What can a player or caddie do to indicate a line for putting?

Published 10/05/2011 07:20:00

Mark and Tom are partners in a four-ball match, and they are reading a line for Mark's upcoming putt. Tom, standing behind the hole, wants to show that he thinks the putt will break about six inches. He uses his foot to point to a spot on an extension of the line he thinks Mark should aim along, touching the ground with his toe at the spot.

Is this allowed?

No. In match play, Mark and Tom lose the hole. In stroke play, each of them is penalized two strokes: Tom because he committed the infraction, and Mark because the infraction assisted his play.

When a player's ball is on the green, the player, partner, or one of their caddies may point out a line before a stroke, but may not touch the green in doing so (Rule 8-2b). This even applies to a player or caddie's foot if the foot is used for the expressed purpose of pointing out a line. In this example, Tom should have let his toe hover just above the ground in order to show the spot. The same ruling applies to using a flagstick to point out the line -- it must not touch the ground.

This Rule applies only on a stroke from the green. If Mark were chipping, or even using a putter from the fringe, Tom would be allowed to touch the ground in pointing out a line before -- but not during -- the stroke.

Now What If?

Mark and Tom are partners in a four-ball match. Tom indicates a line for Mark's putt by casting his shadow on the green and remains standing in the same place while Mark hits the putt.

Is this allowed?

No. Casting a shadow to indicate a line is allowed before, but not during, a putt. Mark and Tom lose the hole in match play; both are penalized two strokes in stroke play.


1.  About de rule 16

My cadie could use a laser point to show me the line inside the green?

comment by Diogo - 13/05/2013 15:02

2.  Wanted to know that when I am about to put, my caddy behind tells me the line and makes me address and says left, little right and moves from behind and then I put. Is this allowed or a stroke ?

comment by karma khorko - 15/05/2014 05:27

3.  Re Comment 1 - Only if the pointer is switched off before the stroke is made

Re Comment 2 - Only if the caddie moves from behind the player before the stroke

comment by Doug - 08/01/2015 13:55

4.  He uses his foot to point to a spot on an extension of the line he thinks Mark should aim along,....

Note that the Line of Putt does not extend beyond the hole

comment by Doug - 08/01/2015 13:56

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