Are Laser RangeFinders a Sign of the Apocalypse?

Has the USGA brought on the end times by allowing laser range finders?

Lorne Rubenstein thinks so.

I don’t.

I’m absolutely certain that none of the guys that I play with on a regular basis would do any better with a laser range finder than they do with sprinkler heads. In fact, I’ve got an idea that they might actually do worse by ignoring how the day feels—how they’re swinging, what the air is like—in favor of a more technical approach: “The laser finder says its 152, so it must be a 7 iron.”

I can see a lot of underclubbing in my group with one of these things.

I truly believe that these laser finders will be useless for double digit handicappers on a well-marked course. And as for the single digit handicappers who claim that they can consistently hit their balls within a foot or two of any known distance … we’ll see.

I know several single digit guys, and they really don’t hit the ball that much better than I do (I play to about a 15 handicap right now).  The difference is that they’re outdriving me by 30 yards on every hole, and that they’re far better with their wedges and with chipping and putting. And a laser finder isn’t going to help them on any of those things.

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8 thoughts on “Are Laser RangeFinders a Sign of the Apocalypse?”

  1. These range finders ARE in fact a sign of the apocalypse; it’s in the Bible actually.  (Not really) But why don’t you just have someone golf in your place? I’ve looked at some of these devices, and paying anywhere from $150 to $450 for some models is out of the question.  I’d rather buy a new set of clubs, take a few additional lessons from a top notch pro or buy a plethora of ice cold ale at the 19th hole for everybody in the clubhouse than buy one of these contraptions.  Also, to keep in line with my purist view of the sport, these things take the heart and soul out of the game.  Part of the games’ challenge is judging what your distance is and what club should be taken out of the bag.  Who cares about what capacity pros are allowed to use these things in, they shouldn’t be able to use them at all. They’re pros for crying out loud.  Frankly, if I was a pro, I’d be embarrassed to use one.  Shame on the USGA.

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  2. 1) It’s good to know an exact distance, particularly when you’re in the rough or the flag is up or back. Sometimes that can be deceiving.

    2) Most single-digit handicappers are pretty darn consistent with their 5-irons through wedges.

    3) It’s more about the time they’ll save not pacing things off or searching for sprinkler heads than it is about having the super-precise-exacto number.

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  3. At first, I thought it would save time, too. But the more I think about it, the more I think that it won’t. I picture hordes of guys trying to get their range finders to work … aiming the thing at the flagstick, not getting a good reading … trying it again … not believing the results … going back to their bag to get another club … taking another reading …

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  4. Two problems with range finders:

    1. I would like to see some _proof_ that GPS and other electronic devices actually “speed play.” It’s been my experience they actually slow down play as average golfers try to read the devices and come to a painfully slow decision on how to play a shot. I think they “speed play” in the same way carts “speed play.”

    2. You create yet another inequity between the rich golfer and the middle-class dude. Isn’t it enough that Richie Rich gets all the best equipment, training devices, etc? Now, if my club establishes a local rule that range finders are legal, I have to go out and spend $500 on one just so I can compete in the club tourney on an even footing?

    Figures and organization full of Republicans would come up with this.

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  5. I don’t see a problem with range finders. It’s one thing that “normal” golfers are handicaped vs. the pros – we can’t have a caddie study the course for few days before we play and create accurate maps of every hole. Rangefinder is a good equilizer IMHO.

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  6. I bought a Bushnell binocular style (easier to hold steady) for a buddy years ago. He loves it, and I recently got myself the same model on ebay for $100.

    Big advantage if you know how far you hit your clubs and when playing an unfamiliar course and need to know layup distances.

    I shoot my distances while others hit, and believe that most time is wasted on the greens.

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  7. I’m not Richie Rich – I play the Muni courses in my area and buy $15/dozen golf balls.  But I find the laser range finder helps a lot on those courses since distances are either not marked at all on the sprinkler heads or they are terribly inaccurate.  I wish more golf courses were properly marked so I wouldn’t need the device!  How hard can it be for a guy to walk the course and put the yardages on the sprinklers or put the 150 stake in the right spot?

    Reply

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