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USGA uses GPS to aid golfers in playing better

US: US Golf Association (USGA) has embarked on a three-month project to track the exact movements and playing habits of golfers using GPS devices to prod them to play faster. The goal, the USGA says, is to come up with data to address the perception that the sport’s four-hour, 22-minute average round is too much of a time commitment.

The USGA will use eight interns from its P.J. Boatwright Jr. internship program to collect data during a wide variety of events at 30 to 40 U.S. courses this summer. In total, about 6,500 rounds will be tracked at each course between mid-May and August, giving the group about 26,000 rounds of data to analyse. The data gathered might one day lead to course owners widening fairways or changing start times to speed things up.

While the USGA recently used the GPS devices to track the play of about 50 golfers during an event at Pinehurst Resort’s No. 2 course, site of next week’s men’s and women’s U.S. Opens, the group said it doesn’t plan to ask professional golfers to carry the devices. The group currently uses data provided by the U.S. PGA Tour to analyze playing habits of professionals over 45 tournaments.

Source: Seattle Times