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Study proves rangefinders increase pace of play

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With an increased focus on speeding up play on the golf course, there has been much debate over whether gadgets, such as rangefinders, hurt as much as they help.

Well the National University Golf Academy and rangefinder maker Bushnell set out to settle this debate, and they have come back with a verdict: they help … dramatically.

Over the course of two days at the Santaluz Club in San Diego, Calif., student-golfers with handicaps ranging from 6 to 18 were brought in to participate in a study on pace of play. They played two rounds, one with a Bushnell laser rangefinder, and one without any type of electronic measuring device. The players with a lower handicap index (6-13) played their rounds 30 minutes faster with the help of the rangefinders, while the higher handicaps (14-18) sped up by 17 minutes. (Click on the video below for the "Morning Drive" debate on GPS vs. laser rangefinders)

Although there is continued room for improvement (with both groups still taking over four hours to play), it is clear that the sport is trending toward quicker rounds, and the tech-savvy golfer is at the heart of this revolution.

"Pace of play is at the forefront of so many discussions when it comes to the game of golf," said Ted Norby, Director of Instruction at National University Golf Academy. "Using a product like the Bushnell Laser Rangefinders allowed mid-level handicap players to make a decision on club selection and yardage much quicker, leading to a faster place of play."