Women golfers support proposed rule changes
The winds of change are abound in golf, with Wednesday's announcement of proposed changes to the sport's rules, set to take effect from 2019.
The R&A and United States Golf Association (USGA) want to eliminate many penalties, including for accidentally moving your ball marker on the green, and reduce the total number of rules from 34 to 24.
But one idea that may provoke heated debate - especially on the LPGA Tour, where it is most prevalent - is forbidding caddies to help players line up putts.
World No. 1 Lydia Ko and former No. 1 Park Inbee, though, are cool with that proposed rule change.
"I think that's good because I don't use anyone to line me up, and I don't think that's doing any good to the players anyway," said world No. 12 Park, after her opening round at the HSBC Women's Champions at the Sentosa Golf Club yesterday.
"I think the players... have the abilities to do that (hit the target). I think it's pretty fair."
New Zealander Ko said the changes are moving the sport in the "right direction".
The 19-year-old said: "I guess the player lining up thing, that means I've got two years to get myself to line up straight.
"The rest of the rules... I think it's going in the right direction.
"They are obviously doing the best they can so that it will be more fair between all the players and to try and maintain the pace of play, too.
"They gave me enough time to practise my alignment, so I can't really be complaining."
Other proposed changes include less time allowed for ball searches, permission to use clubs damaged during a round and no sanction for accidentally moving a ball or a marker.
The overriding motivations are to speed up play and make golf more simple, and the alterations are more radical than many had predicted
"We are really about modernising the rules of golf and, in very simple terms, trying to make them easier to understand and apply," said David Rickman, the R&A's executive director of governance.
The proposed changes also earned praise from former men's world No. 1 Tiger Woods
He tweeted: "Lots of thought and hard work by USGA and R&A to modernise our rules. Great work to benefit the game.
Britain's Ian Poulter also backed the plans, but called on the game's governing bodies to also ban detailed maps of greens that players are allowed to consult prior to putting.
"The Tour greens books should be banned," Poulter said on Twitter.
"The art of putting has been lost. If you can't read a green, that's your fault."