THE LONE RANGEFINDER: Distance And Accuracy In The PGA Tour

The Lone Rangefinder

Rangefinders are becoming an extremely popular new technology on the golf frontier. Rangefinders provide you with accurate yardage to specific targets.  Most golf rangefinders come with features including course slope, maximum range and minimum range. While the average golfer has been quick to embrace rangefinders, the PGA has been slow to approve the new product.

Range finders work by emitting a laser, which bounces off your desired target. Then, they measure the amount of time it takes for the laser to return to the unit. Using this data, the rangefinder quickly calculates the distance to the target and displays it on your screen.

Some of the benefits of using a rangefinder:

  • Measure the exact distance you are hitting the ball during practice, this will be valuable in subsequent rounds.
  • Determine the best club to play off the tee by checking the distance to sand traps, doglegs or other hazards.
  • On the fairway you can check the exact distance to a pin, new rangefinders have pin seeking technology, not available in older models.
  • Using a rangefinder will dramatically speed up your game, no more pouring over yardage books or looking for yardage markers on the course.

Legality of Rangefinders

Golfer with RangefinderRule 14/3b of the Rules of Golf prohibits a player from using any artificial device or unusual equipment for the purpose of gauging or measuring distance or conditions that might affect his play. Use of a rangefinder would be terms for disqualification. However, in 2006, Decision 14-3/0.5 was created to give tournament committees the option of adding a local rule that allows “distance-measuring devices”. 

Most organized golf tournaments make use of this local rule, however, elite professional and some high-level amateur events do not. Therefore, rangefinders won’t be used during a PGA or LPGA tournament, but they can be seen during the practice rounds. Caddies and players diligently scout the course using them. Please note, if the local rule is in effect, rangefinders can measure distance only, slope functions and other features may not be used.

Some consider the PGA’s ban on rangefinders antiquated.  Golfers already have most of the information in their yardage books; the problem is how much time yardage books take to create. Rangefinders simply make obtaining the information quicker and easier.  It won’t necessarily change the results; it will just get rid of some of the busy work and possibly speed up play which has been plaguing the PGA.

Having the exact yardage to hit your targets is a very powerful tool. However, if you don’t have correct alignment off the tee, the information is useless. Consider using a LinksWalker ProVictory OPT golf ball. It is a USGA conforming golf ball that is manufactured to combine spin with distance while featuring a patented alignment guide that promotes square impact and saves strokes. With a selection of more than 150 college logos, you are sure to find the perfect golf ball for any golfing enthusiast in your life!