New rules to ‘se­verely re­strict’ Green Books in 2019

Just when you thought the R&A were mak­ing golf sim­pler (and eas­ier)…

Today's Golfer (UK) - - FIRST TEE -

Golf pros, look away now. Green Books are near­ing the same fate as an­chored put­ters, al­beit they’re not be­ing phased out just yet. In a bid to ap­pease play­ers like Char­lie Hoff­man, who’ve built up “13 years of in­for­ma­tion”, the con­tent and size of green read­ing ma­te­ri­als will be scaled back as part of a new in­ter­pre­ta­tion of Rule 4.3 (Use of Equip­ment). This also in­cludes ban­ning com­passes (sorry, Bryson) and will be adopted on Jan­uary 1, 2019 when the new rules come into ef­fect. The R&A and USGA want play­ers to read greens “based on their own judge­ment, skill and abil­ity” – imag­ine that! – and this is how they plan to do it…

1 A min­i­mum slope in­di­ca­tion limit of four per cent (2.29 de­grees). This equates roughly with the amount of slope that is read­ily vis­i­ble to the naked eye and will elim­i­nate the use of lines, ar­rows and/or num­bers which are used to in­di­cate gra­di­ents and in­clines on ar­eas of the putting green where the hole is most likely to be po­si­tioned. These tend to be cut on rea­son­ably flat sec­tions, with a de­gree of slope of less than 3.5 per cent (two de­grees).

2 Max­i­mum scale of 3/8 inch to five yards (1:480). This will re­strict the space for hand­writ­ten notes and keep the pub­li­ca­tion pocket-sized. You wouldn’t want to carry around War and Peace now, would you?

3 Ba­sic il­lus­tra­tions in­cluded in tra­di­tional yardage books or course guides will re­main per­mit­ted. These in­clude an out­line of the putting green and tops of ridges or gen­eral slopes.

4 Hand­writ­ten notes will be al­lowed, but they can­not be used to cre­ate ei­ther a di­rect copy or a replica of a green map.

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