R&A, USGA look at banning green reading books

Putting is an integral part of the game of golf…and that could be a problem the Royal and Ancient as well as the USGA will be looking to ‘protect’ in coming months.

That’s because the powers that be are worried about the use of equipment and devices to help the world’s best players to read the greens when they do get ready to putt.

Adam Scott Adam Scott (Credit: PGA Australia)

In a statement released last week the R&A pointed out that golf was a challenging game largely based on a principle that success should depend on the judgement, skills and abilities of the player.

And if that does come into jeopardy, well, they will look at some rules adjustments to protect that.

Green-reading materials will definitely be put under the microscope in the weeks ahead as those that run the game assess whether any actions need to be taken to protect this important part of the game.

Certainly green-reading books are becoming more common on the world’s major golf tours.

When players were quizzed as to their opinions on green-reading most were in favour of any rule that would outlaw their use.

Former Masters champion, Australia’s Adam Scott was among them:

“I think probably we should ban the book,” said Scott.

“If they feel that reading the green needs to be more of an art and it’s an advantage to a player who’s a creative, great green reader, then I wouldn’t have a problem with that.”

Former US Open champion Lucas Glover suggested outlawing green-reading books would not speed up play all that much.

“I don’t know that pace is the issue with those things,” said Glover said. “It’s more the powers that be seeing it as a possibility of losing the art of the game,” he said.

“It’s just like judging the wind or reading a lie, there’s got to be an art to it. Science has already taken over enough.”

Glover did comment that the use of distance measuring devices was a similar problem and probably shouldn’t be allowed during tournament rounds either.