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USGA, R&A Limit Green Reading Materials


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1 minute ago, boogielicious said:

I understand that. I'm not sure I like the idea of commercially produced yardage books. I've never seen one available for my courses.

I bet I have 40 or 50 yardage books I've accumulated over the years.  That's the one thing I collect when I play someplace new or special.

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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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3 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

I bet I have 40 or 50 yardage books I've accumulated over the years.  That's the one thing I collect when I play someplace new or special.

I'm talking about green maps. Yardage books I have. But other than a line where a ridge may be, the greens are basically just shapes.

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3 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

I'm talking about green maps. Yardage books I have. But other than a line where a ridge may be, the greens are basically just shapes.

Sorry, I misunderstood.  Like you, I've never run across a green map like that shown in the original post.  

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I wonder what the strokes gained impact is from using these books?  i.e. how big a deal are they making to scores.   I could believe they make pros putt better but equally if these guys are so good anyway does it really make a significant difference?  Did the R&A come out and say exactly how big a benefit these things give?  Seems like if you are going to ban something then it should be because of a measurable reason, rather than just 'it doesn't seem fair'.

I think you could make a pretty good stab at measuring the effect - get a group of pros to go round a course hitting putts with and without the yardage books and add up the results.  You could probably get a significant enough sample size in a week or so and then you would be able to put a number on whether it is a big deal or not.

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20 minutes ago, ZappyAd said:

I wonder what the strokes gained impact is from using these books?  i.e. how big a deal are they making to scores.   I could believe they make pros putt better but equally if these guys are so good anyway does it really make a significant difference?  Did the R&A come out and say exactly how big a benefit these things give?  Seems like if you are going to ban something then it should be because of a measurable reason, rather than just 'it doesn't seem fair'.

I think you could make a pretty good stab at measuring the effect - get a group of pros to go round a course hitting putts with and without the yardage books and add up the results.  You could probably get a significant enough sample size in a week or so and then you would be able to put a number on whether it is a big deal or not.

The situations I see having a really accurate green book come through are ones where you look behind the ball on that 5ft putt and think it goes dead straight but you're not 100% sure.  Whip out the book and all of a sudden you see it is mostly straight but if anything it will move one direction or the other.  Favor that side of the hole and the chances increase.  We always hear the announcers talking about how if anything a putt falls towards water or whatever, with these books, there is no second guessing.  You know which way it'll move if it does.

I'm definitely not set on my feelings of this issue.  Greens are not perfect.  The topography may say go this way, but the grass or a random bump you didn't see moves it away.  I think these green books helps confidence that your read is right, but you still have to hit the putt and hope it moves like you read.

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4 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

Again, by this reasoning, commercially produced yardage books would be against the rules, even though they've been accepted for decades, and are specifically permitted by a decision.

I think that they'd have to put some limits on how the information provided is obtained.  I don't really care who makes the book.  My concern is that the book contains detailed information which the player could not have gotten without using sophisticated equipment, equipment which in equity should be disallowed.  Such data should be prohibited from use during a stipulated round, even if transferred to a paper medium.  In my opinion, this goes against the principle of reliance on the player's own skills and observations to make a stroke.

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1 hour ago, phillyk said:

The situations I see having a really accurate green book come through are ones where you look behind the ball on that 5ft putt and think it goes dead straight but you're not 100% sure.  Whip out the book and all of a sudden you see it is mostly straight but if anything it will move one direction or the other.  Favor that side of the hole and the chances increase.  

 

Yes I agree with this.  But I wonder how many putts like that a pro actually has?  Since I've started using my feet to feel the slope even I have less and less of these.  I imagine the pros are way better and more practiced at reading plus they have a caddy to help.  So I wonder if this is a small percentage improvement on a small number of putts which equals only a very very small effect on their putting numbers.  

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17 hours ago, iacas said:

Sorry, gonna cut you off there briefly… this kind of statement makes no sense. I love to argue, discuss, and debate… and nobody who argues without resorting to name-calling or other incredibly obnoxious behavior is not punished in the slightest. Never has been.

 

 

I don't know what "people" you're talking about, since we're all speculating on how the USGA/R&A could possibly enforce this rule.

 

My first comment was more tongue in cheek. Should have added an emoji.

"People" I guess are the posters who disagree with my point. I was simply trying to draw a distinction as to where the line would be. Caddies have been stepping off yardages and drawing diagrams and slopes of greens for generations. Now that it has evolved to the current situation "people" now seem to take issue. Harder line for me to draw than others.

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Another thought as i was reading the posts.

There is no way to control the publication of the same information. So any ban will eventually tell how well the player or caddy can memorize the chart or worse how they hide the same information within the allowed materials.

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15 minutes ago, ev780 said:

My first comment was more tongue in cheek. Should have added an emoji.

"People" I guess are the posters who disagree with my point. I was simply trying to draw a distinction as to where the line would be. Caddies have been stepping off yardages and drawing diagrams and slopes of greens for generations. Now that it has evolved to the current situation "people" now seem to take issue. Harder line for me to draw than others.

