The rangefinders that are in vogue today were originally built with military purposes in mind.
In 1891, Archibald Barr and William Stroud were commissioned to design a short range rangefinder for the Royal Navy. At that time, both were professors at the predecessor school of the University of Leeds today. Barr majored in mechanical engineering, while Stroud majored in physics.
Their result is a tube with lenses and prisms at both ends, in the center of which is a “mono-eye” viewfinder. It determines the distance based on the angle formed by the line of sight at the top and bottom of the tube. The smaller the angle, the larger the distance and vice versa.
Demand for “range guns” skyrocketed with the outbreak of World War I in 1914, and the technology to make them has since continued to evolve.
For a long time, the golf world used binoculars on the course to measure the distance to the desired area, thereby choosing a more effective club for the distance to be crossed.
In 1965, the first laser binocular was invented. This type works similarly to radar with higher accuracy than its predecessors. It measures distance based on the time it takes to transmit and receive electromagnetic waves. In 1995, Bushnell introduced the Yardage Pro 400, its first golf laser. This product is as big as a pair of large binoculars.
And more than 20 years ago, the machines were bulky and the technology wasn’t groundbreaking. Therefore, it is somewhat difficult for users to aim the crater flag from a distance of 200 yards. But today, they can fit in the palm of your hand, providing more information than just measurements, such as pitch changes, direction recommendations and club type. And in addition to lasers, there is also a type of GPS – global positioning.
Since 2006, the Law of Golf allows the use of laser and GPS “distance guns” in recreational and amateur events, but leaves open the right to prohibit it for the Organizing Committee. To date, this assist device has only entered the golf course test round. However, it broke through to the major level – the main rounds of the PGA Championship 2021. The organization that owns the event – the Professional Golf Association of America (PGAA) – in an announcement in February explained that the ranger will be help speed up the game. In this regard, the remaining three majors in the traditional quartet of the Masters, US Open and The Open Championship have not been as innovative as a peer event.
The PGA Championship kicks off May 20 at Ocean, par72 on Kiawah Island, South Carolina and only pure rangers are eligible for the tournament.
Quoc Huy (according to Golf Digest)
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