Thanks to Smolmania for noticing this from SI.com rangefinder aficionado Gary Van Sickle's column:
If you don't think laser range-finders are going to be commonplace and widely accepted within a few years, think again. They're apparently going to be used during the Ryder Cup matches -- just not by competitors during the competition. Many Tour pros and caddies already use laser range-finders during practice rounds to check yardages.
At the Ryder Cup, range-finders may be used by SkySports and NBC so their television spotters can relay accurate yardages to the broadcast teams. The K Club, the host site, was an early customer of Laser Link, the range-finder firm based in Madison, Wis. Reflectors are installed in the flagsticks so the lasers can more easily pick up the target, and the K Club plans to leave the reflectors in during the matches.
Laser Link founder Rob O'Loughlin was surprised when John McHenry, the K Club's golf director, told him the plan. "I don't see how the PGA of America would sit still for that. It'll never happen," O'Loughlin said. "John said, the Ryder Cup host makes the decision and I'm the host. I've already talked to the European PGA Tour. The decision is made. It's wild."
Then a PGA of America rules official heard about the idea and thought the Laser Link guns would help the officials who officiate the Ryder Cup matches. Their purpose? To determine who's away from out in the fairway, a common match-play question.
There's a moment to look forward to. Some bloated rules official sauntering between balls, pulling out his distance measuring device, and declaring who is away. What progress.