Justin Thomas has no intention of using a range finder at this month’s PGA Championship, believing the use of distance measuring devices negates the skill and prep work of an experienced Tour caddie.
The PGA of America confirmed earlier this year that they will allow the use of distance-measuring devices at its three annual Major Championships, starting with the US PGA Championship at Kiawah Island from May 20-23.
The USA PGA Championship is the first of three Majors administered by the PGA of America, with the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship and KPMG Women’s PGA Championship also allowing the use of such distance-measuring devices.
However, Thomas, ahead of this week’s Wells Fargo Championship, has come out strongly against the use of DMDs, stating that it would be under exceptional circumstances were he to avail of the technology in competition.
“I don’t think we’ll use them,” said Thomas. “I think maybe if you hit one on another hole or you have some kind of crazy weird angle you have the opportunity to use it, that’s one thing. But I think I made my stance on it pretty clear. I don’t really like them.
“I think it takes away an advantage of having a good caddie that maybe goes out there and does the work beforehand as opposed to someone, especially now between the yardage books, the greens books and range finders, you technically don’t even really need to see the place or play a practice round.
“You can go out there and know exactly what the green does, you know exactly what certain things are on certain angles because you can just shoot it with the range finder. And I certainly don’t think it’s going to speed pace of play up at all unless you have a scenario where you do hit it on another hole or some kind of crazy angle where it would take you a long time to get a yardage.
“At the end of the day, Kiawah Island isn’t some kind of course where the greens are going to be really soft and you just see pin, hit pin. It’s going to be, okay, I have 193 hole, we have 174 front, I need to probably land this probably 180 to 182, a little wind off this way.
“So you’re still going to need to get all that information, but then it’s just going to add another element that’s going to add time I think to the rounds in terms of shooting it with the range finder. I don’t have any interest. I enjoy that process because it’s all the things that I need, but if an opportunity arises where I hit it offline then yeah, I might use it.”