USGA, R&A finalize limits on green-reading materials
The review period is over the USGA and R&A’s new interpretation of Rule 4.3 as it pertains to green-reading materials is finalized.
Starting Jan. 1, 2019, the governing bodies have agreed to limit the size and scale of putting green maps. However, one of the most contentious elements of the original proposal, which would have allowed only depictions of slope greater than four percent, isn’t included in the final decision.
“These latest modifications provide very practical changes that make the interpretation easier to understand and apply in the field,” said Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior managing director of governance. “We’re thankful for everyone’s willingness to provide feedback as we worked through the process of identifying a clear interpretation that protects the essential skill of reading a green, while still allowing for information that helps golfers enjoy the game.”
Per the official USGA release, yardage books may not include
- Any image of a putting green must be limited to a scale of 3/8 inch to 5 yards (1:480) or smaller (the “scale limit”).
- Any book or other paper containing a map or image of a putting green must not be larger than 4 ¼ inches x 7 inches (the “size limit”), although a “hole location sheet” that displays nine or more holes on a single sheet of paper may be larger, provided that any image of a single putting green meets the scale limit.
- No magnification of putting-green information is allowed other than a player’s normal wearing of prescription glasses or lenses.
- Hand-drawn or written information about a putting green is only allowed if contained in a book or paper meeting the size limit and written by the player and/or his or her caddie.
- The final interpretation also clearly defines that any use of electronic or digital putting-green maps must comply with the same limits.
The release also indicates the USGA and R&A will continue evaluating the use of green-reading materials.