, the app store has become a popular hangout for many users where an app can be found for just about anything.  I couldn’t wait to try iGolf Rules Quick Guide on my iPhone.  It costs the same as the printed book at $9.99.  It uses all the same information and the same format as the booklet form.  The format is similar.  On the opening page you can decide what you need, stroke play, match play or relief finder.  Once you click on those you get the same tabs as the book; dropping, teeing up, fairway play, bunkers, water hazards, OB, on the green, a ball at rest moves or a ball in motion hits.  Once you decide what your need or question is it takes you to a new list of options.  Once you click on that, it takes you to the rule and diagram of what you can do or what penalty you are assessed.    You also have the ability to go back at anytime if you didn’t pick exactly what you needed.

This app works in both landscape and portrait mode, but I suggest keeping it in landscape mode because once you get to the actual rules it will turn that way automatically.  All of the tabs and selections can be done in portrait, but rules cannot.  It bothered me at first, but once I decided to do it all in landscape mode it worked seamlessly.

So everything I said above about the rules and the simplicity of the Golf Rules Quick Guide still applies. Now you have access to it at the touch of an iPhone. If you take your iPhone to the course already, you might as well get some good use out of it, other than talking on it during play.  This is the one concern with any golf app for iPhones.  It means that you will be bringing your phone on the course.  Will you have the will power to resist answering it when it rings or worse yet, will it be ringing out of control during your  buddy’s back swing?  So even if you have the best intentions to play by the rules and use this app, use some common sense and turn the ringer off, and if possible please don’t answer it when someone calls (unless it is an emergency of course).

I still think that the 2008-2011 Golf Rules Quick Guide is an excellent investment for every golfer, now you can choose paper back or digital copy. 

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