A ROBOT is replacing the knowledgeable old caddie of golfing lore. This is in the shape of an ever more advanced technical range-finder, which provides the sort of information on the course ahead that some might think takes the skill or fun out of the game.
SkyGolf has added new versions of its SkyCaddie SG2, which offer a simplified model for occasional golfers and more features for avid and travelling golfers.
“Centuries ago,” said Richard Edmoson of SkyGolf, giving some emphasis to the age of the game, which dates back to around mid-15th century, “golfers would rely on the expertise of a knowledgeable caddie to navigate their way around the hazards on a golf course. The SkyCaddie will tell golfers how far they need to hit the ball safely to fairways and greens – as though a personal caddie were standing right beside them.”
Well, it hardly seems cricket, but Edmoson maintains that by using one of these devices, players are playing better and faster and having more fun. Up to 2005, rangefinders were banned by the U.S. Golf Association but are now allowed in competitions under local tournament rule. And to speed their acceptance in the UK and throughout Europe, SkyGolf has just opened a new distribution base in Oxfordshire.
Its only a matter of time, it would seem, before they will be on all courses. The days of the caddie are numbered.