Wyndham Clark illegal putting alignment ?

Evo the Hacker

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I’m watching the Players Championship and particularly Wyndham Clarke. When aligning his putt his caddie uses another club to align behind and in front of the ball. To me this is clearly in breach of R&A rule 10.2(b) which says an object (in this case another club) may not used when aligning the putter even if that object is removed before the putt is executed. To me, this is also against the spirit of the game and will lead to further delay if they all do it.

Why is he allowed to do this ?
 

salfordlad

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That is a misrepresentation/misunderstanding of the restriction of 10.2b. An object cannot be "set down". "Set an object down" means that the object is in contact with the ground and the player is not touching the object. If that is what this player or his caddie is doing, he will be breached. But not otherwise.
 

Evo the Hacker

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Thanks for the clarification. Looked to me like he was setting it down but maybe he just hovers it above the ground. On the 6th yesterday he employed this method but I couldn’t quite tell if the caddie grounded his club.
To me, it is not in the spirit of the game and will only slow the game down even more if they all start doing it.
 
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Thanks for the clarification. Looked to me like he was setting it down but maybe he just hovers it above the ground. On the 6th yesterday he employed this method but I couldn’t quite tell if the caddie grounded his club.
To me, it is not in the spirit of the game and will only slow the game down even more if they all start doing it.
But the explanation above says it needs to be touching the ground AND nobody holding it for it to be "set down". So if you can't tell if it's hovering or on the ground, someone must be holding it.
 

Play4par

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But the explanation above says it needs to be touching the ground AND nobody holding it for it to be "set down". So if you can't tell if it's hovering or on the ground, someone must be holding it.
His caddie is definitely touching the ground and he’s giving him the line as well. Totally unacceptable
 

Steven Rules

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I just saw Wyndham Clark's caddie doing what has been referred to above. Nothing to see here from a rules perspective. All he is doing is standing over the putt himself with some sort of wedge in his hand - I assume to get his own feel for what the putt entails. A sort of visualisation routine. Whether the wedge is grounded or not (and it doesn't seem to be) is irrelevant. The caddie certainly doesn't set the wedge down. (i.e. put it down and let go of it)

Pace of play is very closely monitored by the officials on site. As I write, there is at least one group 'on the clock'.
 

pendodave

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I just saw Wyndham Clark's caddie doing what has been referred to above. Nothing to see here from a rules perspective. All he is doing is standing over the putt himself with some sort of wedge in his hand - I assume to get his own feel for what the putt entails. A sort of visualisation routine. Whether the wedge is grounded or not (and it doesn't seem to be) is irrelevant. The caddie certainly doesn't set the wedge down. (i.e. put it down and let go of it)

Pace of play is very closely monitored by the officials on site. As I write, there is at least one group 'on the clock'.
The idea that pace of play is "very closely monitored" is, frankly, hilarious. Maybe it is, but no-one important is ever pinged for it, so it's of no particular consequence.
Tbf, this applies to any number of egregious rules liberties, but PoP is the most painful for spectators/viewers
 

Slab

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Setting aside the time element, this level of input from a caddie should be eradicated from the game. It’s the players responsibility and skill to read a line- full stop

Nice idea but would that mean they couldn’t offer advice on the line for any approach or tee shot either (which if misread by player is likely to be more costly in terms of strokes, than a misread putt)
 

Orikoru

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Setting aside the time element, this level of input from a caddie should be eradicated from the game. It’s the players responsibility and skill to read a line- full stop
I agree. If they have banned the caddie standing behind the player on the line of the putt - which I'm certain they have - I can't see any reason why this should be allowed. (Other than the fact that nobody has done it before hence it's never come up.) It seems to broadly fall into the same boat for me.
 

Lord Tyrion

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Nice idea but would that mean they couldn’t offer advice on the line for any approach or tee shot either (which if misread by player is likely to be more costly in terms of strokes, than a misread putt)
You could simply say that caddie involvement is not allowed once your ball is on the green. That is a simple enough line to draw. It wouldn't speed up all golfers but it would certainly help with some.
 

Slab

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You could simply say that caddie involvement is not allowed once your ball is on the green. That is a simple enough line to draw. It wouldn't speed up all golfers but it would certainly help with some.

Hard to police though.
They put in place certain physical things caddies couldn't do re lining up but to ban caddies giving any line advice on a green means the two can't even talk (about anything) unless they're all mic'd up to check its not line advice
 

Lord Tyrion

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Hard to police though.
They put in place certain physical things caddies couldn't do re lining up but to ban caddies giving any line advice on a green means the two can't even talk (about anything) unless they're all mic'd up to check its not line advice
I'm not sure that is difficult. Once the ball is on the green, all the caddy can do is look after the flag. They can offer no advice, stand on the line, behind the line etc. The precise wording can be refined, if a player hits a 250yd approach shot that hits the green then they can surely chat with the caddy as they walk up to the green but these are details that can be ironed out. In terms of policing, exactly how rules are policed now.
 

