From The Inbox

Green-reading books minimize art of putting

Reader salutes Mike Purkey, not for his criticism of rangefinders at 103rd PGA but for his opinion about folly of green-reading books

Thank you, Mike Purkey, for putting into words what I have been saying for some time (“PGA misses mark with its pace-of-play move,” May 19). No, not about the use of rangefinders. I think eventually they will save time on the PGA Tour; they certainly have in our groups here. But what Purkey wrote about the use of green-reading books: “Reading greens is and should be an art.” Amen, brother.

I was shocked when I first saw the use of those books on Tour. I would yell at the TV while Bryson DeChambeau spent (was it hours?) going over the book. Read the speed/grain yourself! I'm not a great striker of the ball, but I have become a really good reader of the grain on the Bermudagrass greens here in the Southwest, and that gives me an edge in that respect with many of the guys with whom I play. Green-reading books for everyone would take away that edge. 

Follow the lead of the Masters and don't allow them.

Gregg Clymer
Goodyear, Ariz.

Purkey gets it right … mostly
I couldn't agree more with Mike Purkey on the use of rangefinders in professional golf (“PGA misses mark with its pace-of-play move,” May 19).

It's ridiculous, and at some point, it will devolve into caddies having GPS systems (like those used on golf carts on many courses) showing distance to the front of green, the back of green, the hazards, and whether your pro wants a bacon cheeseburger at the turn. The same with green-reading books. You've got two guys (a pro and his caddie) reading the break, they've already played the course a few times, and they're professionals. Do we need to start giving surgeons a map to hold when they operate on someone?

However, I disagree with Purkey on arm-lock putters. His point seems to be that if it worked for everyone, it should be banned, but if it's just another method that is no more efficient than any other, it's OK. Huh? The reason it should be banned is in the name itself: arm-lock. If they instead called the broomstick method of putting the chest-lock, would that make it OK? Or how about the belly-lock putter (like myself, some pros would have much more of an advantage using the belly-lock)? 

Here's a novel idea: You can't use anything other than your hands to touch a putter. In theory, because there's no legal limit on the length of putters, you can have a putter extend all the way up to your neck and install a custom putter grip that lies flat on the arm and gently curves to the shape of your neck. We could call it the body-lock. Or the full-Nelson (sorry, Byron).

John Cullen
La Quinta, Calif.   

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