The PGA Tour announced today that they are going to test using range finders in events on the Mackenzie, Latin American and Web.com Tours. They are looking for pace of play and if it will help or hurt pace of play.
Now here is the question that needs to be answered before they look at pace of play. Will they allow the players and caddies to still use yardage books to get yardage?
We have played in a few Florida State Open qualifiers where range finders are allowed and when you add a yardage book, pin sheet and range finder into the mix as some players insist on using it sets the stage for four and a half to five hour rounds.
We understand the idea of marking down notes in a yardage book to look to see how far you were and wind direction and club selection so if you are faced with the same situation later you have something to go back on. The problem comes in when you are using a range finder to measure the flag and maybe a carry over a bunker and then you decide to pace it off and also figure it out on your own as well.
On the Web.com tour they will allow rangefinders at the BMW Charity Pro Am, The Rex Hospitals Open, Rust-Oleum Championships and Air Capital Classic. We will be tuned in to The Golf Channel to see how it goes with the pace of play.
Another question that needs to be answered is if the PGA Tour doesn’t adopt the use of range finders does the USGA and R&A allow them to be used at the US Open and Open Championship respectively? With them proposing the new rules it would be odd if they didn’t allow them.
Dads Say So we don’t think that the idea of range finders is a bad idea but it needs to be done right. Bushnell is going to pay a lot of money in advertising should this work but it will pay off for them in the long run should the leader on Sunday use one of their range finders to go on and win. While they are not cheap they are definitely worth it and if it can help you secure a win on any tour it is the greatest thing you keep in your bag. We just hope the pace of play significantly improves to justify it.