Say Goodbye to Green-reading Books
USGA, R&A have agreed to severely restrict green-reading books | by Geoff Shackelford for GolfWeek.com
Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, the move will effectively render the books impractical to players who have increasingly leaned on them for reading putts. Three golf industry rules experts confirmed the plan to Golfweek. The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the move.
I understand the arguments against these books. Pushing back against players being able to buy detailed maps of the greens on a weekly basis without having to do their own homework makes a degree of sense.
Mr. Shackelford brings up an important point at the end of his piece:
The action regarding the books also gives the USGA and R&A an opportunity to make a joint effort at protecting skill without impacting everyday amateur golf while they also examine the role of technology in driving distance increases.
This could easily be just the first shot at stripping as much technology away from the game as possible. How they balance that desire with the casual golfer will be very complicated from here. Very few of us were going out and buying detailed putting notebooks. Most of us love our premium golf balls, drivers, game-improvement irons and digital gadgets. Good luck getting those back without a fight.