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AJGAers Get To Use Their Precious Distance Measuring Devices

This report'll put to rest any questions about whether or not this is a tour for children of means...

“We are excited to introduce the use of rangefinders in all of our events in 2013,” said Mark Oskarson, AJGA Chief Operating Officer. “With all the information we gathered over the course of the year, we feel this is the right direction for our organization.”

The studies gathered information from parents, juniors and staff about types of rangefinders that are most popular among juniors players and how allowing their use might affect pace of play. In 2012, the average 18-hole pace of play for all AJGA events was 4 hours and 23 minutes. AJGA studies showed there was not a major impact, positive or negative, on pace of play where rangefinders were used.

That's a load off!

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Reader Comments (28)

Now I know why the AJGA keeps producing soft players.
12.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavidC
What's a soft player?
12.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMC
Kids love gadgets that many parents cannot afford. Youngsters would be better off without DMDs but they won't see it that way.
12.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterIvan Morris
Just added to the schedule next year, AJGA regional presented by Bushnell
12.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBogey Golfer
Good to see progress, matter of time until the pro tours allow them too. Anything that speeds up play is fine with me.
12.6.2012 | Unregistered Commenterandrew coop
I played 9 holes behind two juniors the other day. Two hours and eighteen minutes on a 3300 yard course. They had all the moves, pacing off the distances, tugging on their shirts, taking their glove off after every shot, all the pre-shot routine they see on telecasts, then putting their glove back on, multiple practice swings before and after their shot, backing of shots and putts just like Jim Furyck, walking at a snails pace, etc. I waited on every shot and with them on some tees, they never acknowledged me or offered to let me play through or with them, ( I didn't ask as I was waiting to see what they would do or say.) And now they can have rangefinders. Lord help us!
12.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBob
Bob, after waiting one one of those tee boxes with them you should have used the next tee box as an opportunity to inform and educate the next generation. Shame on you for dropping the proverbial ball. Its people like you who ruin it for the rest of us. Hope you have a happy holidays now.
12.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmen Coroner
Amen... unsolicited advice and opinions are annoying...Merry Christmas to you to bro!
12.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterHackinator
If they stick to one device it will speed up play.
Over here the PGA(not the tour)allow DMD's and some players have a Bushnell,a Skycaddie and a yardage book!!Absolutely bleedin ridiculous and pace of play can be glacial!!
Hackinator you should keep your head down thru impact and lets see if that fixes your completely lame handle!
12.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmen Coroner
The AJGA is doing this because its main stated goal is to provide exposure and preparation for college golf. Rangefinders are allowed in college golf tournaments. I'm surprised the AJGA hasn't already done this. I'll bet they'll be working with companies like Bushnell to furnish players with rangefinders at pretty deep discounts.
12.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterShort Knocker
Setting pace of play aside for a moment, I firmly believe that part of golf is doing your homework to determine the yardage, as opposed to having a device that produces a near-precise distance, instantly.
12.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeff
Short Knocker has the right answer here. NCAA allows them now, so letting the AJGA do it too is fine. A fair number of state GAs allow them too. I have one and I'm not sure it speeds up play. Yes, it is faster than walking to markers every 50 yards, but so many courses have every sprinkler marked now that I'm not sure a device helps appreciably. Walking faster helps.
12.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe O
Time issue aside, a well made yardage book is light years ahead of the best (Leupold) range finders. Also it sounds like Bob needs a friend or 3 to play golf with(not judging). The amusement when singles find out they have literally 0 rights on a golf course never fails to entertain.
12.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLeeWatson
If math isnt necessary when turning in a scorecard then why Jeff is adding and subtracting yardage?
12.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmen Coroner
@ LeeWatson

From the 2102-2105 Rules of Golf, p. 20, "Priority on the Course":
"Unless otherwise determined by the Committee, priority on the course is determined by a group's pace of play...The term "group" includes a single player."

Yes, there is a sentence in there about a group playing a "whole" round having priority, whatever that means when playing 9 holes, but the key is that "group" now includes a "single." Besides, virtually every course asks that faster groups be allowed through. If the course was open in front of the dilatory twosome, not letting a faster player through was simply inconsiderate. We don't allow that in golf ;-) and the little velcro rippers should be taught that early and often. Kids will generally meet expectations placed on them by their parents and mentors. If there are no expectations, they will meet those too.

Yes, I have a rule book in my office. Sick, sick, sick.

