(via Golf Channel) “I think it’s a good thing. Everybody is moaning of golf being slow and boring, that’s one thing that slows it down,” Ross Fisher said. “Bubba [Watson] said it best, you look at guys like Tiger [Woods] and Jordan [Spieth], probably two of the best putters we’ve seen play the game, they don’t use green books. They just go with what they feel.”
In the name of full disclosure, Fisher has used a green-reading book in the past. In fact, nearly every PGA Tour player has used one at various times as the books have gained in popularity – even Spieth.
“I’ve used it a little,” Henrik Stenson said. “A lot of times for me it’s better not to use it for anything more than just a general guide because if I see a putt being straight the book says it should go a little bit left and I trust the book and it doesn’t go that way I kind of kick myself all the way to the next tee box.”
But if Tuesday’s sample of the Bridgestone field is any indication, players may have embraced, to wildly varying degrees, green-reading books, but that doesn’t mean they’ve liked them. For many it was a necessary evil. And soon it could be an evil they won’t miss.
I wrote about governing bodies severely restricting green books a few weeks ago, and my main point was that I pretty much agreed with the new rules: If a PGA Tour player needs all these fancy devices to map a green in the practice round and then use geometry to read a green and make a putt, then they shouldn’t be on tour. While there are definitely going to be players that will be upset about this new rule (cough cough Bryson Dechambeau cough cough), it seems as though many of them are okay with the new rule. Rory McIlroy went so far as to say this:
“If it was me I would just ban them completely – and I use them – but I think green reading is a skill that can be developed just like your swing. It’s sort of halfway there. They are trying to come up with a solution that isn’t the whole way, but if it were me I’d say get rid of them. It’s a step in the right direction but I don’t think it’s the full step.”
That is from a player who openly uses a green book on a regular basis. And that is the response that I wanted to hear. Instead of all of these guys using all of these different contraptions, just go up and read the damn green. Yes, it’s a lot harder that way, especially for people like me who can’t read greens to save their lives. But once again, YOU ARE A PROFESSIONAL GOLFER! This is a skill that you should have learned when you were coming up as a young amateur or as a college golfer. If you want to be a pro, then act like a pro and learn the skills you need to succeed.