It has become one of the most familiar sights on the PGA Tour – a player, and often his caddie, with his head buried in a greens book, studying the little arrows that detail slope and can tell a player what their eyes and feet may not.
Yardage books have been around since Jack Nicklaus made use of them in the 1960s but the preponderance of greens books has blossomed in recent years. They are allowed under the Rules of Golf, which modified the size and scale of the books in 2019, but many feel the books diminish one of the game’s innate skills – the ability to read a green.
Equally concerning is the amount of time players spend poring over the books, not just when they are on the putting surface but when they are hitting approach shots. Greens books are used like addendums to yardage books and pace of play suffers.
Is it likely to change?
The USGA and R&A did not ban the books when they reworked the rules two years ago so there’s little reason to think they will be outlawed soon.
“I don’t think it’s talked a...
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