Rules of Golf: Can you use a club or stick to help you line up a blind shot?
Golf Culture

Rules of Golf: Can you use a club or stick to help you line up a blind shot?

A picture of golf alignment sticks on the ground with a golf ball and club


Golfers routinely face blind shots on the golf course -- and bad golfers tend to face them even more often than the best players in the world.

Lining up a blind shot is tricky and takes a lot of trust. A player has to see the window for the shot, aim to that window and trust that they ball will do what they want as a result of their swing. Unfortunately, under the new Rules of Golf, golfers now no longer have the option to get a little help lining up these blind shots.

Under the Rules of Golf as of 2023, an object cannot be set down to help a player take a stance for a stroke, aim a shot or to show the line of play. An object cannot be placed down at any time, including before a shot, or even a stance, is taken.

In fact, a golfer cannot even draw a line in dew or sand to create an alignment aid. Laying down a club to show a player how to align to a target has always been against the rules.

However, under the 2019 and prior editions of the Rules of Golf, a player could set down an object on their line of play to help aim before attempting a blind shot. The caveat was it had to be removed before he started his stroke. Now that object cannot be placed at any time during the round. This is likely because trying to clearly define a blind shot is difficult, so the governing bodies wanted to take away any misconception or misinterpretation on the subject.

A caddie can still assist their player with aiming by standing in a player’s intended line before the stroke begins, but the caddie still has to get out of the line before a player takes the stroke in question.

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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for nearly 20 years. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He is a scratch golfer...sometimes.

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