SkyCaddie has issued the following statement in response to the R&A’s recent announcement regarding Distance Measuring Devices (DMDs) in its amateur events.
“The R&A’s decision to allow DMDs in its amateur events in 2014 under Local Rule makes great sense, and we welcome this forward-thinking announcement from the R&A” said Jacqui Surman, SkyCaddie’s Senior Vice President International Sales & Marketing.
“It is important that the sport minimises confusion as regards new technology, particularly at amateur level. For example, we work closely both with the PGA of GB & Ireland in professional events, and with England Golf for its amateur events. In both cases Distance Measuring Devices are allowed to be used in competition, and SkyCaddie is the Official Rangefinder of both organisations. The fact that both the club pro and the amateur golfer or club member can use their SkyCaddie when they compete, makes sense at the grass roots level of the sport. It helps the PGA pro to coach the club golfer, as they are both using the same technology, and it helps the golfer to play better. Elsewhere in the world we enjoy similar relationships with the PGAs of America, Canada and Sweden.
“We have also met with the R&A to receive guidance on the equipment we are making. As the pioneers of the GPS category, we realise that it is important for SkyCaddie to act with a sincere respect for the game, its values and traditions. We strive to ensure that our devices do not contain any elements which the R&A (and indeed USGA) would regard as non-conforming. Accordingly we have stayed away from making adjustments for elevation, wind and temperature, although such adjustments are within the capabilities of our technology, so that both the R&A’s elite golfers and indeed all competitive golfers can be sure that their SkyCaddie is a conforming device in a competition scenario. This would not necessarily be the case for all GPS or laser rangefinders available in the market today.
“Most amateur golfers now use some form of distance-measuring technology in their casual golf, and increasingly also in their competitive golf where the Local Rule is applied by the club’s competitions committee. SkyCaddie has long campaigned for this, as we believe (and have indeed proven) that golfers who have instant, accurate course information play faster. They also enjoy their golf more.
“Speed of play also matters in elite amateur events, such as those run by the R&A. Under elite-level competition conditions SkyCaddie has been proven to improve pace of play, while lasers offered minimal improvement in this respect. Countless elite golfers use our devices, as SkyCaddie rangefinders deliver the same comprehensive ground-mapped information as you would find in a Tour caddie’s yardage book.
“With a SkyCaddie, golfers find it easier to select the right club, which improves their shotmaking decisions. Our devices emphasise the importance of accurate distance control and course management, and these are also good coaching messages for the PGA professional.
“As SkyCaddie is the only golf GPS brand which surveys and re-surveys every golf course on foot, using professional mapping equipment, the desire to keep driving golf GPS accuracy ever-forwards is in our DNA.”