Topgolfgears Morning 9: USGA yardage book crackdown | Korda’s bold call out | Heartbreaking news for Jarrod Lyle

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1. USGA cracking down on yardage books
More than a year after announcing their concerns, the USGA and R&A are proposing regulations on green-reading materials/yardage books.
The governing bodies emphasized “the need for a player to read greens based on their own judgement” in a press release.


The regulations will be finalized in a published “interpretation” of Rule 4.3 (Use of Equipment) and adopted Jan. 1, 2019, following a six-week feedback period.
  • Here are the key elements, per the USGA release.
  • Minimum Slope Indication Limit: A minimum slope indication limit of 4 percent (2.29 degrees) is proposed.
  • Maximum Scale Limit: A maximum scale of 3/8 inch to 5 yards (1:480) is proposed; this will limit the size in print form to a pocket-sized publication.
  • Indicative Information: General information that is included in traditional yardage books or course guides, such as basic illustrations that show the outline of the putting green and include indicative information like the tops of ridges or general slopes, will continue to be permitted.
  • Handwritten Notes: Handwritten notes will continue to be allowed, but such notes cannot be used to create either a direct copy or a facsimile (replica) of a detailed green map.


2….and the expected responses trickle in


Like this one from Jim Stracka, president of (strongly vested interest!) StrackaLine…
  • “I don’t understand why they are doing it,” said Stracka, who is president of StrackaLine, the company that for 10 years has been producing green-reading guides for PGA Tour golfers, more than 300 Division I college golf teams and more.”
  • “Stracka said he first heard discussion of this decision weeks before the British Open. He also had conversations with USGA executive director Mike Davis in the past in which he asked Davis to consider the statistics and seek out Mark Broadie for help.”
  • “Putting stats haven’t changed in 25 years,” Stracka told Golfweek via phone on Tuesday. “PGA Tour pros are still making about 50 percent of their putts from inside of 8 feet. … There is no exactness in putting” (via Golfweek).
  • “Stracka argues that his service is more of a time-saver for golfers who have the ability to chart and map out greens on their own. Plus, he believes that banning the guides could give golfers who use local caddies, particularly those not on major tours, an advantage in tournaments.”

3. Extremely sad stuff: Jarrod Lyle to palliative care

ABC Australia report…”Australian golfer Jarrod Lyle will spend his final days surrounded by loved ones after making the decision to go into palliative care.”
  • “The 36-year-old has been undergoing his third stint of cancer treatment after a recurrence of acute myeloid leukaemia last year.”
  • “Briony has been posting about her husband’s deteriorating health during recent months, but her most recent update to his followers on Facebook and Instagram confirmed the bad news.”
  • “We’ll be taking him closer to home in the next couple of days so he can finally leave the hospital…We have done our best to ‘control’ the narrative surrounding Jarrod’s illness and treatment, and as more and more people become involved in this final process I’m not sure how much longer this development will remain private.
  • “Jarrod knows he is loved, and the thousands of prayers and well wishes that have been sent his way have kept him going through some incredibly tough times…But he has reached his limit, and the docs have finally agreed that they can no longer strive for a positive outcome.”
Reactions from the golf world
Sympathy and sadness abound. Here are a few of the many tweets.
  • Luke Donald...Life is precious and we all take it for granted too often – seeing the picture of @jarrodlylepga hugging his family with not long to live brought tears to my eyes. Peace be with you, you will be missed Jarrod x
  • Billy Horschel.…Sad news today about @jarrodlylepga. He fought an unbelievable fight for so long. Awful that it ends this way. He was a blast to hang around, could make you laugh & put a smile on your face. Horschel family sends all their love & support to his wife Bri, daughters Lusi and Jemma
  • Colt Knost...”What I would give to have one more round of golf with this amazing man jarrod.lyle! So proud of you for the amazing fight you have put up! I’ll never forget all the laughs and good times”
4.  Korda calls for better developmental program for American women’s golf


