New rule would limit information players can use on greens
November 02, 2021
By Staff , PGATOUR.COM
- November 02, 2021
- (Ben Jared/Getty Images)
The PGA TOUR’s Player Advisory Council has expressed its support for a new rule that could dramatically impact how players and caddies read greens.
Gone will be the highly-detailed books that use technology to reveal the secrets behind the smallest slope on a putting surface. Instead, players and caddies will be required to use approved yardage books that only provide general information about a green’s contours. A player or caddie can add additional notes to his or her yardage book, but those notes will be limited to information garnered from first-hand observations and experiences.
Players were informed of the Local Rule in a memo sent Monday by the PGA TOUR. Based on the direction of the PAC, the Local Rule and new Tournament Regulation will be presented to the PGA TOUR Policy Board at its Nov. 8 meeting, for Jan. 1, 2022 implementation.
“The purpose of this Local Rule is to return to a position where players and caddies use only their skill, judgment and feel along with any information gained through experience, preparation, and practice to read the line of play on the putting green,” the memo read.
Beginning in the new year, players and caddies will not be allowed to use yardage books from 2021 and prior. The TOUR will work with yardage book providers to develop the parameters of the new, approved books, which will be marked “Committee Approved Book” on the cover.
Players and caddies can continue to take handwritten notes that could aid with green-reading. Those notes can only be based on first-hand observations or experiences, including viewing of television broadcasts, however. Notes from old yardage book that meet these parameters may also be transferred into the new yardage books.
No devices, levels or other technology may be used to gather notes about a green’s contours. No information may be copied from another source into the approved book, either. This eliminates players copying the notes from the old greens-reading books into the new book.
In addition to this new Local Rule, a Tournament Regulation will be amended to extend the prohibition on using any device to test the conditions of the putting greens to include all practice greens, and during all official practice rounds and Pro-Ams.