What is Advice on the Golf Course?

What is Advice on the Golf Course?

Today is March 14th, 2018 and we present What is Advice on the Golf Course?  Rules & Etiquette Wednesday #79.  A Golf Video Blog with Mel Sole, Director of Instruction and Master Professional at the Mel Sole Golf School at Pawleys Plantation Golf and Country Club in Pawleys Island, SC.

What is Advice on the Golf Course?

 In order to maintain a fair and even competition, the United States Golfers Association (USGA) has designated a certain set of rules for professional golfers to abide by, titled “The Official Rules of Golf,” The eighth rule stipulates advice may only be given to partners and dictates how and when a player can give advice on the golf course.

Rule 8-1 states:

“During a stipulated round, a player must not:
a) give advice to anyone in the competition playing on the course other than his partner, or
b) ask for advice from anyone other than his partner or either of their caddies.”

Note that in golf a ‘partner’ is a player associated with another player on the same side, as in a four-ball or foursomes competition, and is not a fellow competitor.


Player B’s ball was lying badly. B was deliberating on what action to take, when A, his fellow competitor said “You have no shot at all.  If I were you I would deem the ball unplayable.”

Was A giving advice to B?  Yes, he was.  His suggestion influenced his fellow competitor on how to play his next shot.  This would have been an unfair advantage over the rest of the field if he was playing in a competition.  He would have been completely correct if he had said: “According to the rules, you are entitled to a drop.”  That is the difference.


More Examples:

“What distance do you think it is from my ball to the flagstick?”
“Do you think that the 150-metre marker is accurate?”
“Now that we’ve both played our tee shots, tell me which club did you use?”
“What are the options if I declare my ball unplayable?”
“What is my line of play for this blind tee shot?”
“Is there a ditch between my ball and the hole?”
“Is that a sand bunker or a grassy hollow at the side of the putting green?”
“Could you please position yourself on top of that mound to show me my line of play to the green?” (But the marker must move before the player makes their stroke).
“When you lift your ball because it’s interfering with my next stroke you must not clean it.”

None of the above incurs any penalty.

Source: BarryRhodes   Mel Sole Golf School



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