Professional Golfers and Range Finders – Good or Bad Idea?

With the resumption of professional golf, I was wondering if it was time to make drastic changes as to how the professional measure distances on the golf course. Most of us have watch the yardage book and green sheets examined by the player and caddie with intense scrutiny. Obviously, the player is trying to dial in a perfect number to hit too, but would not a range finder make the process faster and more accurate?

Golf is evolving and now might be the time to make a significant change to how professionals loop the course. They have a caddie to carry their clubs and discuss strategy and help to figure out what and how to make their next shot. Primarily, they discuss distances and how a ball will react where the landing zone should be. Caddies are an invaluable part of the game, but is ti possible that things are changing.

Given that “Marc Warren won the Austrian Open last week, breaking a six-year title drought for the 39-year-old. But there’s a catch — he did it without the benefit of a caddie for the week, instead schlepping his own clubs around Diamond Country Club for the week.”(Golf.com) Is the information about distances provided by caddies really all that important?

To be fair, I am a bit tongue and cheek with respect to the importance of caddies at the professional level. I am not qualified to judge their worth and nor do I have the knowledge of what they mean to the professional. This article is about electronic measuring devices at the professional level and I think it might be worth a try.

Is there any reason that a caddie cannot provide an exact distance using a range finder (not a GPS) that would affect the integrity of the game. Is any different than the yardage book and green sheet being so detailed that when Bryson DeChambeau used simple math to improve his game, it was quickly outlawed because other golfers were not capable of performing the same mathematics. The range finder would level the playing field.

I am not the only one who thinks this way:

I realize that there will be many reasons amateurs, viewers, golf pundits, and the governing bodies as to why my idea is just crazy talk. But, electronic measuring devices are a part of golf (rule 4.3 a (1)). Why should professionals be banned from using something that is embedded in the rules. I understand that the PGA Tour is clinging to traditions, but the game of golf must evolve. And it should start at the professional level.

Using a range finder at the professional level is a good idea and something that the governing bodies should consider. I am sure both sides can come up with an exhaustive pro/con list. Personally, I am in the con corner.

Where do you stand on range finders at the professional level?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

6 thoughts on “Professional Golfers and Range Finders – Good or Bad Idea?

  1. Jim, I don’t see why caddies shouldn’t be allowed to use range finders. They all have them in the bag and shoot a bunch of distances during practice rounds. Plus the value of the caddy is not in the measuring of distances (they all do that), it’s the on-course psychological services they provide during the heat of battle. I think that’s the tradition the PGA Tour wants to retain.
    Golf hasn’t been affected as much as other professional sports by the intrusion of technology, like instant replay. Generally, I’m not in favor of replacing the human element of sports with machines, but I see nothing wrong with allowing range finders.
    Thanks,
    Brian

    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian

      Golf had its version of instant replay with the ability of viewers to call in….which they do not allow anymore. Cancelling that was a good idea. I would hope that a range finder would speed up play just a bit, but who knows with the pros. Do you use a range finder?

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jim, totally agree on the cancelling of call in replay. That was ridiculous, and what made it worse was that it was unevenly applied.

        I do use a laser rangefinder. Not sure it has helped my game though. Most people would just benefit from shooting for the middle of the green.

        Thanks,

        Brian

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Rather than go that route, I’d rather see them throw out yardage and greens books. Make the players base their decisions on their senses and memory alone. The majority of golf, rule book or not, is played that way. Why allow a pro to have it easier?

    Liked by 1 person

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