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Range Finders on the PGA Tour to Speed Play

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  1. 1. Range Finders on the PGA Tour: Like or Dislike?

    • I like the idea.
      40
    • I dislike the idea.
      12


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It's not that I don't think caddies are important. I understand the Peping up there players, helping with club selection and general maintenace but yardage is a huge part of there job. With Range finders we could be seeing more and more doctor Phils carring bags :)

So for the sake of the caddies they shouldn't use rangefinders?? Caddies will I imagine still need to do homework on the course with a yardage book just not as much. Reading greens and just general help around the greens is a major duty when it comes to caddies like Michelle Wi's. Not all pros use the same caddies day in day out... They need a caddy that will have local knowledge of the course that they cannot just attain from a couple of practice rounds. So don't worry about the livelihood of the quality caddies out there and say yay for rangefinder.

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There must be at least one professional caddie on this forum.

You can be one by next Tuesday if you do a couple of deadlifts and really, really believe in yourself!

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So for the sake of the caddies they shouldn't use rangefinders?? Caddies will I imagine still need to do homework on the course with a yardage book just not as much. Reading greens and just general help around the greens is a major duty when it comes to caddies like Michelle Wi's. Not all pros use the same caddies day in day out... They need a caddy that will have local knowledge of the course that they cannot just attain from a couple of practice rounds. So don't worry about the livelihood of the quality caddies out there and say yay for rangefinder.

Good points. It's just ignorance on my part of the job that they do and comparing them to a push cart and dr. Phil was pretty harsh.

I had a rough day yesturday and it shows!

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I'm surprised at the poll results. Golfers tend to be traditionalists and range finders for PGA players are antithetical to tradition.

Personally I voted no. I like it that a player has to work to find their yardage. They have enough information that their yardages are almost always spot on. One of the joys of watching golf is the conversation between player and caddy to determine club selection based on yardage and conditions.

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Part of the skill of these tour players is how their caddy and the player work together to figure out a yardage, and pick a club accordingly. I don't see any need to 'speed up play'. Golf is a slow paced psychological and mentally demanding game when you are playing like the pros, and for the amount of money on the line. I don't see this change happening to the PGA tour in the next decade, unless by some crazy occurance, a 3 ball must play a round in under 2 hours. Want faster paced sport? Stick to football. Traditionalist here!

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I'm surprised at the poll results. Golfers tend to be traditionalists and range finders for PGA players are antithetical to tradition.

Even if they use a range finder and know the exact yardage they will have conversations about club selection given the conditions such as wind, terrain and hazards. What you're eliminating is the time the caddy takes to find the page to look the yardage up in his notebook.

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maybe throw in a windspeed and direction measuring device (anemometer), a thermometer, doppler weather radar, a barometer, altimeter, compass, soil tester, etc.?

If you're gonna allow technological helpers, allow them all. I'm ambivalent on the subject but lean toward allowing it. Having all this information at your fingertips in a handheld device that automatically chooses a club and swing type & trajectory (1/4, 1/2/ 3/4 full,...) for the golfer still wouldn't take away the human factors involved in finally deciding the course of action for the player/caddie.

I guess the question to be asked is, "Is part of the test of competitive golf the ability of player and caddie to read the conditions, including distance, when determining club/shot selection?"

Lastly, on the subject of speed of game play, having more information at your fingertips doesn't necessarily speed things up; oftentimes, more and faster information provides more things to discuss when trying to make a decision on course of action. Given the ease of using the laser rangefinder, I can imagine a caddie/player shooting the laser at many more targets than necessarily needed when trying to determine what type of shot to hit. "Hey, Jim, shoot the top & bottom of that tree for me to see if I can get over it or not."

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maybe throw in a windspeed and direction measuring device (anemometer), a thermometer, doppler weather radar, a barometer, altimeter, compass, soil tester, etc.?

That doesn't make sense. Yardages are allowed and have been allowed for decades.

I guess the question to be asked is, "Is part of the test of competitive golf the ability of player and caddie to read the conditions, including distance, when determining club/shot selection?"

Yardage is not included in that.

Lastly, on the subject of speed of game play, having more information at your fingertips doesn't necessarily speed things up; oftentimes, more and faster information provides more things to discuss when trying to make a decision on course of action.

The yardage is not "more" information.

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In a recent Bushnell ad online it stated that the tour caddies already use rangefinders before tournaments to verify yardage books, is this just a load of bs trying to sell their product, or is it true?

Certainly it is. I was a volunteer hole marshal for 4 years at The International, and the caddies would be out early in the morning on practice days walking the course with their lasers and marking down yardages. Never, ever saw one use a GPS. Not accurate enough for a pro.

