This may come as a shock statement to many golfers that have “benefitted” from the help of a range finder (laser or GPS watch) but I believe that they are ruining the game for so many amateur golfers.
Let me explain;
A range finder is a tool that helps golfers determine the distance that they have to a given obstacle or the green (front, centre or back).
It is a tool used by caddies to help them create an in-depth yardage chart for their professional employees, but even the caddies do not rely as whole-heartedly on a range finer as the amateur golfer does.
And it is here that I believe amateur golfers are acting in a way detrimental to their games and the enjoyment of other golfers.
The first issue that I have with any type of range finder is the “necessity” to use it for every single shot that is more than a stone’s throw from the hole. Wasting time as they go about it.
I remember a certain golfer at the course where I used to work. We will call them Golfer X. Now golfer X was in the middle of the fairway some 155-yards from the green centre. They proceeded to measure the distance. After hitting an awful shot that moved a total of 3 yards, they reached for their laser and measured again. After another shot that barely moved 5 yards they again reached for the laser.
Gobsmacked that a golfer of ANY level would require the measurement after two shots that moved a total of 8 yards, I approached the golfer who informed me that they had a handicap of 29, having only started a few months previously.
It was then that I asked a question that they simply couldn´t answer; “How far do you hit your 7-iron?”
Now forgive me if I sound stupid, but for what reason would a golfer that doesn´t know the distance that they hit the ball with a certain club require a range finder?
I cannot think of any viable reason other than they have been told that it will either help their game or it is a necessity all golfers should have.
Now, please don´t take this the wrong way, but there are so many amateur golfers that would benefit from using a laser, but not on the golf course.
Oh no, the place that they should be using them is the driving range to first work out how far they are hitting each club through the air.
The appearance of the range finder has not changed one of the most common faults in the amateur game, under clubbing your approach shot, because you either think you hit the ball further than you do or you do not commit to the shot because you aren´t sure of how far you hit the ball through the air.
Range finders are ruining your game because you are becoming reliant on a tool that requires an initial understanding of your game.
Head to the range and work out your distances and then you will be able to make the most of a tool that should actually help your game rather than hinder it.