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No shirt, 27 clubs in bag, plus thoughts on the laser rangefider. My observations this week.

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Where to begin. Tournament/outing season is in full swing at the club and I am busier than a puppy with tow peters. First thing I would like to bring to your attention is an Atlanta fund raising tournament. This cat showed up with 27 clubs in his canvas and leather bag. One club was a 10 iron. 19 irons, 7 real woods, and a putter. I calmly asked him if he knew the 14 club limit rule and his reply was "Huh, wha dat mean?' Nuff said. Moving on, another outing was in full bloom the other day and driving around the course looking for a dead cart I notice this hand out there with no shirt. I just stopped and looked on in disbelief. The club I work at is not a muny,  Herman Cain is a member, Hank Arron still has a locker here. Braves and Falcons players are members as well as prominate business people in Atlanta are members. I suppose there is a time and place to play golf sans shirt but this wasn't the place. I kindly told him to please put his shirt back on, which he did, at least until I got out of sight.

 

Now on to the laser rangefinder. If you are a high handicapper read no further as I do not wish to offend. But If you can not advance the ball in a reasonably straight distance then a laser rangefinder is not what you need. Case in point. A gentlemen is standing off in the rough well pine straw really, and I am sitting in a cart close by. I see him "laze" the target several times to make sure he is dead on and wham, he takes a swing and chucks it out of the straw maybe 10 yards out into the fairway. He then repeats the procedure, not changing clubs, and swings again. However, this time his ball rockets off at about a 45 degree angle to his left into the woods on the left of the fairway. What does he do? Repeats the procedure again. I can see him in the woods, with the rangefinder trying to lock on to the target taking several attempts to get it dialed in just right, only to skull this on. But hey it got kind of close. He finally got near enough to the green to chip and I drove off and waited for them to finish off. They took way to long to play one hole and his buddies seemed to be no better. I explained to them pace of play and that was that. The laser rangefinder is good at times and bad at times. I have seen people use it inside the 50 yard mark. I saw a guy use it on the green, a par 5 tee, out of the woods, you name it. Oh well, to each his own I suppose but to me it seems to slow down the game for some people. If you have no idea how far you can hit a 7 iron on a consistent basis, then you don't need a laser, you need practice. Once you know your yardages( not what you want to hit, but how far you actually hit) then get one. Nuff said.

post #2 of 23

I took an 11-year hiatus from golf (came back in 2012). To me, the absolute worst development during my time away was the proliferation of laser rangefinders. They absolutely slow things down.

 

I might be the only guy in our men's club who doesn't own one. I have no interest in knowing exact yardages and have expressed that to members I've played with who always want to give them to me for my shots (I suppose so they can further justify the money they spent by getting additional use out of them). Oftentimes, two or more guys in the group will come up with figures that are 5 to 7 yards different while standing in the same place. I always get a chuckle out of that.

 

These dudes will laser a par-3 pin every single time they play the hole, even though they've played it a hundred times from every marker and hole location and with the wind coming from every direction. That kills me!

 

I was walking the front nine by myself one evening last month when a couple of guys from the club who I knew casually asked if they could join me. We got to the first par-3, which I knew from experience would play at about 180, and I was teed up and ready to hack when one of them said, "Hold on, do you know the number?" I said, "Yep, 4-hybrid," and fortuitously knocked my ball to about 12 feet of the pin. They then used their devices to determine that the distance was 182 or 177 or whatever and both proceeded to badly miss the green. Sorry, but I felt good about that.

 

Part of the fun of the game for me is taking a yardage estimate from some landmark on the course and then playing the club that the shot "looks" or "feels" like. I'll leave the precise numbers to my tax guy.

post #3 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ditchparrot19 View Post
 

I took an 11-year hiatus from golf (came back in 2012). To me, the absolute worst development during my time away was the proliferation of laser rangefinders. They absolutely slow things down.

 

I can appreciate your point of view, but I see it the other way around.  I use a GPS and in my opinion, I play faster.  As I approach the ball I get a number off the GPS so I have a good idea of my yardage.  Once I'm at the ball it's just a matter of the exact number to the middle and check if pin is up or back, pull a club and go.  I feel like I'm ready to play the shot faster with a GPS than without.