Anyway, my Bushnell got swiped out of my bag at a course in the Garden State, summer 2011. Haven't missed it once, except that it means $299 down the drain. USGA doesn't allow such things, and the senior amateur guys do not like it. LOL.
12.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
I have a 16 year old kid who plays various tournaments in most of the junior tours in the NM, CO, and AZ region. Most of these tours, including NM high school golf, do not allow the use of distance measuring devices. The tournaments that do allow distance-only DMDs have a significantly faster pace of play than those that don't, and to a large extent the same kids play in all of these tournaments so that can be taken out as a variable. At this level, the cost of a DMD is largely trivial versus the total costs of paying for junior golf for even just a summer, so for the "more elite" level players the cost of a DMD isn't even on the radar screen. Whether we like it or not, as a kid moves up in skill at golf and plays more and more junior tournaments it becomes basically a rich kid's game, or at least a middle-income kid's game. Good decision by the AJGA, IMO.
12.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRickABQ
I lost my Bushnell and imposed a 2 year penalty on myself for not keeping up with it. Missed it a little at times, but wouldn't say it ever affected my score. I did buy a new one after two years.

It speeds up play the way I use it; shoot the pin once and put it back in my bag. I have seen people shooting every obstacle on every shot, those people are the problem.

Once again it is not the tool, it is the tool using the tool.
Bob, I had a similar experience at a course in Charlotte not long ago. Friday afternoon, 3 kids in front between ages 12 and 15, going through all the gyrations. We were in carts and flying... On the 5th tee I suggested that us going through was a good idea, grudgingly they acquiesced. In the middle of 12 fairway some dude comes screeching up in his cart and starts yelling about us going through some kids and how dare we, yadda yadda yadda. I calmly explained that we were now over 3 holes in front, not to mention that juniors always yield to members, etc....that's when daddy comes with the coup de grace....."my son plays AJGA and shoots in the 70's"....I kid you not. We laughed at him and he roared off madder than hell.

The next week in the City Am the AJGA Kid shot a score well into the 80's on his home track to finish about DFL and miss the round 1 cut by mile. We had a good laugh about that!
12.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
@Lee Watson

Not sure when KLG got here from the mother ship, and what all powers he possesses, but his fururistic note that ''From the 2102-2105 Rules of Golf'' has thrown me a curve, because for the last several years, a single has full status- I can only assume at some time in the future the USGA will make a single a red headed step child again, only to restore him to status in 2102. Good to know the USGA will remain a skitzy ditzy group, and that we all made it past December 21.

@ Hackinator-- AC was wrong- keep your elbows close and keep that great handle.
12.6.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Good one, Digs! Too much coffee causes dyslexia at break time: 2012-2015. If I had a time machine I'd go back and take up the game 20 years earlier, but that's all I would change. The world is entertaining enough just as it is.
12.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
This is a good decision by the AJGA in my opinion. Their goal is to prepare players for college golf and they are allowed in nearly all college events.

Also, most state and regional golf associations allow players to use EMD's in all stages of amateur golf.

The Florida Junior Tour also just announced that they are allowing juniors to use EMD's. They cited their reasons on their Facebook page:

The reasons for the change (in no particular order):
1. Majority of our players want to use them.
2. Most college events allow them.
3. The AJGA will probably allow them.
4. Most other state and regional associations allow juniors to use them.
We doubt it will have a big impact on pace of play, but hope it will!

The cost of range finder is silly. Most juniors already have them and they are not required. In highly competitive junior golf all of the juniors already have a $2,000 set of clubs and spend thousands on playing in tournaments. A $200 range finder is minimal.

In a few the years the USGA and PGA Tour will be about the only tournaments in the US not allowing them. Most juniors will never reach this level, but most will either play in college in amateur golf.
12.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSunshine State
Having been a SRO for the AJGA, pace of play was not a big deal. But i was at a good course for walking, tees next to greens and we had a triple row sprinkler system with front, middle and back markings on every one. But our course also allows walking, unrestricted! I bet many of the courses they play on are not marked like this one. So many dont mark there courses any more because of Cart GPS or personal GPS or Lasers. Still have not fiqured out how these players go from 4.5 or less hour rounds on the AJGA to 5.5 plus hour rounds in college.
12.6.2012 | Unregistered Commentermark
A device, or lack of one, has little barring on the pace of play of a given individual. A golfer decides early on whether he will play this game diliberately or swiftly and trains his habits accordingly.
12.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSmartGuy
The device has little to no impact on pace of play for juniors. Slow players are always slow and they're slow from the minute they get out of bed in the morning.

A lot of courses in Florida are not being marked as well as they used to. If a sprinkler head breaks they don't replace the yardage because they don't want to pay for it and the most players use range finders or they have a GPS system in the cart.
12.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSunshine State
A slow player is not slower with rangefinder. A fast player isn't slower with rangefinder. Stand next to ball and shoot yardage or pace around or drive figure eight circles in fairway looking for yardage. I think we know what's fastest. Give me a break on rangefinders worsening pace of play.
12.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie
@Mark, you said: "Still have not fiqured out how these players go from 4.5 or less hour rounds on the AJGA to 5.5 plus hour rounds in college. "

One word - coaches
12.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSomeone else
One junior golf association I know of actually sells the rangefinders and makes money from the transactions. A profit center.
12.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLA Man

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