Golf-McIlroy would support ban on green-reading books

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SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Reuters) - Rory McIlroy, who serves as chairman of the Player Advisory Council (PAC), said on Wednesday he would support a ban on green-reading books which he feels have made golfers lazy and diminish one of the game's innate skills.

The four-times major champion said that while he uses the books that provide the direction and degree of slope from all areas of the putting surface, they simply take the art of reading greens almost completely out of the game.

"I'd like to get rid of them," world number 11 McIlroy told reporters at Torrey Pines ahead of this week's U.S. Open.

"Most guys on Tour are in the same boat, that if it's going to be available to us and it helps us, people are going to use it, but I think for the greater good of the game, I'd like to see them be outlawed and for them not to be used anymore."

McIlroy was speaking shortly after Golfweek reported that the PGA Tour is likely to ban the green-reading books before the start of next season following a recent vote by the PAC.

The 16-member PAC advises and consults with the PGA Tour's policy board and commissioner on issues affecting the Tour.

Northern Irishman McIlroy called PAC meetings confidential but said green-reading books, which are not permitted at Augusta National for the Masters, take away a skill that requires time and practice to be mastered.

"I think it's made everyone lazier. People don't put in the time to prepare the way they used to," said McIlroy.

"That's why you see so many more players at Augusta, for example, take their time around the greens ... it's because they have to. It's because there is no greens book at Augusta."

According to McIlroy, a ban on green-reading books will separate those who have put in the time studying the greens from those who do not.

"I think it will help the guys who really have done their homework, it will help them stand out a little bit more," he said.

(Reporting by Andrew Both; Writing by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond)

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