PGA Tour players vote to ban green reading books, ban likely

SAN DIEGO – The PGA Tour is likely to ban controversial green reading books used by many of its players before the start of next season, Golf week has learned. The Tour player’s advisory council voted to ban the books at a meeting two weeks ago. Support for the ban among the 16 players who make up the Council was described by one person present as “overwhelming”.

The question will now be voted on by the entire PGA Tour board, possibly as early as next week.

Green reading books have grown in popularity in recent years, with almost all of the Tour’s elite players using them, even some who have advocated a ban on aid. Critics say the books offer too much help, effectively negating the ability to read putts. The books feature very detailed illustrations that note the direction and degree of slope from anywhere on the putting surface.

One of the guides’ most loyal users is Bryson DeChambeau, a famous data-driven gamer. The Masters is the only tournament that does not allow their use.

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The Player Advisory Council met at the Memorial Tournament in Ohio on Tuesday, June 1. Jon Rahm, one of its members, joined the meeting virtually as he was under contract tracing for exposure to Covid-19. He then tested positive and was forced to retire before the final round of the test with a six-stroke lead. The PAC is currently chaired by Rory McIlroy and includes players like Justin Thomas, Billy Horschel and Zach Johnson.

Sep 6, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, United States; Dustin Johnson prepares his distance log on the 9th green during the third round of the Tour Championship golf tournament at East Lake Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

The last four outgoing Council Chairs, a group that currently includes Jordan Spieth, Charley Hoffman, James Hahn and Kevin Kisner, also typically attend PCB meetings. All four are player directors on the PGA Tour Board of Directors.

A player at the meeting said support for the ban was strong.

“It was overwhelming. It was not close, ”he said. The player requested anonymity as PAC members are not permitted to publicly discuss their deliberations.

“Books should be banned,” the player added. “Green reading is a learned skill. “

Books also received a decidedly mixed reception among shopping carts on tour. A veteran looper who has worked for several big winners praised the effort to ban them. “We will save $ 170 per week,” he cracked, referring to the purchase price of the book. “Plus it will speed up the game. I’m sure it will.

“I was a caddy for a player and when I asked him if he wanted a greens book for the week he said, ‘Of course I want it! This will prevent me from bending over, ”recalls another Tour bagman. “That says it all. “

Player voting now shifts the issue to the full PGA Tour Board of Directors, which will decide whether to vote and ratify the motion. A source familiar with Board procedures said that there is seldom much debate at the Board level when an issue enjoys the overwhelming support of the PCB.

A PAC member said Golf week that he expects the ban to be implemented in time for the 2021-2022 season. This season begins just three months after the FedEx Cup qualifiers ended in September. The full board of directors for the PGA Tour is scheduled to meet on June 22 in Connecticut for the Travelers Championship. This is the only board meeting scheduled before the start of the 21-22 season, which means a vote to ban green reading books could take place as early as next week.

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