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).

Comments

  • wildcatdenwildcatden China Cat Sunflower Members Posts: 827 ✭✭

    Sounds legal. IMHO, as soon as they can, your junior should be teeing it up or marking the ball on the green by themselves. About the only time they should need help teeing it up is if the ground is too hard for them to put the tee in. Agree that it does nothing for their long term development.

  • Stuart_GStuart_G New HampshireMembers Posts: 22,876 ✭✭
    edited Apr 17, 2019 4:19pm #3

    @bwbw said:
    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.

    I can see how it might seem odd - but you have to understand that the rule is really about helping the player physically align their body during set-up. It's not really about helping the player make a decision on which direction they should be lining up to. e.g. the caddie can help the player in any way to pick a line, they just cant help them execute on that line - including set-up and stance.

  • heavy_hitterheavy_hitter Members Posts: 3,003 ✭✭
    edited Apr 17, 2019 4:27pm #4

    Make the comment to them next time "You might as well as go ahead and wipe for them." I am sure that would strike up an interesting conversation.

    Seriously though, in the spirit of the game this should not be allowed.

  • kcapkcap Members Posts: 154 ✭✭

    Will hurt the long term development of the child but it is allowed within the rules. The caddy is allowed is help in reading the greens and frankly lining up the ball is the easy part...stroke, set up (aligning you body and putter face) is more critical/difficult.

    How old is your friends daughter and what is her experience? I will be surprised if you see such hand holding for a 9-10/older child who has played plenty of tournament golf.

  • bwbwbwbw Members Posts: 56 ✭✭

    @kcap said:
    Will hurt the long term development of the child but it is allowed within the rules. The caddy is allowed is help in reading the greens and frankly lining up the ball is the easy part...stroke, set up (aligning you body and putter face) is more critical/difficult.

    How old is your friends daughter and what is her experience? I will be surprised if you see such hand holding for a 9-10/older child who has played plenty of tournament golf.

    This is in a 10-11 year old division.

  • kcapkcap Members Posts: 154 ✭✭

    @bwbw said:

    @kcap said:
    Will hurt the long term development of the child but it is allowed within the rules. The caddy is allowed is help in reading the greens and frankly lining up the ball is the easy part...stroke, set up (aligning you body and putter face) is more critical/difficult.

    How old is your friends daughter and what is her experience? I will be surprised if you see such hand holding for a 9-10/older child who has played plenty of tournament golf.

    This is in a 10-11 year old division.

    Wow. I stand corrected unless the child has just started playing golf.

    I don't know why parents do this.. I find it stupid but whatever. There was this Dad in our local who would tee it up for his 11yr old son. My son always chuckled each time he did that.. which was 18x

  • BertGABertGA Posts: 270 ✭✭

    @kcap said:

    Wow. I stand corrected unless the child has just started playing golf.

    I don't know why parents do this.. I find it stupid but whatever. There was this Dad in our local who would tee it up for his 11yr old son. My son always chuckled each time he did that.. which was 18x

    Why? To win. Short term gains, but that’s why.

  • cardoustiecardoustie haha, we don't play for 5's Members Posts: 11,606 ✭✭

    I thought the rule changed so that a caddy could mark and a player could replace
    Interesting loop in the rules for juniors and all poor greens readers really

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  • kcapkcap Members Posts: 154 ✭✭
    edited Apr 17, 2019 7:19pm #10

    @BertGA said:

    @kcap said:

    Wow. I stand corrected unless the child has just started playing golf.

    I don't know why parents do this.. I find it stupid but whatever. There was this Dad in our local who would tee it up for his 11yr old son. My son always chuckled each time he did that.. which was 18x

    Why? To win. Short term gains, but that’s why.

    I was being rhetorical with my question.
    We all know why and I still find stupid --
    I am not going to get into the full winning at age 10-11 means nothing discussion.. although it has been 3 weeks since we discussed that !!
    HH/CT Golf - you guys have any updated thoughts (just kidding).

  • leezer99leezer99 I swear I am quitting this site every day... Members Posts: 963 ✭✭

    The ruling is correct, as many have pointed out, but I'd wonder about the line being set on a firm putt or a die it in the hole putt. Unless the parent is also telling them how hard to hit it how can you trust the line?

    There's definitely something more important that I should be doing.

  • heavy_hitterheavy_hitter Members Posts: 3,003 ✭✭
    edited Apr 17, 2019 8:44pm #12

    USGA will now come out with a rule stating a caddie can't replace the ball.> @kcap said:

    @BertGA said:

    @kcap said:

    Wow. I stand corrected unless the child has just started playing golf.