 

I don't disagree that after playing a par 3 many many times, that I don't need the GPS, and I don't use it.  On my home course I know what club I need to get to the back and front of the greens, depending on wind conditions and other factors. 

post #4 of 23
Thanks for the funny stories;love the canvas bag and 27 clubs. I have not been in Atlanta lately though, so it wasn't me. (I wouldn't have had 27, but might have had a wooden wood or two) . I am sure you could tell a lot more.

I don't own a range finder and don't really want one. I am a 15ish. Some of my buddies have them, and they have given me the number a few times that it did help. A couple of par 3's on my course have greens that angle away, and can be 1-2 clubs different from the same tee-even for me. I am not talking about hitting the pin, I am talking about being on the green and within 20-25 feet. On an unfamiliar course, I find a rangefinder/GPS useful for me between 180 and 110. I am not interested in the difference in 182 and 177, but I am interested in the difference between 165 and 180. I can usually get close enough by steps from the nearest marker.
post #5 of 23

GPS/Rangefinders can be very useful and helpful in advancing the ball to an exact yardage, but the guy referenced in the first post really should not own one. Probably should have taken the money he spent on the rangefinder and gotten some lessons!

post #6 of 23

we have a outing that a bar runs it funny as hell. I was looking in a bag that had a wooden drive, 2 6 irons couple of other random clubs and a putter stolen from a mini putt putt. Every body in jeans and t-shirts. I was sitting watching the play and had no fewer than 3 woman whip out there boobs. It was a pretty funny day and I saw 3 nice racks lol

post #7 of 23

Rangefinder is great..... in practice range.  I have seen it slow games quite a bit.  Have a golfbuddy or something small to track automatically so no need for manual checking for each shot.  I think some people use rangefinder because they think it looks cool rather than they want to know yardage.  sort of like hollering "see I'm playing golf"

post #8 of 23

Same guy, without a laser thingy, would be pacing off yards to a sprinkler head before chunkin it.

post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsp9999 View Post
 

Rangefinder is great..... in practice range.  I have seen it slow games quite a bit.  Have a golfbuddy or something small to track automatically so no need for manual checking for each shot.  I think some people use rangefinder because they think it looks cool rather than they want to know yardage.  sort of like hollering "see I'm playing golf"

And I'll give you the same response I give people who say they see carts slow down play ... its not the rangefinder at all, it's the user.  I can check a yardage in 4 seconds, and it's usually done before it's even my turn.

 

And like @CarlSpackler said ... the guy who slows play down with a rangefinder is the same guy who's going to slow play down even more without one because he'll be pacing off yardages, and he'll almost certainly be doing that slower than he'd be lasering things.

post #10 of 23

I only use my laser range finder from about 160 in.  Any further out and I'm seriously lucky to a) hit the shot solidly; b) hit it straight; c) hit the green. 

 

When I first got the range finder, I quickly learned that I was UNDERestimating true yardage.  If I was sitting at 100, I'd 'guess' 80-90.  Pins were actually farther away than they appeared to my eyes.  No wonder I was always coming up short on approach shots.  Now, I'm dialing in the 7 through wedge shots and have much better distance control knowing the REAL yardage.

 

Oh, and I always wear my shirt on the course!

 

dave

post #11 of 23

Hey man, it can get pretty hot out there on the golf course

post #12 of 23

Enjoy reading the different points of view ... I have to agree with the "its a user" issue ... you can't fix stupid ... 

 

I find that I am faster, as I get the yard almost before the cart stops and certainly before my golf partners hit ... before laser and GPS's everyone drove around looking for a sprinkler head

 

I also only use my laser when the cart is not equipped with a GPS  I just need to know the approximate distance with my handicap ... especially since I have no perception of distance; however, I have played with some people that I swear have a built in laser ... 

post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlSpackler View Post
 

Same guy, without a laser thingy, would be pacing off yards to a sprinkler head before chunkin it.

 

Exactly. Rangefinders speed up play, IMO. I think they should use them on tour, where twosomes take over four hours to play.

 

Some courses don't allow them, which I think is absurd. I played Merion last year and they don't even have yardages on the sprinkler heads. Gotta rely 100% on the caddie, so you better have a good one.

post #14 of 23

I agree that there should be some skill level before you start using a laser.  On the other hand, laser does help with learning your yardages. 

 

I use it all the time, together with a golfshot on my phone.  I usually have my number before anybody else even located a sprinkler head.

 

Also, I have never ever found any differences between laser finders.  If me and another guy have a laser, we are usually within 1 yard.  7 yards sounds fishy...maybe you are trying to make your point here, but lets not exaggerate.

