Business Edge for Wednesday March 21 2001

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SHOTLINK HARMONY: Things looked dicey during Bay Hill week between the PGA Tour and caddies over the ShotLink system. But now relations appear to be moving from acrimony to harmony.
 
ShotLink is the system by which scorekeepers can transmit information about a players round as it happens, including wind direction, lie, yardage, and ' if the caddies cooperate ' club selection.
 
But until recently, caddies have balked at the possible distraction from their duties, as well as intrusion into the players office of the Palm Pilot-wielding scorekeepers. Privately, some caddies also squawked that the Tour had spent as much as $20 million on the program over the last two years, but had never consulted an essential component ' the caddies.
 
Caddies and Tour officials met Monday, March 19 for their usual Players Championship discussions, and ShotLink dominated the agenda. But when it was all over after nearly two hours, both sides came out saying a solution was possible.
 
Things were positive, and we look forward to working with the caddies and implementing ShotLink and getting it done, said Henry Hughes, the Tours chief operating officer.
 
We think the Tour is on our side, said Joe LaCava, caddie for Fred Couples and member of a subcommittee of six caddies who looked into the ShotLink issue. Theres going to have to be some kind of compensation [for the extra work], but the Tour is talking about that and possibly providing us with insurance and so forth.
 

 
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