Playing tournament golf just got harder for some players thanks to this rule change. The days of players with alignment issues using their caddies to aid in their setup are over.
According to the USGA, under Rule 10-2b(4), the current prohibition will be extended so that, once the player begins taking a stance for the stroke, and until the stroke is made, the player’s caddie must not deliberately stand on or close to an extension of the line of play behind the ball for any reason.
There will be no penalty if the caddie accidentally stands on or close to an extension of the line of play behind the ball, rather than in trying to help in lining up.
Reasons for Change
Although a player may get advice from a caddie on the shot to be played, the line of play and similar matters, the ability to line up one’s feet and body accurately to a target line is a fundamental skill of the game for which the player alone should be responsible.
- Allowing a caddie to stand behind a player taking a stance so as to direct the player how to line up undermines the player’s need to use his or her own alignment skills and judgment.
- We believe that an appropriate line is drawn between allowing advice from a caddie and prohibiting the caddie from being involved in directing the player in the act of taking a stance to play the ball.