I'm surprised at the poll results. Golfers tend to be traditionalists and range finders for PGA players are antithetical to tradition.

Trust me. They don't work any harder now than they would if they could use a laser during the round. It just takes longer to page through the book and find the appropriate data. All of that data is laser obtained anyway, so why not just skip the hassle? I don't' know that it would speed up play, but if there is a chance, then give it a try.

I still wonder when the ruling bodies will just eliminate the necessity for using a local rule to allow their use. They are implemented so universally now that it seems to make more sense to allow them under the rules, then have a local rule available for implementation when a committee wants to prohibit them.

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maybe throw in a windspeed and direction measuring device (anemometer), a thermometer, doppler weather radar, a barometer, altimeter, compass, soil tester, etc.?

Why would you equate those with distance information which is already garnered with a laser and recorded in a yardage book? Your argument makes no sense.

If you're gonna allow technological helpers, allow them all. I'm ambivalent on the subject but lean toward allowing it. Having all this information at your fingertips in a handheld device that automatically chooses a club and swing type & trajectory (1/4, 1/2/ 3/4 full,...) for the golfer still wouldn't take away the human factors involved in finally deciding the course of action for the player/caddie.

Except that all of that information is not allowed under the rules. Distance information is considered pubic information, and has been allowed for the 40 years that I've been playing. The only reason that the question came up is that technology has given us easier ways to garner this information.

I guess the question to be asked is, "Is part of the test of competitive golf the ability of player and caddie to read the conditions, including distance, when determining club/shot selection?"

Caddies don't "read" distance now. They take sightings with lasers before the competition begins and use that information during the tournament. It just takes longer to pace off distances from identified landmarks then adjust for position. The numbers they arrive at are the same as if they were shooting with the laser on the spot.

Lastly, on the subject of speed of game play, having more information at your fingertips doesn't necessarily speed things up; oftentimes, more and faster information provides more things to discuss when trying to make a decision on course of action. Given the ease of using the laser rangefinder, I can imagine a caddie/player shooting the laser at many more targets than necessarily needed when trying to determine what type of shot to hit. "Hey, Jim, shoot the top & bottom of that tree for me to see if I can get over it or not."

They won't have more information available, they will just be able to access that information more efficiently.

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Even if they use a range finder and know the exact yardage they will have conversations about club selection given the conditions such as wind, terrain and hazards. What you're eliminating is the time the caddy takes to find the page to look the yardage up in his notebook.

If the criteria for using the rangefinders is to speed play then it's going to fail. The time saved would be minimal and pro golfers are slow because they take forever to read and line up putts.

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Just think how much time it would save Bones and Steve when they have to pace of yardages from adjacent fairways.

I voted against it for the scenario you listed. If you are hitting from adjacent fairways, then you should suffer some kind of consequence for the errant shot. Let them pace to their hearts content. Giving them a range finder is too easy. What they come up with will not likely be as close as what their book says when they are in the correct fairway.

If the criteria for using the rangefinders is to speed play then it's going to fail. The time saved would be minimal and pro golfers are slow because they take forever to read and line up putts.

Now they will be getting a digital readout to the cup or the break.

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I like the idea. If the sprinkler heads are accurate then they are going to get the yardage anyway.

Why on Earth not? Let them think a bit.

...If you are hitting from adjacent fairways, then you should suffer some kind of consequence for the errant shot. Let them pace to their hearts content. Giving them a range finder is too easy. What they come up with will not likely be as close as what their book says when they are in the correct fairway.

Indeed.

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It can only help. They have access to everything they need. A marked course, yardage books, pin sheets, etc. All this would do would be eliminate steps in figuring out distances.

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Originally Posted by srjorion View Post
I like the idea. If the sprinkler heads are accurate then they are going to get the yardage anyway. If they are incorrect then there is no sense in making the yardage a guessing game.

Because if the sprinkler heads are wrong, it's not thinking it is guessing. Let them get the right yardage and then they can do their thinking on the wind, slope, etc..

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Because if the sprinkler heads are wrong, it's not thinking it is guessing. Let them get the right yardage and then they can do their thinking on the wind, slope, etc..

Surely you don't think that the pros use the numbers on the sprinklers? They may use some of those sprinklers, but they take all of their own measurements from them. In the pre tournament walkthroughs the pros and/or their caddies use lasers to verify everything in their yardage books, as well as adding anything else that they feel they might need.

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And people wonder why there are so many PGA Tour rounds at < 62.

Greens roll better than ever (thanks in part to members wearing soft spikes), club fitting is better than ever, and the yardage books are laser rangefinder accurate.

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