Caddie John Wood pens a guest piece for Golf.com on the announced green book ban and states his case for defending for the pricey books employed increasingly throughout competitive golf.
While I don't agree with his case, this was an enjoyable jab at the governing bodies, who probably do not entirely disagree:
Because it feels like there’s an elephant on the tee box that no one’s addressing — looking at you, 350-yard drives — and you guys are waving your hands and jumping up and down saying: “Look over here, look over here! Here’s the problem! Look at how easy putting has become!” Sorry, but if we get a calm day at St. Andrews in a couple of years and someone shoots 59 on the Old Course, it’s not gonna be because of a series of little arrows in a book.
His primary argument is that reading the books is a skill. It's also a financial burden for some players.
Deciphering the green maps takes work and diligence, in a short amount of time; it’s not as simple as mindlessly plugging numbers from the hole-location sheet into a graph. Used incorrectly, these books can twist you into knots; I guarantee you that as many putts are missed by misreading greens books as are made by reading them correctly. Misplace the hole location or the location of your ball by a foot, and you’re going to miss, plain and simple.
He goes on to make a strong case for enforcement issues, which indirectly makes a case for just banning them altogether for easier enforcement.
Meanwhile, the folks who make money selling the books are understandably trying to lobby the USGA and R&A in the comment period. Jim Stracka of Strackalines has sent an email plea out to customers with suggested talking points:
I'm not sure those points are going to have much influence.