SkyGolf®, maker of SkyCaddie® the most trusted Rangefinder in Golf, commented on the USGA decision to allow distance-measuring devices (DMDs) in all its amateur championships and their respective qualifying events, beginning in 2014. The USGA announcement reflects a joint decision with The R&A, which together with the USGA governs the game worldwide.
“Of course, we are very pleased to see the use of DMDs expanded and the recognition that DMDs provide essential distance information without impeding pace of play,” stated Richard Edmonson, CEO, SkyGolf. “At SkyGolf, we have long believed that our SkyCaddie rangefinders deliver the same information as a Tour player’s yardage book, but do it more efficiently and more quickly to not only help golfers play better, but play faster as well.”
According to the statement issued by the USGA, the decision to allow the use of distance-measuring devices follows a recent study of such technologies during the 2013 USGA Women’s State Team and U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur championships as part of the Association’s broad initiative to identify the causes and solutions to slow play in the game. From the data collected at these championships, USGA researchers found no evidence that DMDs had a negative impact on pace of play and will continue to monitor the use of DMDs in the larger pool of amateur events to further study their effect on pace of play.
The USGA ruling states that the devices may be used in amateur championships to measure distance only, and may not be used to measure other conditions such as wind speed or direction, temperature or elevation.
“Our goals have always been twofold,” added Edmonson. “First, speed up play. In that regard we believe our advanced GPS technology coupled with the accuracy of our maps, allows golfers to play with confidence and trust, but faster than pacing off from sprinkler heads and faster than using laser alternatives. Working almost 10 years ago with the Adam’s Tight Lies Tour in Texas, we actually proved that our SkyCaddie rangefinders improved pace of play significantly while lasers offered minimal improvement.”
“Secondly, we have always kept our technology within the rules and the spirit of the game by providing “distance only” information to keep the skills and judgment of the individual golfer the most essential elements of the game,” continued Edmonson. “Accordingly, we have stayed away from making adjustments for elevation, wind and temperature, although such adjustments are well within our expertise and the capabilities of our technology. We believe our leadership in using technology responsibly has given the USGA and R&A confidence that technology can be used to grow the game by enhancing the golfing experience while keeping the traditions and spirit of the game intact.”
SkyGolf recently announced two new DMDs, the SkyCaddie TOUCH handheld device and the SkyCaddie LINX watch. The new Bluetooth-enabled SkyCaddie TOUCH features a glove-friendly, easy-to-use, easy-to-read touchscreen, 34,000 preloaded, error-corrected maps plus a new feature to use NEW “onDemand HD” course graphics inspired by tour yardage books. The basic preloaded courses are “best in class” already, but the new HD maps take SkyCaddie quality to another level above competition.
The new Bluetooth-enabled SkyCaddie LINX watch is also preloaded with 34,000 error-corrected maps, ready-to-play, worldwide. The LINX provides dynamic accurate distances to the front, center and back of the green, as well as TrueGround layup targets from the tee box through the entire hole. The SkyCaddie LINX watch can be personalized with a large assortment of fashion-colored band and bezel options that are easy to interchange.
The LINX also supports SkyCaddie’s proprietary IntelliGreen® technology which provides actual green shape and pin targeting for precise distance to the hole. Options also include a TrueGround® Target List with up to 40 hazards, carries and layups per hole that were precision mapped and corrected from the ground.
Both the new TOUCH and LINX work seamlessly with a new SkyCaddie Mobile app via Bluetooth to upload scores, get stats, graphs, charts and to keep the course data up to date with the latest information.
“We are excited to see the benefits of DMDs expanding to golfers of all skill levels who deserve the same information provided by a Tour Caddie, but who don’t have the benefit of a caddie,” stated Edmonson. “We believe nothing beats a caddie with a trustworthy yardage book and that more than just the distance to the hole is needed to play your best golf. That is why SkyCaddie offers much more information about the course and its hazards than a laser because it is designed to be the closest thing to a Tour yardage book. With a SkyCaddie, any golfer can enjoy the same information demanded by every player on the Tour and at the same time comply with both the rules and the spirit of the game to PLAY BETTER, PLAY FASTER AND HAVE MORE FUN!”