The U.S. Golf Association (USGA) and the R&A (Scotland) finalized their decision on the use of greens charts, greens maps and other putting-green information essentially legalizing the process recommended by BreakMaster and outlined in our Custom Greens Books. Of course, the BreakMaster is not intended to be used during a competitive round of golf, but it can certainly be used to take measurements prior to a round and entering those measurements in a Custom Greens Book.
The new-look Rule 4.3 (Use of Equipment), finalized after a six-week feedback period by the USGA and R&A, places limits on size and scale of putting-green maps and disallows any similar electronic or digital materials that a player may use during a round to assist with reading the line of play on the putting green.
The BreakMaster Custom Greens Books are legal under this new interpretation of Rule 4.3 which has gone into effect January 1, 2019.
Under the new rules, greens charts such as those suggested by BreakMaster are legal as long as any image of a putting green is limited to a scale of 3/8 inch to 5 yards (1:480) or smaller (the “scale limit”). BreakMaster has long recommended the best distance for taking greens measurements is 5 yards apart. This came from recommendations by PGA Tour Pros following 2008 Northern Trust Open in which BreakMaster charted the greens at The Riviera Country Club. Since most greens are from 20 – 30 yards wide, this means that as many as 6 locations across the diameter of the green can be charted. The greens map dimensions suggested in the BreakMaster Custom Greens Books are 3 ½ inches wide which definitely conform to this ruling.
Also in the ruling, any book or other paper containing a map or image of a putting green must not be larger than 4 1/4 inches x 7 inches (the "size limit"). BreakMaster Custom Greens Books are 4 x 5 1/2 inches, thus conforming to the new rule standard.
Several different companies like GolfLogix and StrackaLine have entered the market for charting greens. But under the new rules, GolfLogix is not legal. Likewise, Strakaline is not legal because they both take more measurements on the green than are allowed by the new 4.3 ruling.
At the moment, charting greens with the BreakMaster and entering the data in their Custom Greens Books is the best and only legal method for charting golf greens under the new 4.3 ruling in the Rules of Golf.
We should also point out that both the USGA and R&A have been long-standing customers of the BreakMaster, both using it to set fair pin positions at their tournaments. We thank both organizations for their support.
Use a chart like this for putting and for approach shots every time you play the course. In this way, you’ll know exactly where to land your approach shots so that you’re putting uphill at the hole rather than across the break. This gives you a straight line for your putts and eliminates the break. (Straight putts are easier than breaking putts, right? See our feature on straight putts HERE) And if you ARE putting across the break, you’ll know how much break to allow for by using the charts in the back of the Custom Greens Book. Enjoy those lower scores!