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USGA and R&A's Rules On Yardage and Green Reading Books

Back in July of 2018, the joint decision between the USGA and the R&A, starting in 2019 the governing bodies announced a plan that would limit the scope of green reading materials in an attempt to "reaffirm" an emphasis on a players skill.

We have seen over Q1 of the 2019 golf season (especially at the professional level) that the rule changes that occurred have affected the game at some level or another. Several penalties have been assessed, with the majority of the high profile assessments, of no wrong doing of the player, but their caddie:

When it comes to wrongdoings of the player, we have several other instances where PGA Tour golfers have been assessed penalties (or worse, see below) for the new rules.

At PGA National, the home of the Honda Classic, Alex Cejka became one of the first players to be DQ'd from the tournament for use of an illegal green reading book.

It is important to note, that Yardage & Greens Book are still LEGAL. All of the products that we sell and promote are LEGAL under the USGA and R&A's requirement.

Cekja, in this instance, was using a previous years version of the green reading book that did not fit the size to scale limit that the USGA and R&A have deemed "legal" (adding insult to injury, the previous years book had diagrams for the greens that had been re-done from a year ago).

So what exactly is the rules for Yardage and Greens reading books under the 2019 golf rules?

Under Rule 4.3 (use of equipment), "books are limited in scale for green diagrams to where a grid can be no more precise than 3/8" equaling 5 yards of the green."

It also states that the size of Yardage Books, are limited to 4.25" x 7".