Jump to content
iacas

USGA, R&A Limit Green Reading Materials

167 posts / 23428 viewsLast Reply

Recommended Posts

11 minutes ago, David in FL said:

Yeah, I'm not sure how you draw the line and implement something like this.

Correct use of materials like this should speed up play, since all the required information is readily available.  But, I can see how golfers use it as a crutch and second-guess themselves so much that it takes longer.  It also makes it a "pay for play" type thing where golfers more able to spend the money for materials get a boost.

 

If they want to do away with it, I think it's easy; no written materials on the course.  They can do all the prep work they want, but they cannot physically reference anything after they take to the course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Want to hide this ad? Register for free today!

28 minutes ago, MRR said:

Has there been any study on how much using this material actually slows a game down?  I would have thought that this much prep work both speeds up the reading process (there is already a decent idea of slope and direction) and (assuming the powers that be are correct) results in fewer putts, thus requiring fewer times to need to read greens.

Has anyone here used such a chart to their benefit?

Quoting you again to address this point. 

@David in FL eluded to this earlier that these guys are largely buying these maps on tour, and doing no work themselves to get the information. In that regard, I could see how a PGA Tour Pro could be dumb enough to overthink a chart like that and not really get it -- sort of a "standing on the shoulders of geniuses" kind of slow down. 

Ian Malcom is certainly not feeling this development on tour, I know that much....

^^^ Actual footage of a secret meeting on this topic at the Royal and Ancient.

Now, that being said, someone doing all the leg work required to make one of these things, just so he has an edge in the C Flight of his Club Championship probably deserves a standing O golf clap for his extra efforts :-D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

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 opinion, is to make sure that you're enforcing pace of play. It doesn't really matter to me what information the player is using if they are doing it in a reasonable amount of time.

If the concern is more about the information contained in the book, I'm not sure exactly what you do; maybe only allow something that shows contours but not the actual slope numbers. I think it's going to be tough to draw a line at a certain level of detail clearly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

17 minutes ago, David in FL said:

Yeah, I'm not sure how you draw the line and implement something like this.

Conceptually, it makes sense to me.  The actual execution could be difficult.  It'll be interesting to hear what happens.

This is what bothers me the most about this. People have been using yardage books and green-reading books since at least the 1950s. Where are you going to draw the line on this? Possibly more importantly, where do you draw the line for a non-professional tour?

Maybe it's something they can address with a local rule?

The other question is: does this actually help people putt better? My book has shaved maybe a stroke per round at that course off my average. Maybe. Has putting improved this much that it needs to be banned? Feels like a solution in search of a problem, to a certain extent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

2 minutes ago, DeadMan said:

My book has shaved maybe a stroke per round at that course off my average. Maybe. 

Do you think it has slowed your play?

I realize the answer to that question is not the point of the original post (since that is about potentially unfair "outside" assistance), but I am curious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, tristanhilton85 said:

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 opinion, is to make sure that you're enforcing pace of play. It doesn't really matter to me what information the player is using if they are doing it in a reasonable amount of time.

If the concern is more about the information contained in the book, I'm not sure exactly what you do; maybe only allow something that shows contours but not the actual slope numbers. I think it's going to be tough to draw a line at a certain level of detail clearly.

Read more  

Obviously I agree with you on the one point, its pretty tough to figure out where to draw the line.  Use of written material has been allowed since the first person decided to make their own yardage guide.  I also agree about the pace of play issue.  If the rules are enforced, I don't care if a player gets his information from a book or from direct observation.  I've read opinions that players using Aimpoint are slower (can't say I've noticed that when I've played with an Aimpointer) and the same would apply to those guys.  Play at the right pace, no matter what you use to read putts.  Now I'll get off that branch of discussion, pace of play isn't really the primary issue here.

2 minutes ago, DeadMan said:

Feels like a solution in search of a problem, to a certain extent.

I'm thinking this could be a matter of image, much like the use of DMDs on tour.  I admit that the thought of a tour pro using a laser bugs me, probably because I'm an old curmudgeon and it doesn't fit with my image of tradition.  These green maps cause the same kind of reaction.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Just now, MRR said:

Do you think it has slowed your play?

No.

I will either look at the book while I'm walking up to the green to get a reference for what I'm looking at or I will look at it while I'm walking back to my ball after reading my putt. This book isn't precise enough to truly rely on except as a quick sanity check. And, generally, I read greens while others are putting or reading their putts. So it doesn't impact my pace at all.

If my book was as detailed as the commercial ones on tour, it would actually speed up my play. I would barely have to bother to read putts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

35 minutes ago, DeadMan said:

The other question is: does this actually help people putt better? 

That would depend on the player. On one hand, you have a good putter like Brandt Snedeker who looks at a chart like that and sees Chinese instructions for building a bunk bed. On the other hand, Aimpointers like Justin Rose or Adam Scott could theoretically benefit. 

The main guy who makes and sells these books to the players -- Mark Long, Fred Funk's old caddy -- said he sold 52 yardage books just before the 2012 US Open. Tiger requested one for the 2013 US Open at Merion. There's a contingency of players who seem to strongly believe in them, and I can see why. I wonder how that number of players using them has changed in the past five years. 

He uses professional surveying equipment to make his books, and he makes sure all the information is up-to-date, particularly after a renovation. If I was on tour, I would definitely use one, but that's just me. I remembering showing one of Mark Long's charts to some mini-tour friends of mine and they all looked at me like I had two heads. At other times, I've talked to other mini-tour guys who swear by them, making them on their own, using an electronic level from Home Depot to get the numbers. 

