JOHNS CREEK, Georgia – This week’s KPMG PGA Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club will see the use of rangefinders for the first time in a major women’s competition, picking up where the men left off at the PGA Championship in Kiawah in May . The PGA of America cleared their use at their competitive events in 2021, and that decision triggered a debate find out if it benefits the game and if it will even achieve its goal of picking up the pace. Some gamers have always insisted that they would be using their yardage books and double-checking would actually prolong the game. And, so far, no other governing body has taken any action to legalize the devices (well that the PGA Tour allows rangefinders in Monday’s qualifying).
2017 PGA Women’s Championship winner Danielle Kang is completely against the new development, as she made clear to AAC on Tuesday.
“To be honest there are ‘a lot of things that I don’t agree with that the rules change because I’m kind of an old school golfer,” she said of the new guys. developments. “So I don’t even believe in Green Papers. I don’t even wear one. I believe green reading is a skill. “
His take on green reading books is particularly relevant this week, as reports of their future ban on the PGA Tour have surfaced. But Kang didn’t stop there; range finders also offend his sense of how the game should be played.
“Rangefinders, I don’t think that’s going to speed up the game,” she said, “just like I don’t think putting in with the pin speeds up the game. It doesn’t. I believe the caddies, they work hard. I mean, some caddies are seasoned caddies, they know how to get cover numbers. Like being able to fit, doing math is part of golf, adding and subtracting, sometimes making a mistake that you added instead of subtracted, it’s just part of the game. It’s part of life. If you take that out of the game, I don’t know, I guess there might be less errors, I don’t know, but I see it as a little inconvenience to just take away a classic game. “
Kang is only 28, but clearly has a throwback mentality when it comes to technological advancements. Not all of its competitors agree.
“When I’m not sure about the lines on the greens and I can have a green that everyone can get, I mean, I think it’s fair,” said Shanshan Feng. “If I can have a green paper to help me read it, to get it from 80% to 95%, I think that’s a good thing.”
“I have a feeling that it will be a lot easier to calculate numbers and maybe a little more confidence because you know for sure that the number is right. In the future it will be a good thing.” , Brooke Henderson, the 2016 KPMG PGA Winner, says Rangefinders. “And the Green Papers, I understand why a lot of players disagree with them and why the PGA TOUR might be banning it next year. At the same time I’m using one, so I’m using it. really like it. I feel, yes that is definitely a plus just like rangefinders, but I feel like they’ve been in the game for a few years now and it looks fine So this one, I hope the LPGA doesn’t ban it.
On the other side of the debate, Sophia Popov, winner of the Women’s British Open last year, agreed with Kang’s take on green reading books and adopted a nostalgic tone.
“For me it was a little bit sometimes that I felt like I was losing the little junior player in me, the one who was really excited to have a good read, hit the putt where I wanted and to come in, to go, it was a perfect read, ”she said. “Now I rely on the green books a lot and I make mistakes because of the green books because it takes away my intuition and the first thing I saw on the greens. I’m there with a lot of players where they say if we got rid of the green books i wouldn’t be very sad because i think that’s a skill every player should have. “
Inbee Park seemed to object, if only slightly, and didn’t think about the effect it would have on the shopping carts.
“It literally takes away their jobs,” she said. “So I think it’s just… like I said, neutral. We’re going to get an exact distance to the pin for sure. Sometimes with caddies, when you add up wrong or when you get a little wrong you get a yard or two wrong, but we’re not going to get that with the yardage guns. I think it’s more accurate for players, but from a cadet perspective I think ‘they might be against it. “
Divided opinion creates a sort of philosophical battlefield ahead of the third major of the year and comes at an interesting time in the technological evolution of sport, when some governing bodies are holding back technology and others pushing forward. . Golf may look a lot different five years from now, and how the conflict unfolds this summer will play a major role in the future of the sport.