Golf’s governing bodies have revealed a new Model Local Rule to further limit the use of green reading books in the hope that players and caddies only use their eye and feel to read putts. Model Local Rule G-11 enables tournament organisers to limit players to using only the yardage book that it has approved for use in the competition.
This local rule has been developed by the R&A and USGA along with feedback from several professional tours. It is intended only for the highest levels of competitive golf and for competitions where it is realistic for the committee to create an officially approved yardage book. It will be available starting from 1st January 2022. The PGA Tour recently placed its own restrictions on green reading books so this new local rule will affect the world’s best players.
The new local rule gives tournament organisers the ability to establish an officially approved yardage book for a competition so that the diagrams of putting greens show only minimal detail, including significant slopes, tiers or false edges that indicate sections of greens. Handwritten notes by players and caddies to the approved yardage book are also being limited.
Players and caddies will now only be allowed to add handwritten notes and information that has been obtained by their knowledge and experience from watching balls roll on the green or from seeing television coverage. Handwritten or printed information not relating to green reading, for example swing thoughts or carry distances, are allowed.
If players and caddie have anything other than the official yardage book to read greens or have broken the handwritten rules guidelines they will be in breach of the new Local Rule and the penalty statement under Rule 4.3 applies, which is the General Penalty – two strokes in stroke play or loss of hole in match play.
View full guidance on the new Model Local Rule G-11.
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