Golf: IHSA approves use of range finders
High school golfers who use distance range finders during summer play can will finally be able to use them this fall now that the IHSA’s Board of Directors has approved them.
Golfers could use distance range finders starting two years ago while competing over the summer in the Illinois Junior Golf Association, but the IHSA Board of Directors has recently OK’d their use starting this fall for boys and girls golf competitions.
The Board approved the hand-held telescopic devices, which can measure distances from one point to the viewer, after use of the devices was passed by the golf advisory committee Nov. 30.
“We came to the same conclusion other groups have come to,” IHSA boys golf administrator Kurt Gibson said. “They are more prevalent. They are certainly pricey, but the kids have them. We hope it will speed up play in some respects. It’s the old case of , ‘If you can’t beat them, join them.’”
Range finders have become mandatory equipment for most college golfers and the IJGA offered its members two years ago a $50 discount to the Callaway-Nikon model, normally priced at $299. Many high school golfers during the summer find discounted range finders on the Internet.
Glenbrook North junior Nick Hardy, who finished third in the 43rd State Junior Amateur Championship June 28 at Makray Memorial Golf Club in Barrington, predicted two years ago that the IHSA would approve range finders.
“Maybe one day,” Hardy said as a freshman. “The IJGA did it and (the IHSA) could do it. I think it speeds up play. You don’t take extra time to walk off 30 yards. The yard markers are not the right distances sometimes.”
The IHSA boys and girls golf advisory committee, which includes Latin coach Janice Wilson, St. Charles East coach John Stock and Plainfield Central coach Robert Smith Jr., recommended that players could also share distance information with competitors, if they wish. The committee reported its rationale: “This change would allow, but not require, their use, and it’s hoped that their use might help with pace of play.”