The Symetra Tour, the developmental circuit for the LPGA, will allow players to use pull carts in competition this season for the first time.
The decision came as part of an extension of a sponsorship agreement with equipment maker Sun Mountain, whose product will be designated the official walking cart of the tour.
Ahead of the season, tour officials told players they would no longer be able to store their clubs on a cart that follows each group, according to a source. Instead, they could carry their own bag or hire a caddie. Players were apprised of the possibility of this third option, as well.
With most purses on the tour under $150,000 and the top money winner last year earning $66,412, few players can afford professional caddies on a weekly basis, much less for a full season.
Volunteers driving carts will continue to follow each group to track live scoring for the tour's website. Players can store other belongings on the cart, but not their clubs.
The Symetra Tour joins several other smaller professional tours to allow pull carts. The Ladies European Tour already permits players to use them in competition.