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The Scientist and the Artist

Greetings Golfers,

A few years ago, I wrote a blog about the need to be a scientist and an artist. That the range is where to be a scientist … and the course is where to be an artist.

I love the science of the golf swing. How and why it works. But golf needs to be played with feel and intuition … you need to be an artist on the golf course.

So … what about “rangefinders”?

I’m all for course knowledge and strategy. Just hitting random golf shots doesn’t make much sense. Golf is a game.

However, the need to know within a yard where the pin is … seems a little extreme to me.

I want to know the yardage to the front of the green … and to the back of the green.

Then I’m weighing the firmness before and on the green … and the trouble behind the green.

What I’m trying to say is that I’m much more concerned about other factors than the exact yardage to the pin.

The second shot to our hole #5 is almost straight up hill … and a short shot may well roll back down the hill. Even if the pin is at the front … I’m shooting for the middle of the green.

However, if the pin on #17 is at the back … I’m shooting for the middle of the green … long is death with a back pin.

Xander Schauffele insists that he hit a solid shot on #16 at the Masters … that a breeze came up and knocked it in the water. Hmmmmmm. That shot needed to be at least pin high and right of the pin … he had a big area to shoot at. Picking the “right number” and shooting at that pin was crazy.

So … if it’s crazy for one of the best players in the world … how crazy is it for average recreational players?

I’m not saying that they shouldn’t be used … but not just for zeroing on the pin … players are better off knowing the safe area on the green … that’s what they should hitting to … and it’s probably a 10 yard area … there’s a margin of error.

The science of the rangefinder is helpful … but it needs to be used in the right way … so the artist can hit the right shot.


Tom Abts
GM/Head PGA Professional
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Deer Run Golf Club
8661 Deer Run Drive
Victoria, MN 55386
(952) 443-2351

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