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Alignment Aid?


Papa Steve 55
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Played a round this weekend with another member. He was talking about how he had been struggling with hitting all his shots to the right, no slice, just right off the club face. Said he fixed it though. What I noticed is that he parked his cart a couple feet above the ball, on the fairway obviously,  aligned to the hole. He used the cart to force his swing down the path. I'm trying to decide if he's really cheating or really clever.

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That idea has been around for qute a while. Last I heard, as long it was not "cart path only", it was ok. Never tried it myslf though. I lway kept the cart in back of me. 

It's not much different than using something else on the course as an alignment aid. 

I use trees, bushes, even other player's golf balls for alignment aids sometimes.

My big deal with alignment is club face alignment. I align every thing else off where my club face is pointing. 

When playing, my 2nd best alignment check point, is when at address, just before I start my swing, I take one last look at my target area over my left shoulder. As long as everything in view looks good, compared to my left shoulder, I know I am good to go. Just the finishing touch to my preshot routine.

If the "view" over my left shoulder doesn't look right, I step out, and redo my set up. 

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It is within the rules, to use a golf club as an alignment aid, so long as the club is picked up prior to playing the shot.  One would think a golf cart, when used for alignment purposes, would have to be moved as well.

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31 minutes ago, Piz said:

It is within the rules, to use a golf club as an alignment aid, so long as the club is picked up prior to playing the shot.  One would think a golf cart, when used for alignment purposes, would have to be moved as well.

That's not exactly correct.  See Rule 10.2b(3), if you take your stance while the club is in place, you cannot escape the penalty by picking up the club.

Quote

(3) No Setting Down Object to Help in Taking Stance. A player must not take a stance for the stroke using any object that was set down by or for the player to help in lining up his or her feet or body, such as a club set down on the ground to show the line of play.

If the player takes a stance in breach of this Rule, he or she cannot avoid penalty by backing away from the stance and removing the object.

As to the OP, it would be hard to "prove" that the player was parking his cart specifically to assist with his alignment.  On the other hand, if he's told you that he parks that way on purpose, you'd be justified in telling him that he was breaking the rule.  I suppose that you could argue that parking a buggy doesn't qualify as "setting down an object", but to me if he's parking the "object" in a specific way to help with alignment, he's violated the rule.

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Thanks for the clarification @DaveP043.  

In der bag:
Cleveland Hi-Bore driver, Maltby 5 wood, Maltby hybrid, Maltby irons and wedges (23 to 50) Vokey 59/07, Cleveland Niblick (LH-42), and a Maltby mallet putter.                                                                                                                                                 "When the going gets tough...it's tough to get going."

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I suppose if a how a cart is park could be a rules violation, then the guy using the cart as a swing aid should be called on it. 

It would be tough to prove, much like a person tending the flag, using one of their feet as an aim point for the golfer to roll their putt to. 

I always parked the cart behind me to get a full view of what was in front of me. That, and as for protectection from what might get hit behind me. 

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  • iacas changed the title to Alignment Aid?
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1 hour ago, DaveP043 said:

As to the OP, it would be hard to "prove" that the player was parking his cart specifically to assist with his alignment.  On the other hand, if he's told you that he parks that way on purpose, you'd be justified in telling him that he was breaking the rule.  I suppose that you could argue that parking a buggy doesn't qualify as "setting down an object", but to me if he's parking the "object" in a specific way to help with alignment, he's violated the rule.

Remember the Rules about a caddy specifically placing a bag so that a shadow has an effect to help a player? Same deal with the cart (or a shadow cast by the cart).

I think it's worded as "protection" from the elements, but it also deals with stuff like a ball in sunlight, which isn't really much "protection" or anything, so I think it could still apply here.

1 hour ago, Patch said:

I suppose if a how a cart is park could be a rules violation, then the guy using the cart as a swing aid should be called on it.

Why? You can use a cart to stretch yourself, for example. How is the "cart" being used as "a swing aid"? Clarify, please.