 

30 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

I'm thinking this could be a matter of image, much like the use of DMDs on tour.

Yea I kind of view it the same way. Takes some of the heavy lifting out of what you're doing. Still, I can't help but think these maps are really cool. 

Edited by JetFan1983

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

1 hour ago, krupa said:

This seems to be bordering on the contradictory.  On the one hand, they're testing distance measuring devices at a few events, while on the other hand, they're looking into banning details about greens.  

Why is green reading is an essential part of putting but figuring out yardage isn't an essential part of everything-that-isn't-putting?

This is the first thing I thought of, too. I'm not certain I can support the use of rangefinders and be against green mapping, so I can't be against green mapping either.

The players still have to execute the putt.

12 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

I've read opinions that players using Aimpoint are slower

That's not true and it's likely the people who perpetuate this opinion don't even know anything about AimPoint. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

 

I used to get bombarded with spam by Stracka, so I in no way am endorsing this. But I've always wondered how good this technology is.

And obviously you couldn't use the app in competition, but as a pro, wouldn't you map out various possibilities ahead of time- particularly if you had advance knowledge of likely (or certain) pin positions.

So while you couldn't use the app, you could use some variation of "crib notes" for each hole, and the caddy could say- "from my notes last night,  the app said this one will break 6 inches left" (removing any of the skill from green reading from the player). 

That scenario just feels like it should be avoided somehow, but now sure how it could be. Good preparation should be rewarded too. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

1 hour ago, DaveP043 said:

I've read opinions that players using Aimpoint are slower (can't say I've noticed that when I've played with an Aimpointer) and the same would apply to those guys.   

From my limited understanding.... Aimpoint might be slower (as that system seems to involve looking through many charts and doing calculations that can take time if you are not used to it) but Aimpoint Express is quite fast, since the golfer just measures slope at the midpoint and does some other brief greens reading.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess i'll approach this from the other side.  This is there job, if the yardage/green books help them do their job better, why is it wrong. I'm sure most folks who have a job have some type of process or SOP documents they have made personal notes on to help them do their job better.

In regards to it causing slow play, well isn't there already a rule for that, why not just enforce the rule.  What a player and caddie discusses or reads within that timeline I think is irrelevant.

Edited by JGus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

1 minute ago, MRR said:

From my limited understanding.... Aimpoint might be slower (as that system seems to involve looking through many charts and doing calculations that can take time if you are not used to it) but Aimpoint Express is quite fast, since the golfer just measures slope at the midpoint and does some other brief greens reading.

I (occasionally) use Aimpoint (not express) and the above is not quite accurate.  It's very similar to AE, step-wise.  This would be more accurate:

2 minutes ago, MRR said:

.... Aimpoint might be is not slower (as that system seems to involves looking through many at one chart and doing calculations that can take time if you are not used to it) but Aimpoint Express is quite fast, since the golfer after just measuring the slope at the midpoint and does some other brief greens reading.

:beer:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

17 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

I (occasionally) use Aimpoint (not express) and the above is not quite accurate.  It's very similar to AE, step-wise. 

:beer:

Thank you for increasing my knowledge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, krupa said:

This seems to be bordering on the contradictory. On the one hand, they're testing distance measuring devices at a few events, while on the other hand, they're looking into banning details about greens.

It's not. Distance has long been considered a "common knowledge" type of thing. That's why it's not advice, why yardage markers can exist, why range finders are okay, why pin sheets can list yardages to the pin from the front or edge, etc.

2 hours ago, krupa said:

Why is green reading is an essential part of putting but figuring out yardage isn't an essential part of everything-that-isn't-putting?

They're different. Distance is just distance. Even the yardages on the scorecard have given you yardages… but they don't have detailed green maps on the scorecard.

We disallow slope and wind speed measurements. This is an attempt to do similar things.

2 hours ago, MRR said:

Similarly, my understanding of reading is that the slope right around the hole is the most important. I would think that the golfer/caddie could very easily remember that much for each hole, at least.  But I might be expecting too much when I picture a caddie or golfer going out each morning to see where the cup is placed and mentally mapping out preferred shots for the day.

It's not more important. The ball spends a lot more time rolling over the other parts of the green. They matter "more."

2 hours ago, David in FL said:

Yeah, I'm not sure how you draw the line and implement something like this.

Conceptually, it makes sense to me.  The actual execution could be difficult.  It'll be interesting to hear what happens.

That's what I'm not sure about.

I could see them banning pre-made greens charts done by machines, but what's to stop someone from basically just tracing it and making it "hand-made"?

Because I don't think they can ban people from measuring the slopes of the greens themselves.

27 minutes ago, MRR said:

From my limited understanding.... Aimpoint might be slower (as that system seems to involve looking through many charts and doing calculations that can take time if you are not used to it) but Aimpoint Express is quite fast, since the golfer just measures slope at the midpoint and does some other brief greens reading.

It's not slower. I could get an accurate read in 10-15 seconds, tops. I'd often do this while people were walking onto the green and fixing ball marks, etc.


I bolded the part above because the rest is more side-topic type stuff. The bold is related to the topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to TST! Signing up is free, and you'll see fewer ads and can talk with fellow golf enthusiasts! By using TST, you agree to our Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy, and our Guidelines.

The popup will be closed in 10 seconds...