Misunderstood Rules 2: Giving or Receiving Advice

Often well meaning comments made by another player in your group, but you can also inadvertently ask for advice without thinking. A player may not give or seek advice to or from anyone except their caddie, partner or partner’s caddie (or a nominated “advice giver”, if allowed, in a team competition).

Interestingly, the Advice Giver incurs the general penalty immediately. If the advice is unsolicited the Advice Receiver will not get a penalty in the first instance, but must act to stop the advice being given or they will be treated as asking for subsequent advice.

Advice is defined as “Any verbal comment or action (such as showing what club was just used to make a stroke) that is intended to influence a player in:

  • Choosing a club,
  • Making a stroke, or
  • Deciding how to play during a hole or round

As well as the example in the video, common phrases you might hear include:
“I think it’s a 2 club wind today”
“Great shot, what club did you hit there” (asked before you hit your shot)
“Gosh, I though I would be able to easily reach the green with a 5 iron”
“If you hit your tee shot down the right its a much easier approach to this pin position”

Actions that constitute advice include:
– Placing a towel, or other object, to show line of play (e.g. for a blind shot) and not removing it before the stroke is made. (NB you can’t place any object down on the course to indicate line of play for a putt)
– Touching someone else’s clubs to see which one they are using. (You can look – but don’t touch!)

Also note that Information is not Advice, so it is OK to ask for, or to give:
– distances, e.g. to the hole or to carry a penalty area
– locations, e.g. the position of the hole on the green
– options allowed under the rules (but make sure all options are cited, not just a recommended option)
– a weather forecast (e.g. expecting a 15mph wind from the south west)

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