Odd USGA Rule
We recently had a friend use a rule to his daughter's advantage, and I find it odd. I thought I'd get some discussion around it here.
The rule: A caddy may mark, lift, and replace a ball on the green. The caddy can only replace the ball if he is the one to lift it.
How it is being used: The caddy is marking, lifting, and lining up the ball on the green for their junior player.
Why I find this rule odd: I wrote the USGA about this one. Caddy's are no longer allowed to stand behind a player to line them up at any point, including putting. The spirit of the rule was that alignment is a fundamental skill required of the player. But, I find it odd that the caddy can essentially read the green, set the ball up for their player, and they player does not have to do anything themselves, contrary to the spirit of the rule. To me, it is nearly the same as the caddy standing behind and having them change their stance/line. The only difference is the player has to learn to align themselves to the line on the ball. But even then, the caddy can stand near and help with that alignment, just not behind on the line of the stroke.
FYI, I don't do this. My daughters, when I caddy, mark their own ball, read their greens, line themselves up. Eventually I will not be around to help them and I want them doing this on their own. But, our friends do this and verified it was allowed by the USGA rules. I just find it odd (and honestly a long term detriment to the player).