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Are we Too reliant on our technology or should I say electronics?????


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I'm as much a gadget guy as anyone. I rely on my smartwatch for distances on full swings and pull out my laser inside 100 for more granular measurements. And I'm not going to give those up, because they are legitimate tools within the rules as they stand.

But I am very sympathetic with the argument that they shouldn't be. It is for this reason that certain classic architects introduces features to trick the eye about distances. Being able to evaluate a distance accurately was, at one point, a skill that golf demanded.

Again, I'm not giving my gadgets up. I'm not even saying that they should be banned. But there is an aspect of the skill of golf that has been lost with the legalization of these tools.

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OK  I am definitely guilty for using a lot of technology but am I using too much of it?  Not sure.  Am I too reliant on it… may be.  But I think it does speed play, does make my enjoyment of the game generally better.  Plus it gives me something to blame for the woes of my game.

Do I miss the old days of no technology and walking from the 150 yard marker to figure out my distances?  Sometimes.  

But I now get to play indoors in the Winter, so I think that’s been huge for me…

So count me Pro Technology! 

 

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I am pro tech and don't think that we rely on it too much, however, I also think that if you want to be a "good" golfer, you need to be able to figure out the yardage manually.  I don't think that it is asking too much of the courses to mark the 150 and 100 yard center of green points either via a sprinkler head, a post, or even a shrubbery on the side of the fairway, it may cost a little in the planning budget, but it would eliminate some, definitely not all, slow players.  When I stopped playing back in the early 00s, range finders were still frowned upon by the purists. Since coming back into the golf kingdom fold I have noticed that everyone has a range finder, a GPS, a smart watch, or something, and even the carts have built-in monitors with up to date distance for pin location.  I like having the info at arms length and once I am dialed back in on my club distances, I see it as making me believe more in my club selection so I am not standing over the ball debating between two different clubs.

Now that said, when the day comes and we have a Jetson's like scene where your hitting a remote controlled ball with a remote controlled jet powered club that is retrieved by a robot, then we can talk about being too reliant on technology.😁

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4 hours ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

I'm as much a gadget guy as anyone. I rely on my smartwatch for distances on full swings and pull out my laser inside 100 for more granular measurements. And I'm not going to give those up, because they are legitimate tools within the rules as they stand.

But I am very sympathetic with the argument that they shouldn't be. It is for this reason that certain classic architects introduces features to trick the eye about distances. Being able to evaluate a distance accurately was, at one point, a skill that golf demanded.

Again, I'm not giving my gadgets up. I'm not even saying that they should be banned. But there is an aspect of the skill of golf that has been lost with the legalization of these tools.

I draw the line with GPS and lasers on what should be legal.  They give you the distance--a measurement that is readily available by manual means for anyone wishing to step off distances or to scout a course and "map" it they way Nicklaus did.  But, I heartily support elevation range finders being banned.  I think being able to judge slope and how it affects ones shot is, and should remain a skill unaided by tech.  Same with wind speed gauges.  Feeling the wind and adjusting needs to stay a skill--seeing a flag blowing in the breeze and knowing its a one or two club wind.  Don't get me started on caddy apps....

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12 hours ago, Reesedw said:

Playing Last Sat. on a course I've played a few times before so I knew the course, but not enough to know my distances to specific places, lay-up areas, hazards, ect.. Midway through the round my range finder ( Bushnell yardage Pro, about 15 yrs old.) dies. I hope it's just the battery, but not sure yet.. I felt lost. I had to "eyeball" the distances (NO distances on sprinkler heads or other markers on the course), which got me thinking are we too reliant on our technology, Electronics (no i do not want to go back to wound balls and hickory sticks No offense @BIG STU)? We go to the course with a rangefinder, GPS, and our PHONES.. As hectic as it was trying to choose clubs and shots.. I kinda enjoyed going through the process of analyzing the shot, figuring out the yardage, what shot to hit ect... Have we as golfers lost some of the gamesmanship that is golf due to technology and the drive to get lower scores while losing the skill to beat the course as the game was designed?? 

