USGA jumps on distance device bandwagon

USGA jumps on distance device bandwagon

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    Following on the heels of the R&A's decision to allow distance-measuring devices in their amateur championships, the USGA announced today that it will also adopt the Local Rule (from several years ago) as a condition in its amateur championships. www.usga.org/.../DMDs-Approved-in-USGA-Amateur-Championships

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    Oh, the bold moves of this august body never cease to amaze!!!

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    As before, am glad both organizations are giving the devices a chance.  I hope that their experiment at the amateur championships turn out positive this year.  Yardage only is a good rule.  Thanks for the update, Chris....

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    Good, it speeds up play in my opinion. It should be implemented in the pros...take away some of the chatter before shots because the players already know the numbers.

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    Stop all that pacing off.  Will speed up play.

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    This can go both ways.  Instead of pacing off, you have the guy who has to find his yardage device first, then go walk over to his ball, get his yardage (3 or 4 times because he just lasered those two trees behind the green instead of the flag), go put his yardage device away and then choose a club.

    It could also speed up play.  Get yardage, pull club, hit.  No more pacing as mentioned.  I do like the addition for amateur tourneys of course.  I just see it slowingly down weekend play already and I'm hoping it doesn't slow down the tourneys.

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    I reviewed the announcement, checked the USGA rules website, then sent a query to the USGA for clarification relating to use of GPS devices.  It is not clear to me from the language int he ruling if it applies only to laser ranging devices or to all types of GPS devices that do not provide any information other than distances.  Will let you all know when I get a response.

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    etakmit
    This can go both ways.  Instead of pacing off, you have the guy who has to find his yardage device first, then go walk over to his ball, get his yardage (3 or 4 times because he just lasered those two trees behind the green instead of the flag), go put his yardage device away and then choose a club.

    It could also speed up play.  Get yardage, pull club, hit.  No more pacing as mentioned.  I do like the addition for amateur tourneys of course.  I just see it slowingly down weekend play already and I'm hoping it doesn't slow down the tourneys.

    I agree, there are many examples of the devices speeding up play, but a good amount that slow it down as well.  I had one such experience with a friend of mine who rarely plays, but is into gadgets.  He was enamored at the bells and whistles of his gps device and spent an inordinate amount of time prior to each shot.

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    Okay, the USGA says GPS are okay, provided they do not give any information other than distance; e.g., slope, etc..  Here's a USGA flow chart to help you decide if yours is acceptable:

    www.usga.org/.../DMD%20flowchartv1-3.pdf

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    It will be good for the great majority of players, but a few will go way overboard I am sure.  I know a few guys who obsess about yardage and they will go to extremes to try and find the exact yardage.  But most of us will just have the laser or gps handy, get a quick reading and go from there.  Always going to have those on both sides, but overall I think this is a good move.  

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    I am from the camp that it speeds up play, no looking around for sprinkler heads, no where is that pin, walk/ride to your ball, shoot it and hit it. Simple!

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    I agree...speed of play is most important and this will help!

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    I too am of the opinion this will speed up play.  Personally, I know when playing with a laser vs. walking off sprinkler heads the laser is more time effective if all you want is the distance.  they can also give distance to other objects (traps, etc.).  However, I could see where it could possible slow down play when used in conjunction with a yardage book as it could add an extra step in determining the shot to hit.

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    I saw some interviews with a few pros regarding this and they can see this happening in the future on the tour as well.  They like the idea about it aiding in speeding up play, but like Mike_C stated it has the potential to slow play when used in conjunction with a yardage book.  Golf is about execution not analyzing.   Some players are just plain going to play slow....regardless....no need giving them them a range finder.....they'll analysis the interworkings of the finder....i.e. my brother in law....I shoot the yardage when we play....ha...ha...

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    Good move. No reason not to allow it and it should speed up play.