Originally Posted by Ignorant
I think you are mixing the things up a bit.
A caddie can point out a line FOR putting as he stands down the line but a player cannot do that by placing his putter by his ball. In order to understand that one has to understand what pointing out the line means. I'm afraid I cannot explain that to you properly without drawings and I do not know how to create/attach them.
Well, I'm pretty certain I understand what "pointing out the line [for putting]" means. As it's not using any defined terms (i.e., it is not using the term "line of play"), it would seem it should be read as plain English. One would normally think of pointing out the line as you describe it---the caddy standing toward the hole---but since it's not defined, I don't see why he couldn't stand behind the golfer. After all, while the line of play does not extend away from the hole past the ball, one could perfectly well point to a line and say "putt away from here."
I'd agree with you that the player cannot be considered to be pointing out a line for putting when he addresses the ball. That would, of course, be nonsensical. But that's not the situation I'm talking about. Prior to address, the rules seem to preclude touching the green for this purpse, and I'd think this would fairly obviously include, say, using the putter as an "extended finger" to touch a spot on the ground. If you're saying that a player is, for some reason, allowed to touch the green with his putter for this purpose other than at address, the issue is that I don't understand what rule or decision specifies this rule. There certainly is no clause, aside from the obvious fact that you're allowed to address the ball, that would give a player any leave to touch the green whether it's with his putter or his finger.
(I suppose it's possible that "touch" really only means with ones hand or finger. However, if that's the case, I really don't understand the purpose behind the rule.)