USGA, R&A finalize limitations on green-reading materials

October 15, 2018

Just a few months before the 2019 reset of the Rules of Golf, the USGA and R&A have officially decreed just how much players will be allowed to use green reading materials.

After acquiring feedback for six weeks, the governing bodies have clarified their final restrictions. Golfers may continue to use such materials, so long as they fall under the following stipulations:

– Any image of a putting green must be limited to a scale of 3/8 inch to 5 yards (1:480) or smaller.

– Any book or other paper containing a map or image of a putting green must not be larger than 4.25″ x 7″, although a “hole location sheet” that displays nine or more holes on a single sheet of paper may be larger, provided that any image of a single putting green meets the scale limit.

– No magnification of putting-green information is allowed, other than a player’s normal wearing of prescription glasses or lenses.

– Hand-drawn or written information about a putting green is only allowed if contained in a book or paper meeting the size limit. The information must be written by the player and/or his or her caddie.

bryson dechambeau
Bryson DeChambeau is one of the main proponents of green-reading materials.
Getty Images

It is worth noting that the original proposal for limitations included minimum slope indication limits and hand-drawn representations of a map. Those are no longer included. Bryson, you’re still in good shape on drawing your own maps.

We will await DeChambeau’s take on the rules clarifications. In the meantime, Brittany Lincicome was the first pro to weigh in. More will surely chime in soon enough.