Could the day be coming when the PGA Tour allows players and caddies to use distance measuring devices?
The possibility moved another step closer to potential reality with the announcement that the Tour will allow the use of distance measuring devices in select tournaments on the Web.com Tour, the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada and the PGA Tour Latinoamerica.
In each case, the Tour will use a temporary local rule to allow the use of the distance measuring devices.
“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,” Andy Pazder, Chief Tournaments and Competitions Officer of the PGA Tour, said.
“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.”
There has been a growing level of support for allowing the use of rangefinders on the Tour with the expectation it would improve the pace of play. Proponents believe it will make a noticeable difference in pace of play while others expect it will merely add another layer of information for players to consider before each shot.
The experiment will begin on the Web.com Tour with the BMW Charity Pro-Am, May 18-21, and will remain in effect for the next three tournaments. The other tours will begin using the local rule soon after the Web.com Tour.