Golf Datatech, LLC released a study finding that the size of the market for Distance Measuring Devices (DMD) is approaching the on-off course putter market in total sales, and may reach as high as $170 million in annual sales across all retail channels in the U.S.

The DMD market is represented by hand-held GPS rangefinders, laser rangefinders and smart phone applications.  The Distance Measuring Device Study was conducted in the Spring of 2011, with Golf Datatech surveying nearly 1,800 golfers from an exclusive database representing approximately 5 million serious golfers, or the top 20 percent of the golfing population who purchase roughly 80 percent of the golf equipment in the U.S.  The study asked these “hardcore” golfers not only about their purchase habits and usage levels when it comes to DMDs, but also expanded on attitudes and opinions toward the category and key brands.

Key findings of the study suggest hand-held GPS rangefinders out-sell lasers by a 2-1 ratio, with the average selling price of a DMD around $249.  Among the serious golfer, 43 percent favored hand-held GPS rangefinders over 28 percent for lasers.  However, 51 percent of the respondents stated that laser devices are more accurate than hand-held GPS rangefinders.  Additionally, while about two-thirds of the serious golfers surveyed utilize smart phones, less than one-half of those have purchased a DMD phone application.