Noting last week’s crazy events, new rules critical to green reading materials and the use of them in professional golf, do not appear to be enforced.
You may have noticed how much players were peeking at their books before putts while playing the still-new greens at Torrey Pines North. During Waste Management Phoenix Open play, players were regularly seen consulting the books before putting, like it was 2018.
Players and caddies consulted say it’s simple: The modifications made after the USGA and R&A’s six-week feedback period deadened the initial effort to force players to use their own judgment.
“I think they’re just as effective,” said Adam Scott. “I’ve never used the color chart, but now it’s in the book that they sell. Now I’ve got everything in one place. It’s ridiculous how simple it is to understand, what is a serious break and what is not. And they’re incredibly accurate, I have to say.”
The governing bodies focused their attention on limiting the scale of depictions and paperwork players were consulting. Magnification of putting-green information was also limited as was some hand-written information. But the more detailed data players lean on to help with reading putts appears to be just as readily available.
“I think the rule has not done anything to change their impact,” Scott said.
So, if nothing else, the players declaring war on the USGA and R&A can at least thank them for backing down on what was an attempted ban on green reading books.
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