GolfLogix Green Books Review

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GolfLogix Green Books are detailed maps of over 14,000 courses.  Precise maps of each green plus overviews of the hole allow for superior course management.

Introduction

In most parts of life, analog technology has been forced to go digital.  GolfLogix is one of the rare counterexamples: a digital technology that has now stepped into the analog world.  Most golfers are aware of the excellent GolfLogix GPS smartphone app [review HERE].  What you may not know is that those same maps are now available in a USGA compliant book that you can carry on the course.  Can these books lower your scores?  I tested some to find out.

What is a Golf Logix Green Book?

Each Golf Logix Green Book has three main components.  For each hole on the course, there is a Hole View, a Heat Map of the green, and a Putt Break map.  The Hole View is an overview of the entire hole on a 50-yard grid.  Heat Maps are color coded images of the green that show the severity of the slope.  The Putt Break map gives a precise accounting of the direction of the slope on each portion of the green.

Additionally, there’s a chart at the front of the book where you can record your distances for each club in your bag.  There is also room for course notes at the back of the book.

Effectiveness

I found the Heat Map and Putt Break maps in the GolfLogix Green Books to be accurate and extremely helpful on the course.  When I first looked at a green, I had a rough idea what was going to happen.  After consulting the book, the direction of each break became obvious, like someone had marked it up with a highlighter.  This erased a major variable and allowed me to putt more confidently.

The Hole View is a nice feature, but I did not find myself using it too often.  I think that I would have found the Hole View more useful if A) I had been playing these courses for the first time or B) had marked up the books with personal notes (which I will likely do in the future).  With the 50 yard grid, I feel like it gave me a general sense of the hole rather than knowing precisely, “You need 225 yards to cover this bunker.”

I’m going to deal with the two major objections that I foresee here and now rather than waiting for the comments to roll in.  To those that would lament the death of green reading as a skill, I would say that, even with the Heat Map, there is still plenty of judgement required to make a good read.  With the Green Book, I didn’t read putts as left-to-right when they were right-to-left, but I was still capable of misjudging the amount of break.  Also, there is no one correct read since every read needs a matching speed.

Finally, green books have been a central point of the pace of play debate on Tour, and surely people will look to blame them for five hour rounds at their local course, too.  Can you spend ages studying these books?  Absolutely.  But whether it’s golf carts, GPS, lasers, green books, or any other accessory or device, there are going to be players who use them quickly and players who don’t.  A slow player is a slow player with or without a cart and with or without a green book.  I can pull out a Green Book, get a read, and be ready to putt in 15 seconds.  If anything, it makes me faster because I have more certainty in my read.  My only issue is flipping to the right page for the hole, but I’ll solve this in the future by dog-earring every other page.

Value

Each GolfLogix Green Book sells through their website (HERE) for $30, $40, or $50.  For comparison, getting the GolfLogix Plus membership on the app costs $50 for the year and gives you this information for all the courses they have mapped.

The value of the Green Books comes down to three questions.  First, how much do you hate having your phone out during the round?  If your answer is, “A lot,” then it’s worthwhile to trade the app for a physical book.  Second, do you play the same course or move around?  If you’re always at the same course, having one book makes sense.  Finally, how serious are you about your score?  For the recreational player who keeps a…”loose”…score, mapping each putt is silly.  For the competitive player, however, a Green Book is a major advantage.

Conclusion

For any player who is serious about shooting their best scores – whether on a daily basis or just for special occasions – the GolfLogix Green Books are a major competitive advantage.  This is as close as you can get to having a professional caddie reading your putts for you.

Matt Saternus
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13 Comments

  1. How would you compare these books to Strackaline?

    • Matt Saternus

      Rob,

      I haven’t used the Strackaline books, so I can’t say how they compare.

      Best,

      Matt

    • Stracka books are way better. Golflogix does not provide slope or fairway widths. Also, the quality of the other books are much better (print/paper). I would not recommend this book

  2. Phil Maniatty

    What process do they use to determine the breaks?

    • Matt Saternus

      Phil,

      That’s a great question. I don’t know. I would assume they have high quality surveying equipment, but that’s only a guess.

      -Matt

  3. Can/do they account for the influence of grain in the greens which can, in some parts of the country, significantly influence putt direction.

  4. I have both. my strackaline book is literally 10x more useful.

  5. Jason McMillan

    Can these be used in high school golf ?

    • Matt Saternus

      Jason,

      That’s a good question. I believe they’re allowed, but I would check with the local rules official before using them.

      -Matt

  6. Carlo Navarro

    Are these books allowed for use in a USGA Tournament? I read that only handwritten notes are allowed?

    • Matt Saternus

      Carlos,

      The book says “Rules Compliant,” but I’d suggest checking with a rules official before playing.

      -Matt

  7. I used the book on my home course today for the first time and liked it just fine. I can’t read a putt and the book helped a lot.

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