    I don't know why parents do this.. I find it stupid but whatever. There was this Dad in our local who would tee it up for his 11yr old son. My son always chuckled each time he did that.. which was 18x

    Why? To win. Short term gains, but that’s why.

    I was being rhetorical with my question.
    We all know why and I still find stupid --
    I am not going to get into the full winning at age 10-11 means nothing discussion.. although it has been 3 weeks since we discussed that !!
    HH/CT Golf - you guys have any updated thoughts (just kidding).

    I blame Leezer. He texts me and eggs me on.

  • bwbwbwbw Members Posts: 56 ✭✭

    Again, I'm not saying what our friend is doing is wrong by the rules. It is definitely an odd loophole that I feel hurts the game and the players more than helps. When it first happened, our friend told my wife (who was with my daughter in that age group) that we could do it too. My wife simply replied that my daughter plays enough tours where caddies are not allowed to make it not worth it to do it for her, that we'd rather her learn to read greens and line herself up. Sure, we help our daughters read the green, but we talk about slope, uphill/downhill, and allow them to make a decision about where to putt.

  • leezer99leezer99 I swear I am quitting this site every day... Members Posts: 963 ✭✭

    @heavy_hitter said:
    USGA will now come out with a rule stating a caddie can't replace the ball.> @kcap said:

    @BertGA said:

    @kcap said:

    Wow. I stand corrected unless the child has just started playing golf.

    I don't know why parents do this.. I find it stupid but whatever. There was this Dad in our local who would tee it up for his 11yr old son. My son always chuckled each time he did that.. which was 18x

    Why? To win. Short term gains, but that’s why.

    I was being rhetorical with my question.
    We all know why and I still find stupid --
    I am not going to get into the full winning at age 10-11 means nothing discussion.. although it has been 3 weeks since we discussed that !!
    HH/CT Golf - you guys have any updated thoughts (just kidding).

    I blame Leezer. He texts me and eggs me on.

    I'm an instigator and enabler.

    There's definitely something more important that I should be doing.

  • darter79darter79 Members Posts: 682 ✭✭

    you see this a LOT in younger groups, even at worlds last year (girls 7 and under) I had one caddie she would walk it off and give the kid numbers. It's a very strange rule but it is legal it won't change either unless they change that one too.

  • Kcct82Kcct82 Members Posts: 24 ✭✭

    USKG local events don’t allow caddies to mark/replace the ball anymore. The first tee official made it very clear when we started playing this season (spring).

  • tiger1873tiger1873 Members Posts: 1,011 ✭✭

    One the first things my kids learned was how to place a ball marker. My opinion if you feel the need to do this your kid should not be playing tournament golf period. What does it take maybe 3 holes if the kid is 6 to learn how to do it correctly.

    When I see parents over caddie their kids it usually means the kid may never move up to higher tournaments that actually matter. The less you help them the better.

  • bwbwbwbw Members Posts: 56 ✭✭
    edited Apr 18, 2019 1:13pm #18

    @Kcct82 said:
    USKG local events don’t allow caddies to mark/replace the ball anymore. The first tee official made it very clear when we started playing this season (spring).

    Can you point to this as a rule? Maybe this is your local tour? This has never been addressed at our level.

    Edit to say: Even with the USKG local tour card, it states this:

    Marking & Replacing: Caddies have authorization to mark and replace the player’s ball, where the Rules permit the ball to be lifted.

    http://www.uskidsgolf.com/sites/default/files/local_hard_card_2019_revision_-_lt_logo.pdf

  • darter79darter79 Members Posts: 682 ✭✭

    @Kcct82 said:
    USKG local events don’t allow caddies to mark/replace the ball anymore. The first tee official made it very clear when we started playing this season (spring).

    This isn't true at all. If your starter told you that he is very incorrect (although it shouldn't be done)

  • bwbwbwbw Members Posts: 56 ✭✭

    @tiger1873 said:
    One the first things my kids learned was how to place a ball marker. My opinion if you feel the need to do this your kid should not be playing tournament golf period. What does it take maybe 3 holes if the kid is 6 to learn how to do it correctly.

    When I see parents over caddie their kids it usually means the kid may never move up to higher tournaments that actually matter. The less you help them the better.

