Morikawa: Ban On Green-Reading Books Will Have "Huge" Impact

“Some guys might have great feel that they didn't know they had"

Morikawa: Ban On Green-Reading Books Will Have "Huge" Impact
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Collin Morikawa thinks the PGA Tour's decision to ban the the controversial and highly detailed green-reading books will have a "huge" impact.

The new Local Rule came into effect on January 1, with the World No. 2 addressing the matter ahead of his first start of the year at the Sentry Tournament of Champions

He said: “I mean, it's huge [the change]. Obviously we can't use any of our old yardage books, so -- and it was at this point now where I've seen every course, but now I like to take notes, I like to put big arrows, just so I can see it a little easier in my eyes.

“But for me, the green reading books, I used them a lot for my approach shots to know where pins are at, to know what kind of slopes are five yards versus 10 yards away, can I use this.

“So it's going to be an adjustment, because pretty much throughout college even we were using them. Our college teams had them, we were using them and I probably used it more for approach shots than I did for putting, but it's still going to be an adjustment to remember. So maybe that's on my caddie to remember all the slopes before we go.”

Back in June last year, the Tour’s Player Advisory Council, which consists of 16 people, voted overwhelmingly in favour of a ban, with the official decision communicated to PGA Tour members via a memo sent at the beginning of November.

Its purpose is to bring back the feel-based approach of yesteryear and allow those skilled in the art of green reading to be able to make the most of their advantage. As such, included in the new 2022 "Committee Approved" yardage books will be only general information regarding slopes and other features, while any additional notes made by player or caddie must be derived from their own experiences or observations of a ball rolling on a green. 

Asked whether he thinks anyone in particular will benefit, Morikawa added: “Possibly. I think that's an unknown right now. I mean we all say we use it, or a lot of guys use it, but to what extent, we don't know. Are guys maybe going to realise they're better green readers than they were before because we were relying on something that was given to us rather than sometimes really feeling it out. 

“Some guys might have great feel that they didn't know they had. So it can go both ways. I really don't know how it's going to go. This is the first tournament without them, so I think I'm going to be fine. Just knowing how I used them in the past, I trust my caddie with everything we do anyway, so I'm not too worried but I'm sure a lot of other guys that really rely on it, they, you've got to find another way, right?”

Morikawa begins his 2022 season with another chance to replace Jon Rahm atop the world rankings. The 24-year-old blew a five-shot lead in the final round of December's Hero World Challenge but has the chance to make amends as he joins 37 of the game's best to take on the Kapalua Plantation course in Hawaii for the Sentry Tournament of Champions.