Originally Posted by Fourputt
Originally Posted by Meltdwhiskey
It wouldn't be that terrible. But I do think it would slow down play. It is simply faster to look at the GPS or shoot the laser than to search for markers and pace off distances. And if knowing the accurate distance helped you to maybe hit the green instead of not quite getting it over the bunker - then you have also saved the time of hitting the extra shot(s), raking the bunker, etc.
The thing is that most players didn't search for markers and pace off distances. Most just estimated from the visible markers set every 50 yards starting usually at 200 yards. It wasn't until courses started the questionable practice of marking sprinklers that pacing really took hold and started to slow down the game. On many courses sprinkler heads are hard to find, so first they have to search, then pace, and by then they have delayed the game.
With nice easy to see markers set at 50 yard intervals, estimating is easy, and most players are just kidding themselves if they think that they need to be closer than 5 yards.
I can see that. I played golf for a couple of years in the early 90's and I don't remember there being as much of a premium on distance. But then again, we were just college kids and looking back, we were really bad a golf. I'm not sure knowing the distance would have helped much.
But then I didn't play again for 15 years and when I returned, there did seem to be a premium on distance. And not just to the center of the green as the markers would give you - but the exact distance to the pin! For a lot of us, I don't think this is completely necessary.
But regardless of where the pin is or how far the middle is, I really like knowing what it takes to stay away from trouble. If a bunker is guarding the front of the green - and I'm off by 1 club because I estimated poorly or I was at a different angle than the marker, I can be in that bunker. Also, some holes have turns in them where you want to hit toward the woods and get as close to the trees as you can, but not in them. Or creek/pond forced carries or creek/pond layups, etc. There are no distances to these things.
I'd guess it takes me 10 seconds to grab the laser and get a distance to anything I want. And in some cases it can save me from hitting into woods and bunkers - which will save more than the 10 seconds. And even if it didn't, you hear guys 'talking out' a distance to things. One guy is proposing 7i, another is proposing it is 160, another guys says that 160 is his 7i, another thinks it is more like 140 based on the marker he thinks is over there. When this starts, I usually just shoot it and it puts these conversations to bed.
Also, I only use it here and there. I'm guessing some guys are using it nearly every shot? Even if I used it on every approach shot at 10 seconds per, that's 3 minutes/round. So if it never saved a single second, it only cost 3 minutes. But if it saves any shots or cuts down on ball hunting or raking - it will save time in the round.
Having said all that, I do like using my laser. And I think it is illogical to ban them. But if they did, it wouldn't be a big deal to me.