Rules issue surfaces at NCAA Women's Championship when official yardage books are deemed non-conforming


As part of the implementation of the new Rules of Golf going into place in 2019, the USGA and R&A also revised the regulations on green-reading materials, reducing their allowable size and the amount of information they can provide. For the most part, this change had not impacted competitive golf—unlike the bevy of questions regarding ball drops, caddie alignment and the like.

That is until now.

On the eve of the NCAA Women’s Championship at The Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Ark.,, rules officials informed competitors that the official yardage book handed out to coaches and players was in fact non-conforming, creating an interesting rules issue as the first round was set to begin on Friday.

The story was first reported on Thursday by Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols. The issue was that the size of the greens on 10 of the 18 holes inside were too large under the new regulations.

Rule 4.3a/1 states that these detailed green maps must not exceed a ratio of 1:480, or 3/8 inch for every 5 yards. The official yardage book depicted the greens slightly larger.

“It’s 1/16 off,” Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor told Golfweek. “It’s less than a freckle.”

Teams were searching for alternative conforming books to use. Some coaches told Golfweek they were thinking covering up the greens in the original yardage book The NCAA made a statement, “The NCAA Women’s Golf Committee was made aware of an issue regarding some green diagrams in the tournament yardage book. By mid-afternoon, yardage books with conforming green diagrams were available.”