There has been a lot of dialogue recently regarding the fancy new yardage books that many tour players carry that have computer generated green slopes in them. These greens reading books have become very popular with tour players who think that they give them a competitive advantage in reading greens and take the “art” out of greens reading.
Back when we played we were not lucky enough to have these computer generated books and so during practice rounds we would mark our yardage books with slopes and fall offs so we could figure out how putts would break. If we were lucky enough to have pin position marked we would practice putts and mark them in our yardage books so we were as prepared as we could be for our tournament rounds.
These new books have the overview of the greens on them and have slope lines indicating how putts will break along the way to the hole. They also have the degree at what the slope is to show how much it will break. When a player gets on the green they will pull out this second book to give them a leg up and it makes reading the putt easier.
The USGA and R&A feel that this is making it too long to read putts and making rounds longer and making green reading more technical not a case of crouching behind the ball and find the line and figuring out the speed with the line.
The biggest challenge that the USGA is going to face with banning these books is that the players will have access to them so they can just add the same markings to their own yardage books. By banning them all they are going to do is make what is in your back pocket smaller and maybe you wont get a second yardage book cover.
Dads Say So some of the rounds of golf on the PGA Tour take forever. Last week they handed out the first slow play penalty in 22 years, and the tour should get a slow play penalty for taking so long to hand one of these out. The USGA and R&A lately have been very reactionary in making rules changes to what “people” are saying. Getting rid of the greens reading books isn’t the answer because players will find a way around it. Maybe they need to take a long hard look at the future of the game and figure out where they need to make changes going forward not just react when people get upset about how things are handled because they have made a great game too difficult to understand for most!