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Sunday
Nov122017

Add John Paramor To The Anti-Green Reading Books List

Legendary European Tour rules official John Paramor, who restored order during the chaos of Jordan Spieth's errant Birkdale tee shot and who has no patience for slow play, talks to Golf World's John Huggan about his four decade career. Among the topics are rulings he's given, rules he'd like tweaked and his input on the upcoming rules revision.

He offered this on green reading books, which have generally been a pace of play nuisance.

Then there are the so-called “green books” you see people using when putting. Paramor has opinions there, too. “I recently asked Phil Mickelson what he thought about them. He feels they are a good thing. They are good for pace of play. They clear up a lot of the questions a player might have. Which is a valid point.

Actually, I don't think it is but go on...

"But I have to say I think they are a de-skilling of the game. Part of this game is making your own judgement about how your ball is going to roll across a green. It’s not for you to find that out on a piece of paper.”

I've seen two instances now of players blaming the books for a putt not breaking as it was supposed to on paper and it's more satisfying to witness than I ever imagined!

So as long they take 45 seconds or less, let them keep staring at the paper I say.

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Reader Comments (20)

That was an interesting read, especially the bits about Seve.
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterDick Mahoon
I couldn't agree with you more. Do away with the books. Reading greens has been, and should continue to be an essential skill in golf.
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterGreg
@Mr. Mahoon
I miss Seve soooooooo much. Incredible player and also knew the rules inside and out. Was always curious to see how he's handle a "senior statesman" role in golf. Alas we'll never know......
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterCroDad
Very good read. I agree with his take on the green reading books, with this caveat - if a player does the research themselves, over many years, and makes notes - ok, I'll accept that. But somehow the purchasing of information seems wrong on many levels.
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBDF
Having a caddy help read greens is purchasing information as well
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterP Thomas
And of course it gets complicated... Are you allowed to rely on a book that your caddy compiled? What if you get a new caddy? Can you rely on a book that your caddy compiled working for a previous player?
11.13.2017 | Unregistered Commenter3foot1
I have no problem with players using these books.....during their practice rounds. There's a great deal to be said about experience but utilizing these books during practice rounds sort of levels the playing field as far as an advantage.
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterCroDad
Use anything, just do it quickly and, IMO, we’ll all be happy watching.
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterJS
The green books should eliminate a lot of walking (taking care not to step in other players' lines) and analysis of extra views. I'm with JS--use the books quickly.
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterFC
So how would these greens books be differentiated from yardage books that players have used for years? What's to stop a player from putting all kinds of info into the yardage book? Are we going to have a standardized yardage/greens book for all players that can't be altered?

This all seems really hard to legislate.
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterGriffin
" if a player does the research themselves, over many years, and makes notes - ok, I'll accept that."

There's the problem BDF, how do you determine such a thing? Players have been making notes in books and on scorecards since pencils were invented. Like the long putter this seems to be an "optics" issue. I agree that it is frustrating to see a player whip out the book on the green and it shows him the break (or is supposed to). It seems like green reading was a skill that some had and some didn't. There's just no way to legislate this, as Griffin said.
11.13.2017 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
There's a very easy way to legislate this. change the rule to say that a player can consult only his or her scorecard during the round. No pin sheets. No yardage books. No complicated green reading books. i'll concede a distance finder. Kind of like the way I play. Slower at first, then players will figure it out. Again, kind of the way the rest of us do. And we can play in 4:20 or less.
11.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterGinGHIN
"No pin sheets. No yardage books."

Now that's old school!
11.13.2017 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
It wouldn't be difficult to say that a yardage book could have distances and dimensions but not contours if you wanted. I suppose I'm in the camp that says if you can get it done in 40 seconds then that's ok by me-but not many can. The game has already been de-skilled by low spinning balls and clubs, hybrids, lob wedges etc,etc and one day will become totally sanitised which will be as shame but apparently that's progress. At least it will all massage the egos of todays superstars and convince them and their coaches that they are even better than they are( I would cite Grayson Murray as a good example)
11.14.2017 | Unregistered Commenterchico
No Green Books.
No caddies on green except for flag removal and replacement.
No caddies lining up putts...or shots for that matter.
Let the player do it on his own....
11.14.2017 | Unregistered CommenterStanley
Like I said in the other post, just forbid measurements of slope and contour lines or arrows. Yardages and notations about features (ridges, bunkers, bowls, etc.) are still fine.
11.14.2017 | Unregistered CommenterErik J. Barzeski
I'd rather them carry nothing except a Bushnell and memories from practice or prior rounds. There's too much reliance on books and sheets - let 'em play like the rest of us. Scores would go up a stroke or two and those who are way off the planet with wild drives will be hard pressed to get a good number. Again, kind of like what 99.9% of golfers face.
11.14.2017 | Unregistered CommenterGinGHIN
You get 1 3x5'' notecard that you can write on, front and back. Just like in college exams. Many of us could write a full dickens novel on those things with space to spare.
11.14.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPGT
I think distance finders should be banned totally, even for practice rounds. They are a tech thing, no part of golf. If they can use the green sheets only in practice, that should be enough. Memory should suffice.
11.14.2017 | Unregistered CommenterRoute 66
Greens books in practice rounds. Caddies can help read putts- it has always been that way, but no ''linng up'' nada.
11.15.2017 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth

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