Could this be the end of the road for green books?


Are the PGA Tour about to bring in new restrictions on the controversial green-reading materials?

Critics say they slow the game down and take the skill out of reading putts. Only anchoring and divots appear to get the average golfer crosser than green books and it seems the PGA Tour could be about to take new steps to curb the controversial materials.

A memo, purporting to be to PGA Tour members and caddies and circulated widely on Twitter, reports the organisation’s Advisory Council has supported the implementation of a new Local Rule that would come into force on January 1, next year.

Being developed by the USGA and R&A, in close conjunction with the PGA Tour team and the European Tour, the memo says that during competition rounds next year, players and caddies would only be able to use a ‘Committee Approved’ yardage book.

It states this would look like a traditional yardage book and would provide only “general information on slopes and other features”, when it came to greens.

It says that players would not be able to use any books that were produced prior to next year but would still allow “handwritten notes that could assist with reading the line of play on the green”.

But it adds: “Such notes will be restricted to only those made by the player or caddie and must be derived from the experiences or any observations of a ball rolling on a green. This includes observations from a TV broadcast”.

And anyone who thinks the regulations would end the sight of players stooped over books on the green might be disappointed by the addition that approved books and handwritten information added in could still be used to “read a line of play on the putting green or for other strokes during the round”.

But the memo details, which it is said will be presented to the PGA Tour Policy Board on November 8, states the purpose of the Local Rule is to “return to a position where players and caddies use only their skill, judgment and feel along with any information gained through experience, preparation, and practice to read the line of play on the putting green”.

What do you think about green books? Would this be good for the game or is it all a fuss about nothing? Let me know in the comments, or tweet me.

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