The USGA approved the use of electronic distance measuring devices in 2006. Enter 2009, and the competition has really heated up.
GPS-based devices now claim a much higher market share, with the SkyCaddie out to a fairly commanding lead in market share and brand recognition. Clearly, the advantage of any of the GPS devices is their ability to track your whereabouts on the course and provide instant yardages to many reference points, as opposed to the need to "point and shoot" with a laser-based device.
But the need to download course data, and pay annual membership fees can be challenging for those with little extra time on their hands, or for whom the personal computer is anything but. For these players, the accuracy and instant readiness of laser-based devices is worth a little extra time before each shot. And perhaps it is the reason that PGA Tour caddies rely on them when compiling detailed yardage books (Tour players can not use any type of distance measuring device during tournament play, however).
At the PGA expo in Florida, we caught up with four major manufacturers of these products to talk about their features and functionality. If you among those who still relies on sprinkler head yardages and 150-yard markers, you owe it to yourself to watch the video above by clicking on the image or text link.