Players competing in The PGA’s national tournaments in 2021 will be able to benefit from the latest SkyCaddie technology that will give the exact location of each pin.
Players have previously been able to download the pin positions via an app or establish the locations from a paper chart issued by tournament staff. But they will now also have the option to access the exact pin positions on a SkyCaddie.
These can be downloaded quickly via WiFi onto the Skycaddie before the start of each day’s play, helping players make a fast and informed choice.
This innovative improvement to the playing experience is the result of support from SkyCaddie, a PGA partner for 14 years and sponsor of the Association’s popular Pro-Captain Challenge.
It was piloted successfully during this month’s PGA’s flagship tournament, the PGA Professional Championship, as well as qualifiers for the 2019/20 SkyCaddie PGA Pro-Captain Challenge and was well received by competitors. Not least, Ed Goodwin, Cirencester Golf Club’s head PGA Professional, and his captain, Steve Bishop.
“My captain and I found the innovation massively useful in winning our qualifier,” said Goodwin, after the pair had qualified for the final, which will be staged at The Belfry next year. “I’m a great fan of SkyCaddie and use the SkyTrak launch monitor for coaching and club-fitting.”
Tom Atkinson, the head PGA Professional at Heswall Golf Club, Merseyside, is another SkyCaddie devotee. “Lasers don’t enable you to see round corners or over hills,” he said. “So off the tee the SkyCaddie gives me confidence finding my landing areas. It also gives me yardages to alternative landing areas on the green as well as the pin. For simple instant yardages, the SkyCaddie is second to none. I use it all the time to quickly eyeball something to use as a target.”
Commenting on the introduction of the technology, Charles Hine, PGA head of national tournaments, said: “The time has come to modernise all our events. In that respect, and with the help of SkyCaddie technology, we can improve the playing experience of all players who use a SkyCaddie device. The second phase of this project will be to introduce the technology to all regional tournaments, sharing the benefits across the entire PGA tournament schedule.”
James Holmes, SkyCaddie general manager, EMEA, added: “We have developed and improved the SkyPin software over the past three years, so it is now easy and fast for tournament staff to input the pin locations for each round. We now use the same methodology as used by The PGA and European Tour when setting pins, so our data matches. Once you have played with a SkyCaddie loaded with pins you soon realise using a laser and a yardage chart is very dated. A SkyCaddie SX500 with pins is the ultimate distance chart, giving you instant yardages and speeding up your decisions by at least 10 seconds per shot.”
PGA members can save more than £150 on the new SkyCaddie SX500, with its 5-inch Full HD touchscreen and the ability to give distances to the pin.