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13 minutes ago, iacas said:

Remember the Rules about a caddy specifically placing a bag so that a shadow has an effect to help a player? Same deal with the cart (or a shadow cast by the cart).

I think it's worded as "protection" from the elements, but it also deals with stuff like a ball in sunlight, which isn't really much "protection" or anything, so I think it could still apply here.

Why? You can use a cart to stretch yourself, for example. How is the "cart" being used as "a swing aid"? Clarify, please.

Just responding to @DavePO43 post that guy said he used the cart as an alignment aid. 

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This reminds me of something I saw at the 2016 U.S. Senior Amateur at Old Warson CC. The tee markers that week were white, arrow-like strips of wood, held in the ground by two metal spikes.

Several of the players started teeing up their ball just inside the arrow marker, with their feet on the outside. They were using the marker to assist with alignment.

image.png.58f231234b2b059500963b52b7523f1e.png

This went OK until the 16th hole, a long par 5. By chance, that tee arrow was pointed about 5 degrees to the left. Several golfers who used the arrow pounded their tee shots into the treetop overhanging the left edge of fairway about 150 yards out. Bad news if their match was tight.

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22 minutes ago, WUTiger said:

This reminds me of something I saw at the 2016 U.S. Senior Amateur at Old Warson CC. The tee markers that week were white, arrow-like strips of wood, held in the ground by two metal spikes.

Several of the players started teeing up their ball just inside the arrow marker, with their feet on the outside. They were using the marker to assist with alignment.

image.png.58f231234b2b059500963b52b7523f1e.png

This went OK until the 16th hole, a long par 5. By chance, that tee arrow was pointed about 5 degrees to the left. Several golfers who used the arrow pounded their tee shots into the treetop overhanging the left edge of fairway about 150 yards out. Bad news if their match was tight.

Question:  By using the tee makers in this fashion, is it a rules violation? 

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24 minutes ago, djake said:

Question:  By using the tee makers in this fashion, is it a rules violation? 

No. They didn't put it there.

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@iacas thanks!  I have always wondered about that

- Dean

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5 minutes ago, djake said:

@iacas thanks!  I have always wondered about that

You can't really be penalized for something you didn't do. If your ball is near a fairway stripe, you can "use" it to align. Or near a cart path. Or if a bunker rake helps you line up… you just can't place the thing there on purpose.

For instance I've thrown a bunker rake near my ball, and will sometimes note that it's pretty close to my line, but as I didn't do that on purpose, I'm not liable for it (most often it is not near my line, and if the round actually matters, I'll intentionally put it at an angle if I do that so that nobody can make such a claim or suspect it).

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Just to be clear, he never said it, and I never asked. He was only a couple feet away from the ball, that would mess me up. I look for a broken Tee in front of the box and tee it up behind that to get me to push the club head a bit further down the line. but its already there so I figure I'm good.

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Placing something deliberately to align yourself is wrong.  Using what exists smartly is OK.  So, you can tee up behind a leaf or broken tee or whatever.  But placing a club, your bag, cart etc to guide you is wrong.  Look at it like that.

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4 hours ago, Rulesman said:

The words in the rule are clear enough.

The player or caddie must not set an object down anywhere on or off the putting green to show the line of play. This is not allowed even if that object is removed before the stroke is made.

That rule is for a ball on the putting green. I think the discussion is more about a ball not on the putting green, 10.2b(1):

Quote

(1) Pointing Out Line of Play for Ball Anywhere Except on Putting Green. A player may have his or her line of play pointed out by:

• Having his or her caddie or any other person stand on or close to the player’s line of play to show where it is, but that person must move away before the stroke is made.

Having an object (such as a bag or towel) set down on the course to show the line of play, but the object must be removed before the stroke is made

and 10.2b(3):

Quote

(3) No Setting Down Object to Help in Taking Stance. A player must not take a stance for the stroke using any object that was set down by or for the player to help in lining up his or her feet or body, such as a club set down on the ground to show the line of play.

 

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