There has been much analysis of the changes that have undertaken the official Rules of Golf this season. Much attention has been given to the new use of the flagstick on putts as well as the elimination of the penalty that comes from double hitting a ball but one rule seems to have gone under the radar.
The rule that hasn’t gained much attention is that which doesn’t allow for caddies to stand behind their golfer’s any longer to help line them up. This is something that is mostly done on the LPGA Tour which may be why it hasn’t garnered that much attention. The problem that many have with this rule is that it slows the pace of play and may give an unfair advantage to the players.
The reasoning behind the rule is that lining yourself up is a fundamental aspect of the game and should be the sole responsibility of the player. Many players have come out in favor of the rule change, including Stacy Lewis and Lexi Thompson who don’t feel the change affects them that much. One player that is certain to have an adjustment period is Lydia Ko.
Lydia Ko of Ndew Zealand waits to play her second shot on the 15th hole with her caddie Jonny Scott during the third round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club on… Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
The former No.1 Women’s Golfer in the World, Ko has often used her caddie to help her line up but has been putting in work to make sure she can adjust to the rule change. “I’ve had my caddie pretty much line me up for pretty much most of my career. So this off-season, I’ve been practicing trying to line myself up,” Ko said. “It’s something that you’ve just got to get used to. As with anything, it just takes time.”
Regardless of if players use this technique or not, it is something that many of them will have to adjust to. Christie Kerr also talked about the rule change, saying that she was lined up for 10 years of her career with success but also became the top women’s golfer in the world lining herself up. So, players can find success no matter how they approach this.
It will be interesting to see what effect this change will have, if any, compared to those who typically utilized their caddies in this way and those who have not. No matter how golfers have done it in the past though, they are going to have to make the official change as the season progresses.
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