Are monkey bites bigger in Texas too? (Apologies if you’re confused by that question, and no, we’re not going to explain it.)
The PGA Tour Player Advisory Council, helmed by Rory McIlroy, isn’t playing around. On Monday, The Fried Egg obtained a PGA Tour memo that outlined a new Local Rule on green-reading books. If the rule is implemented, starting January 1, 2022, players and caddies will be allowed to use only “committee approved” books. These will have limited handwritten notes and no information gathered by “devices, levels, or other technology.” Handwritten notes from old books may be transferred to new ones, but the notes “will be restricted to those made by the player or caddie and must be derived from the experiences of any observations of a ball rolling on a green.”
Green books have been a hot topic in recent years. In July 2018, the USGA and R&A agreed to restrict the books, but the governing bodies didn’t follow with a meaningful set of rules. The only consequential change was the images in the books had to be smaller. The big issue—the laser maps showing every contour of every green—went unaddressed.
Assuming the PAC’s restrictions actually get enforced, those highly detailed maps will become a thing of the past on the PGA Tour. That would be a great development. Currently, the maps devalue the skill of green reading, acting as a crutch for players who never really learned to use their eyes and feet to read putts. If the rule works as designed, the PGA Tour will be better off right away. But let’s hope that McIlroy and the PAC keep pursuing the logic that skill, not equipment, is what the fans come to see!
Meanwhile, potential international golf leagues continue to jockey for position.
The Premier Golf League (remember them?) now reportedly wants to join forces with the PGA Tour. According to Geoff Shackelford, the PGL proposed that its team concept be integrated into the Tour’s existing ecosystem. Given that the PGL has spent years plotting to poach the PGA Tour’s best players, it seems unlikely that Ponte Vedra would be friendly to this idea. But with the Saudis bucking their heads in Asia, who knows?
As for Saudi Arabia’s ongoing effort to “grow the game,” CEO of LIV Golf Investments Greg Norman gave a delightfully ignorant interview to Golf Digest on Monday. His reflections on the civil rights situation in the country are particularly questionable. “I make sound decisions on sound facts and information that is presented to you,” Norman said. “Women’s rights issues—the women there now, I’ve been so impressed. You walk into a restaurant and there are women. They’re not wearing burkas. They’re out playing golf.”
His answer was accompanied by the hardest-working editor’s note we’ve seen, which outlines how Norman’s feelings about his restaurant and golf course visits are contradicted by the findings of the World Economics Forum and the Human Rights Watch.
Speaking of Saudi Arabia, this week’s Aramco Saudi Ladies International, presented by the Public Investment Fund, is headlined by Minjee Lee and Lydia Ko. (We’d love to provide some tee times, but we can’t find them.)
The PGA Tour’s World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba (yes, that’s the real name) winds through the mangrove trees of El Camaleon Golf Club this weekend.
Sean Crocker, Min Woo Lee, and Robert MacIntyre headline the Portugal Masters on the European Tour.
It sounds like some U.S. Open and Open Championship coverage will shift to USA Network in 2022 as NBCSN goes dark. Those in the know seem to believe that Golf Channel, another NBC outlet, may not have much time left either.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise has signed on to sponsor this month’s Houston Open.
The Genesis Scottish Open, co-sanctioned by the European Tour and PGA Tour in 2022, will remain at the Renaissance Club.
The Latest from The Fried Egg
The Fried Egg Podcast: What to Know About William Flynn – Wayne Morrison—author of The Nature Faker, a William Flynn biography—joins the podcast to discuss the architect behind Shinnecock Hills, Cherry Hills, and many other great courses. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.
Our odds-and-ends sale continues! Very limited quantities of Shotgun Start and Fried Egg are on sale, along with some fun leftovers from our 2021 events. Shop today!