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Thread: Range finders

  1. #1
    Amateur BullDog is on a distinguished road BullDog's Avatar
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    Range finders

    I thought that use of range finders had at some point in recent years become allowed by the rules... in some but not all circumstances.

    The conversation came up this afternoon and it seems that it is now pretty much allowed everywhere and just about any time? I played in my club championship on the weekend and kept my laser in the bag - I will admit I assumed and did not think to ask anyone if using it was allowed or not. Apparently they are/were allowed in Intersectional matches? I've played in the Cornwall Open twice in the last three years and again assumed I was not allowed to use it (at Cornwall and in the club championship I didn't ever see anyone using one)... but one guy I played with said he DID use his at Cornwall last year.

    What I learned from this is... ask, stupid! I have noticed some people seem to depend on them now almost exclusively to help them make decisions on the course, EVERY SINGLE SHOT. I even tried understanding why one guy absolutely had to scope out the flag on a flat par-3 that was 190 yards, white flag (middle of green) with tee blocks that seemed to be where they "should be"... so basically, what difference would it make if it were 187 yards of 194? Are 5, 10, 15 or 20 handicap amateurs that good (or that bad) that they need to get TO THE YARD the distance for as few as many to as many as ALL shots before hitting the ball?

    I'm not that old (35) but I've been playing for 28 years and have prided myself for being a 'feel' player - having said that, I do have a range finder but I find I might only use it 4-6 times in a round to get me out of a mental jam (or if I'm really off track somewhere and could use a hint on which to base my club selection decision. I will pace to or from yardage markers and add "this or that" based on the flag colour, etc., but if you took my range finder and stomped on it, my golf game wouldn't go all to pieces. It seems that more and more people are using it as crutches.

    Philosophy aside, bottom line: is it only RCGA Amateur, Mid-Am and PGA events that prohobit use of range finders now? Can/should I use it in two weeks at Cornwall? Should I use it more?!

  2. #2
    Team Match Play Champ 2010 DenisO is on a distinguished road DenisO's Avatar
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    I can't answer your question as I'm not sure, but I will say that I am one of those players that are using it as crutches. I played for 2 years without one and it was alright, but now I want/need to know the distance to everything to analyze the situation correctly. I sure hope it's not illegal in any events I'll be playing or I'm screwed

  3. #3
    Golf Padawan nokids is on a distinguished road nokids's Avatar
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    there is a big difference between a 45, 55, 65, 75, 85, or 95 yard pitch shot for me. i use the sandwedge for 45 to 65 yard shots, and for every 10 yard difference i open or close the clubface and change my stance. for 75 to 105 yard shots i use a pw, and open/close the clubface and alter my stance. so a rangefinder for me is more than a crutch, it's oxygen. without it, i'm screwed.
    You only get out of something what you put into it

  4. #4
    Green Jacket GarthM is on a distinguished road GarthM's Avatar
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    Well since you pretty much answered your own question regarding tourneys, yes just ask. Most regional events allow rangefinders, including even such events as the Tunis and Duke of Kent I believe (could be wrong there...). All our club events at Hautes Plaines allow GPS and Rangefinders (non-slope) editions in tournaments.

    As for whether you should use it or not is a question of personal preference. If you are a good feel player and always get the ball the distance you require, then no you probably only need it as the "tie-breaker" when unsure.

    personally I find them useful on courses I do not know well in deciding how far it is to certain objects - carry the bunker etc. Other than that, inside 140 yards, +/- 5 yards can make a difference, especially depending on the shot you want to make.

    But like most things in life, its a personal preference thing...

    Quote Originally Posted by BullDog View Post
    I thought that use of range finders had at some point in recent years become allowed by the rules... in some but not all circumstances.

