Use of self-standing putters for alignment etc. forbidden… in 2025.
You might be aware of the fact that we have quite a few new Rules of Golf as of January 1st 2023!
1) Self-standing putters.
One of the new Rules is Clarification 10.2b/1, which forbids certain uses of self-standing putters:
Provided a self-standing putter conforms to the Equipment Rules, it may be used to make a stroke (Rule 4.1a(1)). But the player (or their caddie) is not allowed to set such a putter down to get help in any way that would breach Rule 10.2b.
For example, the player must not set the putter down in a standing position right behind or right next to the spot where the ball lies on the putting green to show the line of play or to help the player in taking their stance for the stroke in breach of Rule 10.2b(3). (New)
2) Take a look!
You can see an example of this kind of putter here:
3) Prohibition postponed until 2025.
Clarification 10.2b/1 was published on November 7th 2022, and – just like all other changes – it was supposed to go into effect January 1st 2023. But in December 2022 Clarification 10.2b(3)/2 was published, postponing the implementation for two years:
A two-year delay of implementation in relation to certain uses of self-standing putters under Rule 10.2b(3) is in effect as follows:
- Until January 1, 2025, a player may use a self-standing putter by setting it down right behind or right next to the spot on which the ball came to rest to help aim or to take a stance or position their feet.
- From January 1, 2025, Rule 10.2b(3) will apply to self-standing putters and the acts described in the previous paragraph will no longer be allowed. But a player will still be allowed to use a self-standing putter that conforms to the Rules to make a stroke or take other actions allowed by the Rules. (Added December 2022).
This means that until January 1st 2025, you will be allowed to use a self-standing putter by setting it down right behind or right next to the spot on which the ball came to rest to help aim or to take a stance or position your feet.
4) Putting is not prohibited…
Please be aware that it is still all right to use the putter for putting, and this use will not be forbidden in 2025.
Please be aware that it is not prohibited to use the putter for putting, and this use will not be forbidden in 2025. It is “only” the use of the self-standing putter in breach of Rule 10.2b (i.e. e.g to show the line of play or to help the player in taking their stance for the stroke) that will be forbidden in 2025.
As long as the putter conforms to the equipment Rules, you are free to use it for putting… now and in 2025.