Originally Posted by Mulligan Jeff
Caddies should be lining up putts on the practice green but not in competition.
Why? The caddie is there to assist the player, not just be a beast of burden. He helps to choose the right club, paces off yardages, does any number of detailed tasks to help the player as he plays his round. The rules bar the caddie specifically from doing a few things, but the rest is fair game. They often read greens better than the player does, do a better job of picking the line of the putt, and that is part of the job - always has been. If you go to Scotland and play with a caddie, he will help his player with aiming his tee shots and reading the greens, picking a line for putting. I see nothing at all wrong with helping the player with his alignment before the stroke. You are allowed to lay a club down on the ground to help you with your alignment for a shot as long as it is removed before you make your stroke. I don't see any difference having the caddie do the same thing.
The player and caddie are a team, and with a few restrictions for the caddie, they are both allowed to perform many of the same tasks, and they face the same penalties for any breach of the rules. It's been that way since the job of caddie was created, and I don't see anything wrong with what they do.
Has anyone actually done any research as to the efficacy of having the caddie assist with alignment? Is there any quantitative data to show that any given player is actually a better putter for it? Or is it just more of a psychological boost.