Read more  

I agree the line is fuzzy. But caddies aren't using sophisticated surveying equipment and laser mapping in the practice rounds. The makers of those books are. It's getting almost like Rodney Dangerfield's putter in Caddyshack. "Place your bets!" :-P

Distances are a different story. Courses have mapped those for decades and even provide markers on sprinkler heads, etc. Stepping off is just because of the frequency of the marker.

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I still see absolutely nothing in the press release that outlaws the materials themselves.  It appears to only outlaw their use during the round.

Print, read, research, craft, publish all the materials you want.  Just don't break them out while actually golfing.

2 minutes ago, ev780 said:

So any ban will eventually tell how well the player or caddy can memorize the chart or worse how they hide the same information within the allowed materials.

Some places call that studying and learning.  I agree about "hiding the information".  But I cannot see how that information could be hidden in such a way that it could be accessed easily and quickly enough to not be noticed.

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16 minutes ago, MRR said:

 

But I cannot see how that information could be hidden in such a way that it could be accessed easily and quickly enough to not be noticed.

Easy. Assuming a pin sheet or notes in a yardage book are still allowed. You could color code a hand drawing.  Add a compass rose and some dots or shading that hides the info in plain sight. Even a series of numbers on the pin sheet that contains all of the same info to help recall what was studied. If i spent any time at all thonking mpre about this it would be very easy to transcribe the green sheet into something that is allowed by the rules.

I am just trying ti illustrate how unenforceable all this would be. 

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12 minutes ago, ev780 said:

Easy. Assuming a pin sheet or notes in a yardage book are still allowed. You could color code a hand drawing.  Add a compass rose and some dots or shading that hides the info in plain sight. Even a series of numbers on the pin sheet that contains all of the same info to help recall what was studied. If i spent any time at all thonking mpre about this it would be very easy to transcribe the green sheet into something that is allowed by the rules.

I am just trying ti illustrate how unenforceable all this would be. 

I didn't say it couldn't be hidden.  However, I WILL say that.  Enforcement is just as easy as an official taking a quick look through the books.  Notes like that are rather obvious.

My point is that it wouldn't be easy to hide such a thing (EDIT: and still be able to QUICKLY and QUIETLY use it) in a tournament.  People already spend quite a while looking at the sheets when they are large and as easy to read as possible.  Trying to translate a code while the cameras are on you will be picked up very easily.  And I'm pretty sure such a violation will be more than a two- or four-stroke penalty.  That's a DQ, fine, ban sort of cheat.

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5 hours ago, boogielicious said:

I understand that. I'm not sure I like the idea of commercially produced yardage books. I've never seen one available for my courses.

There are a few courses around here that have commercially produced yardage books.   The ones I've seen aren't real detailed though.  

This is an example of what I'm referencing from my home course.

20170505_173653-1.jpg

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40 minutes ago, dennyjones said:

There are a few courses around here that have commercially produced yardage books.   The ones I've seen aren't real detailed though.  

This is an example of what I'm referencing from my home course.

I've seen some pretty detailed books, but the best ones I ever saw were by Gorjus George, produced for the tour players.  I got one of Congressional when they had the Senior US Open there in 1997.  This link shows an excerpt from one:

http://www.caddybytes.com/new_page_93.htm

 

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Some food for thought from Golfchannel.com:

Quote
Reed not playing by the green-reading book
By
May 6, 2017, 6:51 pm
     
     

In 14 events he has just a single top-10 finish, back in January at the limited-field SBS Tournament of Champions, and before last week’s team event in New Orleans, he’d missed three consecutive cuts.

But two weeks ago at the Valero Texas Open something clicked and last week paired with Patrick Cantlay at the Zurich Classic, he tied for 14th place.

That trend has continued this week at the Wells Fargo Championship, and on Saturday he pulled away from the field with a third-round 67 for a one-stroke lead heading into the final round.

Reed said part of the turnaround was an equipment change (new golf ball), and the other part is his approach on the greens.

“I used to read the putts and also [caddie Kessler Karain], and I used to use a green-reading book,” Reed said. “I just felt like there's too many eyes and too much thought process going into putts on trying to figure out the read.”

Reed, who is sixth in the field at Eagle Point Golf Club in strokes gained putting, said he want back to the way he used to read putts in college with more instinct.

“I've done that pretty well all week,” he said. “I have my green-reading book with me just to kind of confirm, not really to go off of it, just to make sure I'm seeing what the book is saying and just kind of going from there.”

That last emphasized quote, which I bolded, is probably how one should be using the book in the first place, and how it would likely speed up play and make one more decisive on the greens. Dragging it out and burying their heads in it like I'm sure so many tour pros do is the wrong way to use it, and I eluded to that in an earlier comment about standing on the shoulders of geniuses.

I guess Malcolm was right though. Life, uh... finds a way....

life-finds-a-way-jurassic-park.jpg

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Yardage books and green reading material are the same thing.

I've played with players who have amazing sense of distance and are able to call distances to within a few meters. It's just as much of a skill as green reading. 

It all comes down to opinions and preferences on how the game "should" be.

 

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1 hour ago, Alx said:

Yardage books and green reading material are the same thing.

Under the current rules, they are not. And the discussion they're having is not about yardage books.

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  • iacas changed the title to USGA, R&A Limit Green Reading Materials

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