Slab

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I'm not sure that is difficult. Once the ball is on the green, all the caddy can do is look after the flag. They can offer no advice, stand on the line, behind the line etc. The precise wording can be refined, if a player hits a 250yd approach shot that hits the green then they can surely chat with the caddy as they walk up to the green but these are details that can be ironed out. In terms of policing, exactly how rules are policed now.

that would have to mean ...
No hand signals or other coded actions (think baseball pitcher/catcher) including facial expressions, so no eye contact between player and caddie while ball on green..., its just not workable for eradicating one of the oldest functions of a caddie "yes sire that's about a ball right & slightly uphill"

edit: re the bold
not really they can't talk on the fairway, otherwise all they would have to do is exit the green to be able to discuss the line without breaking the rule
 

Swango1980

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I'm not sure that is difficult. Once the ball is on the green, all the caddy can do is look after the flag. They can offer no advice, stand on the line, behind the line etc. The precise wording can be refined, if a player hits a 250yd approach shot that hits the green then they can surely chat with the caddy as they walk up to the green but these are details that can be ironed out. In terms of policing, exactly how rules are policed now.
I think that just would add in a whole can of unnecessary worms. And, for what purpose? The golfer and the caddy are a team, the caddie doesn't just carry clubs. The caddy reads yardages to greens, the caddy talks through the correct club and shot to play, and the caddy is often a sports psychologist to keep the golfers feet on the ground. So, why can a caddy not discuss with the player whether a putt breaks left to right, right to left or whatever other advise would be useful?

And, if this sort of thing cannot be discussed between people in the same team, would we be DQing team mates in fourball, or best 2 out of 4 scores count in Opens when they discuss how a putt will break?

Caddies usually get 10% of the prize money, so I think there is enough value in that to do more than carry a bag of clubs.
 

Lord Tyrion

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I think that just would add in a whole can of unnecessary worms. And, for what purpose? The golfer and the caddy are a team, the caddie doesn't just carry clubs. The caddy reads yardages to greens, the caddy talks through the correct club and shot to play, and the caddy is often a sports psychologist to keep the golfers feet on the ground. So, why can a caddy not discuss with the player whether a putt breaks left to right, right to left or whatever other advise would be useful?

And, if this sort of thing cannot be discussed between people in the same team, would we be DQing team mates in fourball, or best 2 out of 4 scores count in Opens when they discuss how a putt will break?

Caddies usually get 10% of the prize money, so I think there is enough value in that to do more than carry a bag of clubs.
The purpose is the one raised in an earlier post, to put the skill back into reading a putt, also to speed up play.
 

Lord Tyrion

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that would have to mean ...
No hand signals or other coded actions (think baseball pitcher/catcher) including facial expressions, so no eye contact between player and caddie while ball on green..., its just not workable for eradicating one of the oldest functions of a caddie "yes sire that's about a ball right & slightly uphill"

edit: re the bold
not really they can't talk on the fairway, otherwise all they would have to do is exit the green to be able to discuss the line without breaking the rule
With all of the cameras at tournaments, with other players seeing what is going on, the players / caddies would not be able to fiddle the system. They would soon get used to it and just leave the player to it. That's all, just let the player do their thing.

In terms of your latter point, they can always put a catch all, 'spirit of the game' type clause. It isn't that hard if people want to thrash out the wording. I started with a blunt idea, no chat when the ball reaches the green. That doesn't work on it's own, for the reasons both of us have given. It's a starting point though, they can work around that. Very much like the caddy not being allowed behind a player taking their putt. Lots of fuss about that initially, no one mentions it now.
 

Swango1980

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The purpose is the one raised in an earlier post, to put the skill back into reading a putt, also to speed up play.
So, put more on the players shoulders regarding the skill or reading putts, but not worry so much about the skill of measuring the distance to the pin or club selection? As I said, they are both a team, and so I see no issue with them both having an opportunity to read the line of a putt.

Also, I don't think a caddies involvement in reading a putt adds any additional time. In fact, it probably saves time. If only the player was able to read the putt, I can see many players having lots of doubts over many putts, and doubling the time they walk around the ball and hole to double / triple check their reading is correct. Whereas, if they have a caddy to help them, this can quickly fill them with confidence that their thinking is correct.

Besides, is part of a caddies preliminary work not about going out on the course and getting a feel for the breaks in the greens. I know the player does a bit as well in practice rounds, but I thought caddies would do a lot more research?
 
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