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USGA, R&A Limit Green Reading Materials

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Hey guys.  Under the new rules, what is the best available technology for reading greens that is legal for tournament play and doesn't break the bank?  Is there a conforming app?

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17 minutes ago, capybara said:

Hey guys.  Under the new rules, what is the best available technology for reading greens that is legal for tournament play and doesn't break the bank?  Is there a conforming app?

First, what @iacas says, learn Aimpoint.  Second, 4.3a(1) says this about using "equipment"


Not Allowed.

  • Measuring elevation changes, or

  • Interpreting distance or directional information (such as using a device to get a recommended line of play or club selection based on the location of the player’s ball).

So if there IS an app, its not legal under the rules.

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Phil unwittingly makes the case that green reading books REMOVE THE SKILL of reading greens.

And yet… I'm aware of stats that show that green reading books haven't helped anyone make more putts. Phil's own stats don't bolster his case; they do the opposite.

Regardless, I'm still opposed to them. I think they can slow things down, despite what Phil says. And ultimately it's a bad look - bad optics.

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I made myself a legal greens reading book for my home course a couple of weeks ago using free lidar data off the internet and dumping it into AutoCAD Civil 3D to create contours.  It probably took 20-24 hours for me to do all 18 greens.  I know my home course fairly well, but there are some spots with very subtle breaks where I am not sure what direction a putt will go.  I intend to just use it for the rare occasions that I am unsure of the direction and magnitude of the break.  I maybe pull it out 5-6 times a round and look at it for 20 seconds while my playing partners are putting.  Using it for this purpose does not seem to slow my pace of play any.

On the other hand, I could see someone like Bryson trying to use the books for much more than this purpose.  I'm sure if you know the slope of the green, the length of the putt and the stimp of the greens a person could calculate how much the ball will break on any given putt.  The game of golf needs to not allow enough time for someone to be able to calculate this stuff and take all the guesswork and skill out of the game. 

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