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Green books have too much detail?

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Over the past 10 years, this has been a question frequently asked. In today’s game, golfers competing on the major tours throughout the world are being given detailed yardage books for each tournament they play in. These books feature yardages throughout most points on the course, hole layouts, but most importantly, green maps. Green maps show players the size of greens, potential pin locations, and extremely detailed slopes of the putting surface — think of them as very precise topographical maps. But, should the best players in the world really be given all these details? (Certainly, the USGA no longer thinks so).

Golfers must be more than just someone who can swing a club. They must be mentally tough, physically fit, and be able to visualize shots. A golfer must use all these factors to post a solid score. Green reading is the most important skills involved in the game, and visualizing shots. Giving a professional golfer, who is the best in the world, a green map, takes a lot putting stress off their back. Because a pro can see the movement of each putt on a golf course with their detailed green map, no longer do they deal with misreads, like us amateurs. If a golfer is on tour competing for millions of dollars week in and week out, shouldn’t they be able to read all putts without any help from their yardage book? It is something amateur players deal with every time they play.

In the example below, you can see the hundreds of arrows within the green showing the player every way a putt or chip could break no matter where they are hitting the shot from. The closer the horizontal lines at the bottom of the green indicate a false front. As these lines get further apart, it represents a less steep slope. Every professional that uses a green map like the one below, knows each break of a putt, making putting significantly easier. Wouldn’t it be nice to have this much detail as amateurs?

On the other hand, professionals are indeed playing for millions of dollars. Every drive, iron shot, and putt mean so much. One false read without a green map could cost the player thousands. On tour, greens and putts are much tougher, so some could consider it fair that professional golfers get green maps in their yardage books.

In 2019, the USGA and RNA have put restrictions on these green maps. They have limited the amount of detail a player gets. In the green below, we notice that there are not as many arrows or lines showing every break on the green. It will be interesting to see if the conflict of players getting green maps continue after they have been restricted so much for 2019. In the photograph below, you can still see the major slopes of the green, but not even close to the amount of detail you see in the first example. Could this be an even medium to solve the amount of information PGA Tour players are given about greens?

Professional golfers getting greens maps is a topic that is questioned throughout the golfing community often. Both sides of the arguments have pros and cons.

Do you believe professional golfers are getting too much information about greens, or do you believe golfers are given the right amount of information?  

 

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Todd is an assistant golf professional in Knoxville, Tennessee. As an ex-division 1 golfer at Tennessee State University, he uses his skills and knowledge to grow the game through giving lessons and his writing. He is the sole owner of The Daily Golfer, a website that covers news, instruction, and product reviews for everything in the world of golf.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Walt Pendleton

    Jun 29, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    Golfers like to talk in absolutes as if we could look at some topography map and read a putt. That my friend is absolute insanity. Change one variable such as ball speed and the map is nothing more than a symbolic rendering of the greens’s drainage properties. However, if it’s precision you want, your best beat is using a USGA approved putter that doubles as a civil engineering tool to read greens. Otherwise, you’re putting on a billiard table designed by a landscape architect who’s been paid millions of dollars to build optical illusions into the surfaces your putting greens. That’s why you need to understand the USGA approved EGOS putter and it’s green reading methodology or you will stay in the land of optical illusion. The fact of the matter is, “the choice is yours!”

  2. Jon

    Jun 28, 2019 at 8:53 am

    Get rid of the books and let them use GolfLogix or some similar facsimile, along with a laser and be done with it. Plus put them on the clock and ENFORCE the time penalties.

  3. andrew

    Jun 28, 2019 at 8:30 am

    So will the green book reveal the aimline is 4-cups out? No way! You are lucky if see a straight-in putt, then consult the green book and change your read. Even then, confidence is miniscule.

    Only one way to get that perfect greenread EVERY single putt, and it is not the voodoo of foot-feeling. P&SI-EGOS

  4. Jlw Ctn

    Jun 28, 2019 at 12:11 am

    Why is the USGA penalizing the person who willingly puts the legwork in and TAKES NOTES?

    Limitations on sizes of Notebooks?

    Limitations on sizes of Artwork?

    Limitations on Detail of Artwork?

    Is it all supposed to be on Microfilm now so that they are out there with Jewler’s loupes and Magnifying visors?

    Is it a big game of Spy Vs Spy?

    Or is it just a simple matter of who sucks… up… the Best to acquire insider information and get their “illegal” artwork and notebooks passed…

    Absurd

  5. Ashley Bennett

    Jun 27, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    It’s R&A, not RNA ????

  6. T

    Jun 27, 2019 at 3:12 pm

    Yup too much

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