PGA Tour Trials Distance Measuring Devices
Post by Golf Writer Kieran Clark
More and more regular golfers are taking advantage of distance measuring devices on the course, making it easier to judge yardages without having to look through a guide or decipher a number from a nearby stake or marked sprinkler head. These remain prohibited during professional competiton, but they may be soon changing on the PGA Tour, which is set to trial the use of these gadgets during a number of upcoming tournaments on the Web.Com Tour, PGA Tour Latinomerica and Makenzie PGA Tour Canada.
Laser rangefinders will be permitted, with the PGA Tour hoping to assess just how they could impact play. In a satement reported on in Golf World, chief of tournaments and competitions officer Andy Pazder said: “For years, there has been significant discussion and debate about whether distance measuring devices would have a positive or negative impact on competition at the highest levels of professional golf. The only way we can accurately assess their impact is to conduct an actual test during official competition on one or more of our Tours. We look forward to seeing how these tests go and carefully evaluating the use of the devices over those weeks. Our evaluation will consider the impact on pace of play, optics and any other effects they might have on the competition.”
Three years ago, the USGA and R&A announced that devices would be permitted in all amateur championships under a local rule, which has existed since 2006. Following the trial, further assessments will be made by the PGA Tour, bringing in Player Advisory Council on its circuits, before determining a long-term action, which could see laser rangefinders used in events, with potenially major championships to follow, should Augusta National and PGA of America make a shift.
On the Web.Com, events that devices will be visible during proper rounds include the BMW Charity Pro Am presented by SYNNEX Corporation, the Rex Hospital Open, the Rust-Oleum Championship, and the Air Capital Classic.
Throughout the concluding four events of the first segment of the PGA Tour Latinoamérica, DMS will be seen in the Essential Costa Rica Classic, the Quito Open, the Puerto Plata DR Open, and the Jamaica Classic.
North in Canada, four events will also be used on the Mackenzie PGA Tour throughout June and July; the GolfBC Championship, the Players Cup, the Staal Foundation Open presented by Tbaytel, and the Mackenzie Investments Open presented by Jaguar Laval.
It will be intriguing to see what develops from this trial period.
Are you a golfer who uses distance measuring devices? Do you think they should be permitted on the PGA Tour? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
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