With the start of 2022, PGA Tour players will no longer be able to use green-reading books -- formally called green-reading materials -- in competition.
In December 2021, the USGA and R&A, golf's governing bodies, introduced a Model Local Rule that could be used starting Jan. 1, 2022, that would allow a tournament committee (like a professional tour) to limit players to using only the yardage book that it has approved for use in the competition.
The PGA Tour has chosen to eliminate the use of green-reading books altogether, requiring players to use Tour-approved books that offer more general information about slopes and other features of putting surfaces. Players will be able to use handwritten notes in their new Tour-approved books, though they must come from what the player or their caddie have observed on the host course -- not simply copied from a now-nonconforming green-reading book. Players and caddies also cannot use levels or other devices during pre-tournament scouting to gather information.
Jordan Spieth is a fan of the change.
"We've never had them at Augusta, and I seem to find myself in a really good space on the greens there, really feeling putts," said the 2015 Masters winner ahead of the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.
"I'm one that's used it because why wouldn't you use 'em? More for a reference point and a lot of times more for speed than trying to dial in an AimPoint situation or a line, so I'm perfectly fine with the changes."
Spieth said he believes the green-reading books made one key component of putting easier -- one he feels he's particularly good at doing.
"I think that to me, putting you have to read it right, you have to put a stroke on it and you have to hit it with the right speed," he said. "I thought with the green reading materials it took one of those three skills away from it and I think that it's a skill that I would say is an advantage of mine and so I'm excited to see what it can mean as far as strokes gained compared to the field on the greens."