 

Now I played whistling straits few weeks ago, and enjoyed using the pin sheet and yardages on the golf course.  I tested them out on the first few holes, and calculating yardages with the pin sheet was as accurate as using the laser. 

 

I agree with what others are saying, it's the users and not the equipment that slows down the play. 

post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ditchparrot19 View Post
 

 the absolute worst development during my time away was the proliferation of laser rangefinders. They absolutely slow things down.

That may be the dumbest post I have ever read..........

 

surely you are joking?  As if the "old way" of getting yardages was quicker?  LOL.....finding sprinklers and pacing?  I don't mean to be rude, but that was a stupid @zz comment.  Sure.....approaching a golf ball and obtaining exact yardage in an instant slows things down...............riiiiiiight!

post #16 of 23

I have a range finder and did not use it at all on my last round as I played a course that I was familiar with, and was comfortable with my distance assessments based upon the markers on the fairways.  However, when playing a course I am totally unfamiliar with, I use range finder, not on very hole or every shot, but some.  I can promise you that it does not slow me down.  Handicap is at 18, so I do not hit every shot like I plan to, but it is nice to know distance to hazards, and distances on doglegs.

post #17 of 23
Quote:

That may be the dumbest post I have ever read..........

 

surely you are joking?  As if the "old way" of getting yardages was quicker?  LOL.....finding sprinklers and pacing?  I don't mean to be rude, but that was a stupid @zz comment.  Sure.....approaching a golf ball and obtaining exact yardage in an instant slows things down...............riiiiiiight!

 

The question being, I suppose, whether a 28 handicapper in the pre-laser-rangefinder era assiduously paced off yardages. Part of the criticism of rangefinders seems to be tied to the fact that some of the people using them would be better off concentrating on other elements of their game, which would benefit them and also increase the speed of play. Knowing you're still 207.25 yards to the pin isn't desperately useful information if you really struggle with fairway woods, long irons, or hybrids. To a 4.5 handicapper like yourself, it might be vital information in terms of club selection, whereas a high handicapper should be able to eyeball that shot, deduce it's still "a very long way to the green," and simply select the longest club with which he feels comfortable. If that's a 6 iron, then so be it. Better to hit a decent 6 iron and really advance the ball than top a 5 wood 10 yards.

 

I agree with the suggestion that a rangefinder only becomes useful once a player has achieved a skill level that merits its use. Otherwise, to be honest, I think they risk being a novelty or distraction. Before rangefinders were common, I don't recall all players (even very good players), obsessing over precise yardages all the time. Most golfers just eyeballed the shot - "It's a 7 iron" (or what-have-you).

 

And I don't mean any of this to sound like a criticism of rangefinders - in fact, I'm thinking of investing in one. I've plateaued as a mid-handicapper, would like to improve my scores, which means hitting way more greens in regulation, which means better club selection and knowledge of yardages, so....

post #18 of 23

Most of the people I play with either have a GPS or a rangefinder and all of them would be considered fast golfers.

 

I use a GPS and it's obviously a few seconds faster than a rangefinder but that's a very minimal factor in pace of play.

 

Each has advantages and disadvantages. With the GPS I know the distance to the green on totally blind shots (often from places that have no yardage marker in the neighborhood). A range finder is more accurate to the pin on visible shots and also more versatile in getting distances to objects that a GPS wouldn't show.

 

Shirt story:

 

I went to a course one time and there was a guy in front of us that had on overalls and no shirt. He was also about 100 lbs. overweight and had on a straw gardening hat. This wasn't a high end course but wasn't a complete scrub course either, and they did have a collared shirt and no denim policy. 

 

When I first saw him he was on a par 3 tee box in front of us and I thought there was no telling what we were in for with somebody that looked like that in front of us.

 

He hit a very good shot to about 20 feet from the pin and then completely threw a fit slamming his club down in disgust and then picking it up and slinging it toward his golf cart (guess he didn't like the shot?)

 

That got me curious enough about him to watch all of his shots I could see and I never saw him hit anything I would call a bad shot. I not only thought, well looks can be deceiving, but wondered if they knew in the clubhouse how he was dressed.

 

A few months later I was playing in a tournament at that course and he was there, albeit dressed more like a golfer this time. I asked a local guy if he knew who that guy was and he said "Yeah, he's pretty much the best player around here."

 

I thought all of it was weird.

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