Golf’s completely new Rules: Few Players Know Them, Fewer Understand Them

Somewhat lost within the turbulence created by the alignment rule within the men’s game can be the fact which the change was seen as directed at the L.P.G.A., where caddies lining up players had been more common. Brittany Lincicome, an eight-time L.P.G.A. tour winner along with two-time major champion, said she was glad “the idea wasn’t one of us” who became the rule’s first victim.

After the caddie-alignment episode with McCarthy, along with several similar situations involving some other players, the U.S.G.A. along with the R&A issued a clarification: If players reset their stances after their caddies have surveyed a shot, there can be no penalty.

“Going in, we knew there were certain things which were going to come up which you’d say, ‘We’re not sure we contemplated This specific or the intention was never to have This specific outcome,’” Mike Davis, the chief executive of the U.S.G.A. told the Global Golf Post. He added, “All in all, in terms of how they’re being perceive around the globe, the idea’s very positive.”

which wasn’t the case for Rickie Fowler, who took dead aim at the caddie-alignment rule during the Phoenix Open. “You’re talking about growing the game along with creating things play faster along with whatnot,” he said, “although which’s not growing the game.”

Adding to Fowler’s exasperation was a run-in with one of the rule book’s unchanged regulations on the Sunday of the tournament. He took a two-stroke penalty for hitting a shot into the water, then absorbed another one-stroke penalty after his ball rolled back into the hazard several seconds after he walked toward the green to survey his chip.

After carding a triple bogey, Fowler, in a show of gallows humor, petitioned the rules official, Slugger White, for a rules modification.

Fowler hung on to win, although Tony Finau, who watched the round unfold on television after missing the cut, saw the gravity in Fowler’s joking.