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USGA, R&A Limit Green Reading Materials


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I'm not sure that they don't actually slow things down at times.  The players take a while looking at the chart, then they begin to actually look at the putt, and I don't believe they shorten that at

Q. Jon, I had some super golfing questions for you. Dustin said that with the detailed greens books, it's actually easier to learn a golf course these days than in the past. You might even be able to

I get the concern, but I agree that it's going to be tough to decide where and how to draw the line. If the concern is that it adds unnecessary time to the round, the better way to do it, in my o

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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"

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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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  • 4 months later...
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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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19 minutes ago, cutchemist42 said:

So with many complaints being made about them still after Brysons pace of play, did they actually enforce this rule enough?

Which rule?  I remember a player getting a DQ for having a non-conforming greens book, so that rule gets enforced.  The Pace of Play policy is lenient enough that I'm not sure penalties get applied, players can only be penalized after a number of steps are taken, and only if they remain out of position on the course.

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  • 5 months later...
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Q. Jon, I had some super golfing questions for you. Dustin said that with the detailed greens books, it's actually easier to learn a golf course these days than in the past. You might even be able to figure out a golf course before you even get here. I'm just curious, do you think that negates some of the challenge or perhaps even some of your advantage of having some prior golf course knowledge?

JON RAHM: You mean the greens books like the little map with all the slopes?

Q. Yeah. All the charting is so good now that he basically figured it out before he even arrived on site.

JON RAHM: Well, I don't use those books.

Q. How come?

JON RAHM: My caddie gets them. I don't look at them because I just--I'm a feel player, I trust what I see. If I have a question, I'll ask him, and he might look at it if we're in doubt. I've never spoken of this, I have to be honest, I don't think they should be allowed. That's my opinion. I think being able to read a green and read a break and understand the green is a talent, it's a skill that can be developed, and by just giving you the information, they're taking away from the game. Again, I think being able to read greens and understand greens, it's a talent, it's part of the game, and like I said, it's a skill that can be developed or not. So that's my take on it.

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(edited)

I see Lous new obsession on Twtr seems to be why people are fine with yardage books but dislike greens reading books....

I just think theres a difference between the two without really being able to explain it well. What's the sentiment here between the two comparisons.

 

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24 minutes ago, cutchemist42 said:

I just think theres a difference between the two without really being able to explain it well. What's the sentiment here between the two comparisons.

I don't really have a sentiment. I think the "solution" is just to enforce a pace of play policy.

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3 hours ago, iacas said:

Q. Jon, I had some super golfing questions for you. Dustin said that with the detailed greens books, it's actually easier to learn a golf course these days than in the past. You might even be able to figure out a golf course before you even get here. I'm just curious, do you think that negates some of the challenge or perhaps even some of your advantage of having some prior golf course knowledge?

JON RAHM: You mean the greens books like the little map with all the slopes?

Q. Yeah. All the charting is so good now that he basically figured it out before he even arrived on site.

JON RAHM: Well, I don't use those books.

Q. How come?

JON RAHM: My caddie gets them. I don't look at them because I just--I'm a feel player, I trust what I see. If I have a question, I'll ask him, and he might look at it if we're in doubt. I've never spoken of this, I have to be honest, I don't think they should be allowed. That's my opinion. I think being able to read a green and read a break and understand the green is a talent, it's a skill that can be developed, and by just giving you the information, they're taking away from the game. Again, I think being able to read greens and understand greens, it's a talent, it's part of the game, and like I said, it's a skill that can be developed or not. So that's my take on it.

I get what he's saying, but he's also pointing out that some players have caddies that might be better at reading greens than they are, or at least certainly some have caddies that are better than other caddies.  That's something that evens the playing field in some cases too, I think.  I don't have an issue with the books though.

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1 hour ago, Golfingdad said:

I get what he's saying, but he's also pointing out that some players have caddies that might be better at reading greens than they are, or at least certainly some have caddies that are better than other caddies.  That's something that evens the playing field in some cases too, I think.  I don't have an issue with the books though.

Yea, I think it depends on how you view a caddies role. If a caddie is meant to have a bigger role for the golfer, then sure that makes sense. I do think the book even takes away from a caddies skill to read a green. I think at a certain level, the green reading books need to be limited. I rather a caddie be good at reading a green versus using a book. Same with a golfer. 

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