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Sports Equipment Technology

Golf Gadget: Don't Worry, Just Point and Shoot

April 25, 2014


Every time I step up to the first tee, several thoughts echo in my head.  The loudest voice proclaims, “Today’s the day I go low!  Grip it and rip it!”  I do as my inner monologue instructs me - swing hard and see what happens ….then I ask my group if anyone has seen my ball.

The difference today, from 5 years ago is there are countless lasers, rangefinders and GPS on the market—I never play without my Bushnell Tour V2 Rangefinder.   These “toys” won’t keep your head down, fix your slice or sink a putt - but they certainly offer an advantage for managing a golf course.

Every golfer relies on accurate measurement for a successful round, so it is rare to play in a foursome today where no one has a “toy” they want to show off.  My point is this, as a life-long golfer and experienced caddie, technology has won me over. 

After years of pacing of yardages and making estimates, I let my Bushnell Tour V2 Rangefinder do the heavy lifting for me.  I love the ease of point and shoot.  I hold the device to my eye, push the power button and a reticle appears; hold the same button down and my yardage appears.

Beginners, I would not suggest spending the few hundred dollars for a nice laser.  When shopping for a distance tool one must make a decision: Do I want a gun or do I want a GPS?   GPS watches are growing in popularity but most are limited to displaying yardages to front-middle-back of the green.  Golf requires exact measurements to exact places on a golf course, GPS’ do not offer that kind of precise measurement.

By choosing a gun you have the freedom to literally point and shoo. However, some guns require a sensor on the flag stick to recognize the target. Others, like the Bushnell Tour V2 offer yardages to anything it has a clear sightline to.   

What’s nice is that you don’t have to spend a chunk of change to get a reliable golf aid.  There are many free apps on the market.  One I can suggest; Hole19.  Available in the iTunes app store, comes preloaded with thousands of courses, offers any yardage a golfer needs, and offers statistics and graphs based on your play.    

Golf is a grueling mental challenge; part of the reason why it’s the game you play and can never win. These new technologies allow the brain to take a slight breather.  In the beginning of this, “revolution” I was opposed, staunchly opposed.  Today though, it’s about making the choice that’s best for my game.  I can’t say I like to layup on a par 5 or swing easy but, I can say that because of the available technology, I don’t have to worry about having the wrong yardage.  

Edited by Stefania Viscusi