Bjorn backing Harrington over use of Rangefinders in competition

Bernie McGuire

Thomas Bjorn (Photo by Phil Inglis/Getty Images)

Padraig Harrington has added support in his call that would see the use of rangefinders other than in PGA of America sanctioned events.

Allowing the use of rangefinders had been raised earlier this year following the snail-like pace of some of the leading PGA Tour players, including top tortoise Patrick Cantlay and more-recently the present World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler.

The American duo have been lambasted on social media as two of the slowest players competing on the Tour yet nothing is done about their painful pace of play.


Cantlay, in particular, came under serious slow play flack during last month’s RBC Heritage, including one video clip from a spectator that appeared on the Twitter account “Beer At The Turn” who timed Cantlay taking 2 minutes and 50 second to hit a shot from behind a tree.

And what did the PGA Tour do in response to Cantlay’s blatant breach of the rules? Absolutely nothing!

Harrington went onto his Twitter account following losing out last Sunday in a play-off in the Senior PGA Championship calling for the use of rangefinders to be approved.

“After using a rangefinder for the last 2 weeks [at the] PGA Championship and the Senior PGA Championship, I’ve come round to believing that we should use them in all tournaments,” said Harrington.

“They really help with pace of play when players are out of position with an awkward yardage.”

Now backing Harrington is 2018 winning Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn, who also jumped onto Twitter to say: “I agree with this. I was sceptical but it works… @DPWorldTour @PGATOUR @RandA @USGA

The PGA of America has allowed the use of rangefinders since 2021, however they’re banned for use on the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour, the Asian Tour as well at The Masters, at the up-coming US Open and you definitely will not see them being allowed to be used at The Open.

Of course, it is Rule 4.3a (1) that applies to ‘yes’, the use of yardage books but ‘no’ to rangefinders.

Rule 4.3a (1) Distance and Directional Information.

  • Allowed: Getting information on distance or direction (such as from a distance-measuring device or compass).
  • Not Allowed: Measuring elevation changes, or Interpreting distance or directional information (such as using a device to get a recommended line of play or club selection based on the location of the player’s ball).

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