The golfing world has seen a number of rules changes in the past week or so, with the main talking point being the restrictions on green reading books (opens in new tab).
As of January 1, 2022, players and caddies in PGA Tour events will have restricted usage of their green and yardage books. They will be allowed to include handwritten notes about greens and slopes, but must do so using only information gained from their own eyes, and not with the aid of levels or other slope-reading technology.
In the released statement from the PGA Tour, it also noted that "In addition to this new Local Rule, a Tournament Regulation will be amended to extend the prohibition on using any device to test the conditions of the putting greens to include all practice greens, and during all official practice rounds and Pro-Ams."
Essentially, players will not be allowed to use devices to help them read the greens. This statement obviously caused a stir with players, and coaches, with a number voicing their opinions on Social Media.
One of the main critics was putting guru, Phil Kenyon, who wrote out a lengthy Instagram statement which you can see below.
In the statement, Kenyon, who has worked with the likes of Rory McIlroy (opens in new tab), Brooks Koepka (opens in new tab) and Justin Rose (opens in new tab), branded the ruling "ridiculous" and "stupid."
He even went on to say, "Sadly once again the governing bodies haven’t thought it through well enough in my opinion. Let’s pick on putting. Let’s avoid the real issues. How far the ball goes and slow play."
It wasn't just Kenyon who had this view, with Bryson DeChambeau commenting "Couldn't agree more with your take," and 2015 BMW PGA Championship winner, Byeong-hun An, saying "I like how they banned greenbooks during tournament play but I don’t understand why they banned using practice devices during practice round."
With the positive step of restricting green books, only time will tell how this device rule change will affect the game. Initially, it seems that players and coaches certainly aren't in support...
Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.
Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?
Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°
Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°
Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW
Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°
Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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