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GPS tracking of slow play in place at BMW PGA

VIRGINIA WATER, England – Last month, the European Tour unveiled a four-point plan to address slow play, and one of the first pieces of that plan will be put to the test this week at the BMW PGA Championship.

A GPS tracking system will be used this week that will allow officials to keep track of each group’s position on the golf course. The system will also provide displays on tees to let players know their position relative to the groups around them.

A tracking device with be placed on one golf bag in each group. When that group completes a hole, the information is sent to officials and displayed on five holes (Nos. 4, 7, 10, 13 and 16). The plan is to have displays on every hole beginning next year.

The displays will include the hole number, which group is now playing, and the players in the group. If a group is out of position, it will be noted by a plus mark and a red number.

The European Tour tested the tracking system at the Open de Bretagne on the Challenge Tour two weeks ago.

The circuit’s pace-of-play plan addresses regulation, education, innovation and field sizes; it will also include increased fines for pace-of-play violations and targeted timings of slow players.