Another day, another proposed USGA and R&A rules change. Less than a week after they implemented urgent new video rules, golf’s governing bodies were at it again Monday when they released a statement addressing the growing trend of “green-reading materials.”
“The R&A and the USGA believe that a player’s ability to read greens is an essential part of the skill of putting,” the USGA said in a statement. “We are concerned about the rapid development of increasingly detailed materials that players are using to help with reading greens during a round. We are reviewing the use of these materials to assess whether any actions need to be taken to protect this important part of the game. We expect to address this matter further in the coming months.”
Rule 14-3 limits the use of equipment and devices that might assist a player during a competitive round. These green-reading materials are becoming increasingly more popular and significantly more detailed. Essentially, they tend to take the skill out of reading greens.
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) May 1, 2017
“We absolutely think green reading is a skill that should be part of the game,” USGA Executive Director Mike Davis said, according to a Golfweek report.
“The notion that you can just look at a book and say, two-and-a-half degrees, slope is here, greens are at X on the Stimpmeter, I need to aim it two inches left of the hole, and the player doesn’t even have to look, that’s troubling.”
However, some would argue this potential rules revision has to do more with pace of play, rather than skill. Ian Poulter tweeted this out back in March during the first round of the proposed rules modernization changes. Apparently, his point was heard.
— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) March 1, 2017
Stay tuned for further rules updates!
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