Nikon has scored a major coup by signing up European Tour yardage book guru Dion Stevens to use its state of the art Laser 1000AS rangefinder to plot the distances used in the books he produces for both the caddies and players in tournaments.
Unlike other top PGA professional and amateur events, players and caddies are not allowed to use rangefinders and GPS devices to given them accurate yardages during tournament rounds.
However they are allowed to refer to books with the information written down and it's these pages that we see players and caddies consulting during televised events.
Dion provides a valuable service converting the figures - it takes four to five days for a new venue on Tour, slightly less established courses - and every week his team travels the world producing books to pro tournament standard.
Golf has come a long way - even since the 1990s - when players created hand drawn pages of hazards and contours with dozens of figures scribbled on each page identifying the yardage to the front back or middle of the green, distance to hazards, club's used previously, slopes on greens and even wind direction.
I studied the little green book that Phil (Wobbly) Morbey used to plot Ian Woosnam to US Masters victory in 1991 and it was a mess of diagrams, arrows and figures for each Augusta National hole. Only the Selby caddie could understand it but it proved invaluable.
The Nikon Laser 1000AS used by Stevens features the exclusive First Target Priority algorithm instantly giving the user the distance to the nearest target in the viewfinder even if there's a cluttered background.
It also measures slope angle the Tour pro need to see on their yardage books. The unit is fully waterproof allowing golfers to measure yardages whatever the weather and features an automatic light sensitive back light for measuring in gloomy conditions.
As the Nikon 1000AS features slope measurement, it’s not legal for use in golf competition but the best selling Nikon Laser 350G version is legal.
Says Stevens: “I earn my living producing yardage books for the best golfers and caddies in the world. These guys are incredibly demanding and they put their faith in my yardages every week. I have to be 100% confident in the rangefinder I use. The Nikon Laser 1000AS is a world class product and the I’ve ever used.”
For more information on the range of Nikon products visit: www.nikonrangefinders.co.uk