    This has been the biggest thing I learned over the last 12-18 months with my daughters. When I put my oldest in tournaments where she had no caddy, she did fine. I looked back to realize that maybe she needed less of the coaching and just more of the general strategy thoughts. I've learned to listen to my oldest one on course a lot more. Sure, she still has swing faults that we're working through, but she knows different shots she is capable of.

    This weekend I am probably caddying for her (if the course is playable, again, we have 3"+ of rain just a couple of days before a tournament). My focus with her will be to help her remember her distances with her clubs (new clubs she is hitting longer this year) and keep her moving. She's been a bit more discouraged this year as she is working through a couple of small mechanics issues.

  • Kcct82Kcct82 Members Posts: 24 ✭✭

    @bwbw said:

    @Kcct82 said:
    USKG local events don’t allow caddies to mark/replace the ball anymore. The first tee official made it very clear when we started playing this season (spring).

    Can you point to this as a rule? Maybe this is your local tour? This has never been addressed at our level.

    Edit to say: Even with the USKG local tour card, it states this:

    Marking & Replacing: Caddies have authorization to mark and replace the player’s ball, where the Rules permit the ball to be lifted.

    http://www.uskidsgolf.com/sites/default/files/local_hard_card_2019_revision_-_lt_logo.pdf

    @darter79 said:

    @Kcct82 said:
    USKG local events don’t allow caddies to mark/replace the ball anymore. The first tee official made it very clear when we started playing this season (spring).

    This isn't true at all. If your starter told you that he is very incorrect (although it shouldn't be done)

    I’m simply stating what I was told at the local event. I don’t know the actual rules. He also said I could not talk to the player once he addresses the ball.

  • davep043davep043 Members Posts: 3,010 ✭✭

    @Kcct82 said:

    @bwbw said:

    @Kcct82 said:
    USKG local events don’t allow caddies to mark/replace the ball anymore. The first tee official made it very clear when we started playing this season (spring).

    Can you point to this as a rule? Maybe this is your local tour? This has never been addressed at our level.

    Edit to say: Even with the USKG local tour card, it states this:

    Marking & Replacing: Caddies have authorization to mark and replace the player’s ball, where the Rules permit the ball to be lifted.

    http://www.uskidsgolf.com/sites/default/files/local_hard_card_2019_revision_-_lt_logo.pdf

    @darter79 said:

    @Kcct82 said:
    USKG local events don’t allow caddies to mark/replace the ball anymore. The first tee official made it very clear when we started playing this season (spring).

    This isn't true at all. If your starter told you that he is very incorrect (although it shouldn't be done)

    I’m simply stating what I was told at the local event.** I don’t know the actual rules**. He also said I could not talk to the player once he addresses the ball.

    I'm the kind of guy who wants to read the actual rules myself, not hear from someone about them. I'd suggest that in the future, you should ask for a written copy of any rule that anyone tells you about, including tournament officials. You (and the player, of course) should also become familiar with the standard rules that govern all competitions.

  • tiger1873tiger1873 Members Posts: 1,011 ✭✭

    @davep043 said:

    @Kcct82 said:

    @bwbw said:

    @Kcct82 said:
    USKG local events don’t allow caddies to mark/replace the ball anymore. The first tee official made it very clear when we started playing this season (spring).

    Can you point to this as a rule? Maybe this is your local tour? This has never been addressed at our level.

    Edit to say: Even with the USKG local tour card, it states this:

    Marking & Replacing: Caddies have authorization to mark and replace the player’s ball, where the Rules permit the ball to be lifted.

    http://www.uskidsgolf.com/sites/default/files/local_hard_card_2019_revision_-_lt_logo.pdf

    @darter79 said:

    @Kcct82 said:
    USKG local events don’t allow caddies to mark/replace the ball anymore. The first tee official made it very clear when we started playing this season (spring).

    This isn't true at all. If your starter told you that he is very incorrect (although it shouldn't be done)

    I’m simply stating what I was told at the local event.** I don’t know the actual rules**. He also said I could not talk to the player once he addresses the ball.

    I'm the kind of guy who wants to read the actual rules myself, not hear from someone about them. I'd suggest that in the future, you should ask for a written copy of any rule that anyone tells you about, including tournament officials. You (and the player, of course) should also become familiar with the standard rules that govern all competitions.

    Not sure if asking for a written copy of an rule is a good way to go about things. Generally speaking if in doubt ask the tournament official. If I thought they were wrong I would maybe bring it up to them but it's also good to have your own rule book handy to show them. At the end of the day their interpretation is correct for their tournament.

    I've seen way too many people get angry over obscure rules in small local junior tournaments.

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