If you're watching the 2020 ANA Inspiration from Mission Hills Country Club in California, you may have noticed the caddies are riding in carts around the Dinah Shore Course and could be wondering why they're not carrying bags around like they normally would.
Turns out, the reason why caddies -- and not players -- are riding in carts this week is because of the forecast extremely hot temperatures.
The weather forecast for this week calls for high temperatures to push past 110 degrees and perhaps as high as 115 degrees during the competition days in the California desert. At those temperatures, carrying a bag around for four or five hours could be a life-endangering activity, so the LPGA is offering caddies a cart to use to transport clubs. Players cannot use the carts for any reason other than to transport their caddies and clubs.
Caddies do not have to use the carts if they don't want. They can carry, or they can use push carts. Caddies also will wear bibs this week instead of the traditional jumpsuits for this event.
Technically, caddies are also optional. In the restart, LPGA players are not required to employ caddies when they compete. Lindsey Weaver is the most notable example of a player who has not used a caddie, instead using a push cart to get around tournament courses. Weaver will keep with the push cart this week.
"When the LPGA gave us the option of not using caddies, I pushed my own clubs and I've been doing it for four weeks and playing pretty well so I didn't want to change anything," Weaver said, according to the LPGA. "I've gotten comfortable with it."
Though the desert offers a dry heat, players will perspire dramatically, and that sweat will evaporate quicker than in a humid environment. That can often give players a false sense of their hydration levels, which can pose a serious problem. Everyone on property will be able to have cooling towels to regulate body heat.