    The conversation came up this afternoon and it seems that it is now pretty much allowed everywhere and just about any time? I played in my club championship on the weekend and kept my laser in the bag - I will admit I assumed and did not think to ask anyone if using it was allowed or not. Apparently they are/were allowed in Intersectional matches? I've played in the Cornwall Open twice in the last three years and again assumed I was not allowed to use it (at Cornwall and in the club championship I didn't ever see anyone using one)... but one guy I played with said he DID use his at Cornwall last year.

    What I learned from this is... ask, stupid! I have noticed some people seem to depend on them now almost exclusively to help them make decisions on the course, EVERY SINGLE SHOT. I even tried understanding why one guy absolutely had to scope out the flag on a flat par-3 that was 190 yards, white flag (middle of green) with tee blocks that seemed to be where they "should be"... so basically, what difference would it make if it were 187 yards of 194? Are 5, 10, 15 or 20 handicap amateurs that good (or that bad) that they need to get TO THE YARD the distance for as few as many to as many as ALL shots before hitting the ball?

    I'm not that old (35) but I've been playing for 28 years and have prided myself for being a 'feel' player - having said that, I do have a range finder but I find I might only use it 4-6 times in a round to get me out of a mental jam (or if I'm really off track somewhere and could use a hint on which to base my club selection decision. I will pace to or from yardage markers and add "this or that" based on the flag colour, etc., but if you took my range finder and stomped on it, my golf game wouldn't go all to pieces. It seems that more and more people are using it as crutches.

    Philosophy aside, bottom line: is it only RCGA Amateur, Mid-Am and PGA events that prohobit use of range finders now? Can/should I use it in two weeks at Cornwall? Should I use it more?!

  5. #5
    Hall of Fame jvincent is on a distinguished road jvincent's Avatar
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    Just to followup on what Garth said, rangefinders and GPS can be used if there is a local rule in place for the competition.

    The local rule is generally NOT used for high level tournaments like the pro events or USGA competitions.
    Not fat anymore. Need to get better at golf now!

  6. #6
    Singles Match Play Champ 2010 Ruskie is on a distinguished road
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    I've used my laser last year at Cornwall after getting the ok from the committee.

    As for why you would use it, I can tell you that I've improved my distance control tremendously after I started using a pin-seeking laser. It not only gets you the exact yardage to the pin, it helps you gauge how far you hit your shots after the fact. So, before I thought I hit my 7-iron somewhere around 150 yards, now I know I hit it 140-145 yards on stock shots, and 150-155 yards on hard swings.

  7. #7
    1 Iron PapaPat is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by jvincent View Post
    Just to followup on what Garth said, rangefinders and GPS can be used if there is a local rule in place for the competition.

    The local rule is generally NOT used for high level tournaments like the pro events or USGA competitions.
    Rangefinders are allowed in all GAO events including Provincial Championships by a Rules Amendment printed on the GAO HardCard. Often players assume that this means that if your club is a GAO Member, then they are allowed in your club events. This of course is not true. Each Event or Club must establish its own local rule.

    As my great hometown based amateur champion, Brian Jeffery, told me, "I play in so many different types of tournaments, that I always make it a point to check or ask." As already stated above, good advice for all.

  8. #8
    Amateur BullDog is on a distinguished road BullDog's Avatar
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    Wow - I think I am going to some day be a miserable old man. I'm only 35, looking at this, shaking my head and wondering how people were able to play the game for so many hundreds of years without them and now it looks like most do for most shots... and tournaments allow them too!

    Then again, I can't wait to play in a tournament that bans them - all other things being equal, I'll have the advantage, I guess.

    Snarky thoughts aside (I'm shocked!) thanks for the response... at least now I'll know for sure that it's good to go pretty much anywhere, anytime, and just to confirm with the committee to double check before starting out.

    BullDog

  9. #9
    Amateur BullDog is on a distinguished road BullDog's Avatar
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    Used the range finder at the Cornwall Open today after checking with officials... and won the C Class gross by 2 and net by 1. Must have been the range finder. Hehehehehehe...

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