I hope this all makes sense, in my head it does but then again it might sound like the ramblings of a 5 yr old to everyone else.. Thanks.. 

Dave, you realize that the battery is sold in 2-packs.  😂  My wife always has a spare in her bag for my Bushnell that she uses exclusively.  She actually gave her spare battery to a stranger that we were paired with on Sunday; I thought he was going to go apoplectic when his laser died.  I will sometimes ask for a yardage to the pin, but I use my Garmin GPS watch.  I like F, M, B numbers.  What club gets me to the green and what club puts me off the back.  It's funny that she almost always asks me how far to the front of the green.

I started playing in the 1990's, so no electronics.  I walked off yardages or guessed based on observation of the markers and my ball position.  I was no where near as consistent or accurate as I am today, so it didn't really matter anyway.  Yes, I have forgotten my GPS watch and had to play like I did 30 years ago.  The result?  Not much different from my regular scores; a little more scrambling, but I've played this course several times a week for 7 years.  I pretty much know what club I'm hitting when I get to my ball without looking at my GPS... but I do anyway.

BTW, my phone stays in my golf bag when I play and doesn't come out unless I want to take a picture... or call 911.

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While I use a rangefinder often, I wear a GPS watch for scoring/stats and could use that for (less accurate) distance. But I’ve never been on a course, even “cow pastures”, that didn’t have 100-150 markers, most 200’s too. Pretty easy to pace off from them. I often pace off chips/pitches despite the technology we have. So I’m not reliant on tech to play golf even though I am also horrible at eyeballing distances.

OTOH we just lost high speed internet at home for 4 days - and life came to screeching halt - all 11 devices that rely on internet service were useless…😲

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8 minutes ago, Middler said:

While I use a rangefinder often, I wear a GPS watch for scoring/stats and could use that for distance. But I’ve never been on a course, even “cow pastures”, that didn’t have 100-150 markers, most 200’s too. Pretty easy to pace off from them. I often pace off chips/pitches despite the technology we have. So I’m not reliant on tech to play golf.

OTOH we just lost high speed internet at home for 4 days - and life came to screeching halt - all 11 devices that rely on internet service…

Believe it or not, we still have courses that won't allow the use of LRF and that was the day I forgot my GPS watch...

I feel ya... our media converter for fiber died and no internet for 4 days as well. Nothing worked!!! Alarm was offline, smart home was offline, cameras were offline, etc... I was glad I could at least open the blinds and turn on the lights lol

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3 hours ago, Kanoito said:

Believe it or not, we still have courses that won't allow the use of LRF and that was the day I forgot my GPS watch...

????   Explain this to me.  Why do the not allow the use of rangefinders?   

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I was playing Saturday morning and I went to go check the yardage on a fairway marker instead of going where my cart partner had the cart. Guess what? No yardage markers anywhere!!! I was going to go “old school” and walk-off my yardage and couldn’t. Crazy! Sometimes I miss the old days of doing this, maybe I had a better “feel” for distance then, who knows, but I know I definitely play faster with a laser in-hand than having to find the markers and measuring my steps!  One technological advancement that I’ve found to be invaluable on-course are the wind readings in some of the GPS apps! Measuring the wind and the resultant gain/loss in distance is so good! I’ll keep that tech going forward!!!

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I’m okay with GPS or range finders on course, I use a watch for yardages myself. I like that I can just take a glance at my watch as I walk up to my ball and start the club selection process in my head based on distance. Might have to make some adjustments based on elevation, wind, or course challenges but no need to walk anything off before hand. 

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1 hour ago, cnosil said:

????   Explain this to me.  Why do the not allow the use of rangefinders?   

