At the Masters, Low-Tech Data Still Rules


Due to on a regular basis and energy required to fill within the particulars, Greller stated, he lives in dread of shedding his Masters ebook. It might be like shedding a pc file that was not saved in your exhausting drive. “It’d be much less hectic to lose my passport, completely,” he stated.

The worth of the books was pushed residence not too long ago when Jeff Ghim, who’s caddying right here for his 21-year-old son, Doug, misplaced the yardage ebook he had painstakingly padded with notes over three months of analysis.

The ebook fell from a pocket of his long-sleeved overalls on Monday. His coronary heart dropped, he stated.

“Fifteen years my son’s dreamed of taking part in right here,” Jeff Ghim stated, “and I lose the instructions.” How might he replicate three months’ price of notes in two days?

Fortunately, he obtained the ebook again. Somebody turned it into the caddie headquarters the subsequent day, and Ghim, with ebook in pocket, guided his son, a Masters rookie, to low-amateur honors.


A picture from a contemporary greens ebook detailing the contours of a inexperienced at Hazeltine Nationwide in the course of the 2016 Ryder Cup there. Mark Lengthy, the president of Tour Sherpa, supplied course discipline guides for the occasion. He sometimes sells his greens books for $150 every.

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Mark Lengthy/Tour Sherpa

Yardage books have been round since no less than the 1950s, when the longer term P.G.A. commissioner Deane Beman, then a junior golfer, sketched crude fashions for his personal use. Within the 1970s, the books proliferated as skilled gamers and caddies, seeking a authorized edge, turned to the course discipline guides compiled by pioneers like Mark Lengthy, who has adopted the high-tech path. He provides his greens books to caddies for $150 apiece.

Carl Jackson is extensively thought of a priceless different. Often called the greens whisperer of Augusta Nationwide, Jackson labored 54 Masters, together with 39 because the bag man for the two-time champion Ben Crenshaw. When Greller was about to caddie in his first Masters, in 2014, he sought out Jackson to attempt to take in a few of his information about Augusta’s bedeviling breaks and slopes.

Each event week since, Greller has checked in a number of instances with Jackson, who first caddied on the Masters as a 14-year-old in 1961. The 2 don’t go over notes as a result of Jackson shops all his information on the pages of his thoughts.

Since Crenshaw regards Spieth as a protégé of kinds, Greller is rarely shy about utilizing Jackson as a useful resource.


Rory McIlory checking his yardage ebook throughout a Masters follow spherical on Monday. Golfers sometimes hold their very own books — other than those their caddies assemble.

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Patrick Smith/Getty Photos

“Carl in all probability desires to throw his cellphone any time he will get a cellphone name from Michael, he’s in all probability talked to him so many instances,” stated Justin Thomas, Spieth’s competitor and shut buddy.

Greller stated one of the best recommendation he had acquired from Jackson had nothing to with a fall line or a pin placement. It was merely: “There can be a number of instances you’ll be confused. Then you definitely belief your instincts.”

To remind himself, Greller writes a notice on some pages amid all of the technical jargon: “TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS.”

“I haven’t seen it,” stated Spieth, who, like most golfers, retains books of his personal.

John Wooden, a veteran caddie who works for Matt Kuchar, spent Monday morning strolling the course by himself, stopping usually to take notes. By the point he was via, the pages of his yardage ebook resembled geometry assignments. He described the outing as an opportunity to “recheck stuff I’ve seen through the years.”


A caddie checking his yardage ebook on the 2014 Masters.

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Andrew Redington/Getty Photos

Jack Nicklaus, who counts six Masters titles amongst his 18 main victories, wonders why any touring professional wouldn’t need to be the grasp of his personal recreation.

“To me, the sport of golf is studying the way to play the sport and be chargeable for all the things you do,” he stated. “That’s the enjoyable of it. It’s enjoyable to discover ways to putt greens and the way to play golf equipment.”

He added: “Now all the things is given to the fellows. That stated, if it have been all given to me again after I began in 1962 on the tour, I in all probability would have carried out precisely the identical factor.”

Lanier was taking part in on golf’s minor league circuits when he began a aspect enterprise making yardage books for his opponents. The aspect enterprise outlasted his taking part in profession. He makes use of each useful resource at his disposal, together with Google Earth, to make his hand drawings as detailed as potential. Lanier can sketch Augusta Nationwide as if it have been the again of his hand as a result of it’s virtually his yard. He grew up a few miles away and now lives shut sufficient to stroll to the course.

His drawings, whereas extremely revered amongst golfers, are sometimes misplaced on outsiders. Lanier recalled a go to he as soon as paid to a Staples retailer in Florida to make copies of a ebook. A lady was utilizing the copier subsequent to him. Peering at his drawings, she requested, “Sir, excuse me, are you a medical illustrator?”

Lanier advised her that, no, the illustrations she had mistaken for amoebas have been greens and bunkers.

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