Articles, Intellectual Property

Slow Play – the PGA way!: A major issue has turned opportunity for our IP 100 entrant!

The current US Open Champion, Matt Fitzpatrick, has recently lashed out, “like taking a 3-wood out of the rough”, at the impact of slow play by professional golfers, enroute to his victory at the RBC Heritage tournament in April 2023. He described slow play as “like hitting your head against a brick wall”, and that a round of golf should take no more than four hours, as opposed to the five-hour rounds – and sometimes longer – which he endures on the PGA Tour. Adding to Fitzpatrick’s frustration is the lack of action taken by the relevant golf authorities to address the issue. The PGA Tour introduced a Pace of Play policy in 2020 which stipulates that if a player continually takes 45 seconds or longer to play a shot, then they would potentially be penalised, however, no player has yet been penalised for slow play since this policy was enacted. Clearly, they are out of bounds but don’t want to take a penalty drop!

Only a matter of weeks after Fitzpatrick’s comments, the spotlight was once again shone on slow play, this time with celebrity former Dallas Cowboy quarterback, Tony Romo, receiving criticism. Romo was taking part in a US Open Local Qualifying event and can be seen on video taking more than a full minute to play his opening tee shot. This prompted golf fans to call for Romo to be penalised for slow play, but it seems again, no-one is listening.

As noted above, golf’s governing bodies are aware of the slow play issue and have been vocal in their attempts to minimise its occurrences, with the PGA Tour’s Chief of Operations, Tyler Dennis, stating that “we think technology definitely plays a key role in ..helping to improve pace of play…. and we are thinking about new and innovative ways to use it to address these situations.” The PGA Tour’s policy utilises ShotLink data to assess the length of time golfers take to play shots, however, further technology also appears to mitigate slow play occurring, particularly, rangefinders used by players and caddies.

In 2021, the PGA of America (separate to the PGA Tour) permitted the usage of rangefinders at the PGA Championship, becoming the first and only large-scale event that allows their usage during tournament play. These handheld devices assist in providing golfers with information relating to how far they are away from a specific target, aiding in the decision making of the golfer in terms of which club to hit. 3-times golf Major Championship winner, Padraig Harrington, noted that the usage of rangefinders dramatically improved the pace of play at recent PGA Championships and has suggested that their usage should be permitted at every event going forward.

By now you might be thinking, why does this interest Metis Partners? 

As it happens, there’s an IP success story behind this, as one of our very own IP100 entrant companies, Shot Scope has been a beneficiary of the uptick in use of rangefinders. Gavin Dear, Chief Commercial Officer at Shot Scope Technologies, shares Harrington’s foresight, predicting that rangefinders will be approved for everyday PGA Tour usage within the next five years. Shot Scope are an industry leading provider of advanced GPS and shot tracking technology, offering a range of award-winning distance measuring products. Companies like Shot Scope would no doubt benefit from the considerable exposure that would arise from globally renowned athletes using rangefinder products. Thanks to an impressive portfolio of intellectual property, Shot Scope were recently ranked in 7th position in the 2023 Dynamic IP100 UK League table, and have won numerous recent industry awards.


To find out how IP 100 Score can be an effective tool for you and help benchmark your business success, send your inquiry to and we are happy to answer any of your questions.

Our Dynamic IP League Table is a regularly updated benchmark for IP-rich companies to gain recognition for the strength of their IP assets. The Dynamic IP League Table will feature the top 50 entrants prominently on the Metis Partners’ website and social media pages, regularly updating our rankings with any new entrants that enter the top 50 as we continue to score innovative and IP-focused companies.

Written by Metis Partners Team.

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