Rangefinders and GPS. Technology takes to the field at the PGA Championship, May 20-23 on Kiawah Island. The PGA of America revolution starts in South Carolina where the use of distance measurement devices will be allowed in the second male major of 2021.
Technology, Pga Championship
The PGA of America is preparing to become the first major golf body to allow the use of technology in all its key events, with the aim of speeding up the game as well. The devices must comply with rule 4.3a (1) of the regulations. No devices designed to calculate changes in altitude or wind speed will be allowed. While you can get information about the distance or direction. This is also an important turning point for professional golfers and their caddies, accustomed to using them until now only during training or practice rounds. Which not all the big names like. “If they think the game can be faster this way, they are very wrong. Lasers, however, take away the artistic side of golf.” These are the statements of Jon Rahm, world number 3, one of the most opposed to the use of technology on the greens.
On Kiawah Island, the 103rd edition of the PGA Championship (from 20 to 23 May) promises to be spectacular.
In South Carolina, it will host the second 2021 major of men’s golf for the second time in tournament history, the first since 2012, will be the 7,876-yard Ocean Course, the longest course ever recorded in a Grand Slam tournament.
For the first time in such an important event, technology will also take the field, including laser rangefinders and GPS, with the aim of speeding up the game despite the opposition of many big names. Californian Collin Morikawa will defend the title won in August 2020. An important opportunity also for Jordan Spieth who aims to complete the Grand Slam to reach Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods in history. Chance of redemption for Francesco Molinari (absent last year), the only blue in the race, slipped to 144 / o place in the world rankings and in crisis of play and results.
After the last two consecutive second places in the competition, Dustin Johnson (world number 1, not in the best of conditions for a knee problem) will try to win the PGA Championship for the first time. The Spaniard Jon Rahm, third in the ranking, is also dreaming of the enterprise, who has not yet managed to celebrate his exploit in a Major. There where he triumphed in 2012 (he managed to establish himself in 2014, but in Kentucky), breaking by eight strokes (the widest margin in the history of the competition) the English David Lynn, Rory McIlroy – at least according to the bookmakers – will start with the underdogs. Coming back from his 19th career victory on the PGA Tour (at the Wells Fargo Championship), the Northern Irishman wants the big target. The big absentee, needless to say, will be Woods. The Californian, who was involved in a serious car accident in Los Angeles last February, achieved his first success at the PGA Championship in 1999, dropping an encore in 2000. Then, in 2006 as in 2007, he crossed the finish line first and managed once again in the back-to-back. With four seals Woods is second only to Walter Hagen (the first joy in 1921 and then 4 companies in a row from 1924 to 1927) and Nicklaus, both record holders with five.
There is also expectation for Hideki Matsuyama, the first Japanese in history to win The Masters last April. But also for Justin Thomas (champion in 2017 and world number 2) and Bryson DeChambeau. 10,000 spectators per day will be admitted to the Ocean Course, theater of the 1991 Ryder Cup.
And the PGA Championship, according to US sources, could also represent an opportunity for the Super League of golf. That through its intermediaries in South Carolina aims to meet many managers of the big green to convince them, also through pharaonic offers – with the support of Arab investment funds – to “marry”, as early as 2022, the Super Golf League, a potential, new circuit, which aims to counter the advance of the PGA Tour and the European Tour. Undermining the certainties of the two most important tours in the world.