The PGA Tour is poised to reduce the amount of information available to players and caddies with a proposed rule that would only allow the use of “committee approved” yardage books, including as it relates to green-reading materials.
In a memo sent to players on Monday that was obtained by GolfChannel.com, the new books would include only “general information on slopes and other features” instead of the more detailed books that are currently being used.
Under the proposed rule, which still needs to be approved by the policy board at its next meeting (Nov. 8), handwritten notes will be allowed to assist in the reading of greens but that information will be limited to what a player and caddie observe both on the course and during the telecast of the tournament.
“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.
The new rule, which is scheduled to be implemented on Jan. 1, would not allow the use of any yardage or green-reading book that was created before 2022 and would also prohibit the use of levels and “any device to test the conditions of the putting green.”
The goal is that the new rule, which is being developed in collaboration with the USGA and R&A, will help speed up play, but one veteran caddie warned that with less information players may end up spending more time “walking around the hole.”