Laser Link Quickshot easy to use and speeds play
In the past, I’ve raised some issues about laser range finders being used in official rounds. Personally, I have no problem with the high-tech devices, but I was concerned that perhaps they wouldn’t speed play as much as promised.
Well, based on initial reports, it seems that they really do.
A recent article by Jeff Mezydlo in The News-Gazette about slow play in the Champaing-Urbana area of Illinois quoted Jerry Williams, head pro at Tuscola’s Ironhorse Golf Course. Ironhorse rents Laser Link Quickshot range finders to golfers for a small fee. With these, players can nail down precise yardages to the small laser-reflectors attached to all the course’s flagsticks.
“It’s been truly amazing,” Williams was quoted as saying. “Just point, click, and read the yardage from anywhere up to about 275 yards away.”
Williams stresses that unlike a GPS system integrated into a golf cart, walkers can use the Laser Link system, too.
The biggest benefit, I would imagine, is for players who spend a lot of time in the rough (um, like me), where sprinkler heads and yardage markers are not available. When playing from odd angles, even judging yardage is tricky and time-consuming.
This said, I have always prided myself on being able to estimate yardage quickly and pretty accurately. So I took my Laser Link out into my yard and set the laser reflector that the company also sent me on top of my fence. Then I wandered away, turned, and estimated, “a hair over 30 yards.”
Point, click, and viola – 32 yards. (Some people have hair two-yards long.)
So then I paced off another estimated six yards and fired again: 40 yards.
So, I was indeed in the neighborhood, but the Laser Link delivered me right to the front door.
I don’t know if I would invest in one of these devices (MSRP $279), given that still relatively few courses are equipped with the “SmartSticks” outfitted with the laser reflectors. But if available, I would rent one from a course like Ironhorse, especially if it were my first time to play there. Why spend $50 or $100 for a round of golf and then ruin the experience mis-clubbing yourself?
The speed and ease of operation are truly remarkable, which allays my main doubt about the technology. It is quite clear that in the vast majority of cases, these range finders will speed up play.
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