In late 2018, the United States Golf Association (USGA) announced clarifications regarding rule 4.3 (Use of Equipment). In the published interpretation the USGA clarified what competitors can and can not do when using a yardage book with putting green maps.
The clarifications by the USGA were made in response to PGATOUR players using full sheets of paper to display green slope information that was digitally measured down to the foot. In an effort to ensure that green reading remained an integral skill to the game of golf, the USGA has issued the following restrictions to green reading materials.
So what do these new rules mean for book makers, and competitive golfers in 2019? The standard yardage book size (usually 1/2 of a US-Letter sheet of paper) will remain legal moving forward. The green detail section of a book (shown to the right) is limited to a very specific scale requirement: 5 yards = 3/8 of an inch. Given that we use a grid, in 5 yard increments, for our book templates, we only need to ensure the grid and drawing of the green is scaled so that each cell is no larger than 3/8 of an inch.
To the right, you can see a comparison of two yardage books. The book on the left shows a green mapping where the green takes up as much of the page as possible. Each square represents 5 yards, but is larger than the USGA limit of 3/8 of an inch. To the right, the green complex and grid has been reduce so that each 5 yard square is exactly 3/8 of an inch.
If you join our creator program, you'll get access to template files that conform to both the scale limit and size limit set forth by the USGA. In addition, we check each book, before it's listed for sale, to ensure it conforms with USGA guidelines.