Green-reading books: The Masters makes own rules


AUSTIN, Texas – A year ago at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, many players were concerned about golf’s governing bodies taking away their green-reading books. Nothing much has materialized since regarding the legality of those supplemental books. The players increasingly rely on the pages full of arrows.

Except at Augusta National.

In discussing upcoming preparations for the Masters, both Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth noted that they won’t be able refer to the detailed readouts.

“Augusta doesn’t provide you with a green-contour book, like the other tournaments do,” McIlroy said. “So you’ve got to sort of figure it out yourself.”

Spieth noted the absence of green-reading books at Augusta as well, forcing him to rely on notes.

“It’s very important to use previous years books, especially on the greens, the fall lines, and where you have access to certain pins,” Spieth said.

As for the impact on their games, McIlroy said he actually stores green-reading books with his caddie to prevent overanalysis.

“When I carry it myself, I find I get into the habit of taking it out on every green and just looking at it needlessly,” McIlroy said.

Spieth said some of this best putting rounds have been without a green-reading book.

“You can overanalyze some of the information you’re given,” Spieth said. “But other than that, I’ve still used greens books and had them been important in wins, as well.”

The discussion provided a fresh reminder that Augusta National sets its own standards and players willingly comply for one special week a year. That could be noteworthy when folks say the Lords of Augusta would never make players comply with different rules, like, you know, asking them to use a different golf ball during Masters week.

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