My bad, it's not courseS, but only 1 that I know of. They are very traditionalist... think Augusta... need a donation of around 50K to have a chance for membership, dress code is strictly enforced, etc... one time a friend of mine played a guest/host there and he was asked to change his polo shirt because it was too Hawaiian style??? His polo was tucked in his khaki pants, had sleeves and a collar... but they didn't like the print...

When he asked about why no LRF are allowed, they just said they would like to keep traditions alive... yeah I know... I guess if you are rich, you can do anything crazy...

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11 hours ago, Kenny B said:

Dave, you realize that the battery is sold in 2-packs.  😂  

BTW, my phone stays in my golf bag when I play and doesn't come out unless I want to take a picture... or call 911.

@Kenny B, Thanks for the reminder.. LOL.. It did not show low battery, the indicator still showed full battery... But after battery change it is working. I did have to reset the settings, since it reverted to >150yds so that took a little to figure out, since it's 15 yrs old WHY would you keep the instructions.. 

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6 hours ago, Middler said:

While I use a rangefinder often, I wear a GPS watch for scoring/stats and could use that for (less accurate) distance. But I’ve never been on a course, even “cow pastures”, that didn’t have 100-150 markers, most 200’s too. Pretty easy to pace off from them. I often pace off chips/pitches despite the technology we have. So I’m not reliant on tech to play golf even though I am also horrible at eyeballing distances.

OTOH we just lost high speed internet at home for 4 days - and life came to screeching halt - all 11 devices that rely on internet service were useless…😲

Have played many courses without these markers. 

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3 hours ago, THEZIPR23 said:

Have played many courses without these markers. 

I’ve seen this on cart mandatory resort courses with GPS maps on the cart  Never liked it, now most courses have yardage on the sprinkler heads which is okay if they are right  

Still loving the technology….

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I belong to two clubs, one in the north, one in the south. Neither one has yardages on the sprinkler heads anymore. The northern one does have plaques in the fairway at 100, 150, 200 and even 250 on par 5s. The Southern one has no markers for 100-150-200. 

I use a laser rangefinder, but I would be fine with just yardages marked to the center on sprinkler heads and pacing off the distance from there. 

When I took up the game in the 80s, I just used the 100, 150 yards bushes. For distance to the pin, I just assumed if a pin was in the back I should play and extra 8 yards from center, likewise a front pin I took off 8 yards. I've never been good enough that being off by 3-4 yards made much difference 

 

The advantage to today's distance finding technology is it helps me play a little faster.

 

 

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It looks like a good day to play golf!

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I grew up on courses with the 100, 150 and 200 posts as standard.  Even as a teenager, I practiced my paces to make sure I was stepping as close to one yard at at time to get the best distance.  But I too have become reliant on technology... though may be older technology.  I employ the gps.  I don't own a range finder.  My current club has flat markers in the fairway - that are difficult to find unless you happen to have landed your ball within a yard of them or so, and some sprinkler heads are marked, but I have found that those yardages aren't as accurate as I would have expected them to be... so I lean on the gps unit attached to my bag.  I do miss the red, white and blue posts in the fairway... if for nothing else, alignment aides off the tee!

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Although I recently began using ARCCOS, which tends to make me pay more attention to the electronics than I normally would, I don't think we're too dependent on the devices.  I use the ARCCOS as a tool and as I continue to learn it, I look at it less often.  With regards to GPS, lasers, and other devices, I've never found them a hinderance or delaying the game any more than pacing off steps from a marker.  

Perhaps many of the newer golfers who've always relied on electronics may rely on them heavily, I'm certain that most golfers would do just fine without their devices.

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I do not miss the days of walking around trying to find a sprinkler head that might or might not be marked.  Tech is great, but I do kind of miss the old days when there was just a red, white and blue concrete disk in the fairway.  I played some good golf with that as my only point of reference.  

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23 minutes ago, dlygrisse said:

  I played some good golf with that as my only point of reference.  

And here lies the conundrum, are we better with it or without it? Some of us, like myself, like to eliminate every variable possible and technology definetly helps with this part but does it help me play better? That I am not sure of. 

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