Rules Guy: Is it legal to use a metronome between shots?

metronome golf

Is it legal to bring a metronome on the golf course?

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.

I have a metronome device that I use during my practice sessions. Can I use it during a round before making a shot — say, walking to my ball or between holes or waiting for my turn to putt — but not during the stroke? It looks to me like Rule 4.3(a) doesn’t specifically prohibit that type of use. But, of course, I want to be sure.
—Maurice Levert, Courtenay, B.C., Canada

As it happens, Rules Guy has a metronome device that he uses during practice typing sessions — and yet the column still comes in fits and starts. Draw your own conclusion.

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To your question: If the metronome is there to help your play (and, sorry, as purely background music it leaves much to be desired), it’s indeed a rules breach no matter whether it’s during or in between strokes.

It’s a tiered punishment, with the general penalty of two strokes in stroke play or loss of hole in match play for the first breach, followed by disqualification for a second offense. Tsk … tsk … tsk … tsk.

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Got a question about the Rules? Ask the Rules Guy! Send your queries, confusions and comments to We promise he won’t throw the book at you.

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