Good on Jessica Korda for pointing out the obvious and calling for a solution (quotes per Golfweek).
  • “Asians currently occupy seven of the top 10 spots in the Rolex Rankings. Korda, ranked ninth in the world, is one of just two Americans in the top 10. No. 5 Lexi Thompson is the other.”
  • “They have a better development program for juniors,” Korda said. “They have a national team. They travel to different countries. One of the things that the U.S. doesn’t have is a national team, somebody to help the girls and boys kind of grow.
  • “There’s no like camps. Basically, kids play AJGAs in America to try and get into college. In Korea, I know that they have to play two years on the Korean LPGA before they even come to the States. So they’ve already been a pro before they come to our tour. So as you call them rookies, they’ve won, you know, like 10 times professionally.”
GolfWRX Morning 9: USGA yardage book crackdown | Korda’s bold call out | Heartbreaking news for Jarrod Lyle
5. In case you were wondering….


How much of the U.S. is used for golf? “The amount of land being used for golf courses is about 2 million acres. That is larger in size than the state of Delaware, but smaller than Connecticut. The USDA says the “miscellaneous” land used for items such as golf courses, cemeteries, marshes and deserts contains “low economic value.””


“More than 50 times that amount – about 108.3 million acres – is set aside for parks and wilderness areas – such as National Parks, National Seashores and wilderness preserves. On those sites, most commercial activities are prohibited.


“Forests and timberland, meanwhile, cover about 25 percent of the contiguous U.S.”


See the rest of the .


6. Playoff Tiger

Woods has signed up to play in the first two events of the FedEx Cup playoffs – the Northern Trust and the Dell Technologies Championship – the PGA Tour announced Tuesday. This will be Woods’ first appearance in a FedEx Cup playoff event since 2013.

  • The Northern Trust will be held from Aug. 23-26 at the The Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey. The Dell is scheduled for Aug. 31-Sept. 3 at TPC Boston in Norton, Mass.
7. PGA Tour Live


Geoff Shackelford on the PGA Tour Live absorption into NBC.
  • “After testing out PGA Tour Live with ESPN’s new streaming service, the pre-Golf Channel telecasts will move to NBC Sports Gold in 2019 and feature more viewer-friendly synergy between Golf Channel and PGA Tour Live telecasts.  Obviously, as a Golf Channel contributor, I’m thrilled to see the move as it strengthens the Tour-GC relationship, but as a fan, the sense of a competitive vibe where the PGA Tour was not in lockstep with its cable partner did little to serve fans.”
  • “Judging by the “passes” offered at NBC Sports Gold, expect a golf pass that becomes a future option for cord cutters.”
8. No Tigerian wisdom for you!


Here’s a funny bit. Jason Day, as we know, has been the beneficiary of Tiger Woods’ wisdom in the past. However, just like Justin Thomas experienced earlier this year, coach Tiger is leaving his pupil high and dry.
  • “Now since we’re playing against each other, we don’t really talk to each other about (golf),” Day said. “It’s more support than anything now, like ‘Good playing,’ or if I’m pissed off he’ll text me. And he knows when I’m pissed off. If I play bad he’ll text me and give me a little pick me up, which is nice. But it’s nothing like the old, ‘this is what you need to do,’ the advice when it comes to playing golf.”
9. Latest PGA Champ odds

As you’re mulling over your wagers one week out…

Odds @ The Westgate
10/1: Dustin Johnson
12/1: Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy
16/1: Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler
18/1: Justin Rose
20/1: Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm
25/1: Tommy Fleetwood, Francesco Molinari, Jason Day
30/1: Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama
40/1: Henrik Stenson, Alex Noren, Paul Casey
50/1: Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia, Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele, Matt Kuchar


GolfWRX Morning 9: USGA yardage book crackdown | Korda’s bold call out | Heartbreaking news for Jarrod Lyle

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