Hey! A Rules change for all of you who play (or caddie) on the LPGA Tour! 😉

Under the 2018 Rules, a player taking her stance is allowed to have her caddie stand behind her to help her line up to the target.

Under the 2019 Rules (Rule 10.2b(4)), once you begin taking a stance for the stroke and until the stroke is made, your caddie must not deliberately stand on an extension of your line of play behind the ball.

Line of Play is the line where the player intends his or her ball to go after a stroke, including the area on that line that is a reasonable distance up above the ground and on either side of that line.

What’s this all about? The USGA and the R&A contend that 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.

You say, “Hey, Charlie, I don’t employ a caddie, so what’s this got to do with me?” Well, plenty actually. Who doesn’t play the occasional four-ball? New Rule 23 sneaks in a little fine print in 23.5a which says that your partner can give you advice and render all of the assistance that your caddie, if you had one, could. But, it goes on to say that your partner cannot do anything that your caddie isn’t permitted to do. So, caddie or not, your partner can’t line you up either. Nobody can.