New rules to ‘severely restrict’ Green Books in 2019
Just when you thought the R&A were making golf simpler (and easier)…
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.