The American Junior Golf Association’s Pace of Play program, long considered an innovation in the golf industry, has gained national support from Leupold & Stevens, Inc.
The sport optics technology leader has committed to a seven-year partnership of the Pace of Play program, during which the world’s top junior golfers will learn how to compete on some of the best golf courses in the country, quickly.
“This program is one of the AJGA’s most important,” said Stephen Hamblin, AJGA executive director. “With faster play, we eliminate exposure to prolonged extreme heat conditions and create a fair experience for everyone. We feel our members can be part of the solution to the issue of pace of play and we look forward to Leupold’s long-term involvement as a leader in the golf industry.”
The Pace of Play program sponsored by Leupold, first instituted by the AJGA in 2002, is enforced using time-par through six on-course checkpoints. Based on the idea of playing ready golf at all times, the program has been successful at more than 800 AJGA tournaments over the last decade. An average round at an AJGA tournament (threesomes, tee times) has consistently been under 4 hours, 30 minutes.
“We are excited to be a part of the AJGA’s Pace of Play program and its continued efforts to improve the game of golf,” said Rob Morrison, vice president of marketing for Leupold & Stevens, Inc. “We know that using one of our digital laser rangefinders can help with pace of play and we applaud the AJGA for its decision to make our products available for use in tournament play.”
The AJGA maintains records of each competitive round, conditions and hole-by-hole difficulty, and closely examines all factors which contribute to playing a fair, but fast, round of golf. Implemented at all AJGA tournaments, two events had an average pace faster than four hours in 2012: the Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic presented by State Mutual Insurance (3:58) and the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior (3:56).
In addition to its support of the Pace of Play program, Leupold will be the Official Rangefinder of the AJGA and support the Playing Fore Their Future charity campaign benefiting the AJGA Foundation and the Nicklaus Charities Healthcare Fund.