Conditions of Team Competition Stipulate Who Is Authorized to Give Advice
Q.A condition of a team competition stipulates that only the Team Captain may give advice or that the person to be appointed by each team to give advice must be an amateur. Is this permitted?
A.Yes – see Note to Rule 8.
Team Captain Gives Advice While Playing
Q.If the Committee has adopted the Note to Rule 8 as a condition of the competition, may a Team Captain, while playing in the competition, give advice to a team mate other than his partner?
Decisions related to 8/1 and 8/2: See "Team Competition" in the Index.
Exchanging Distance Information
Information regarding the distance between two objects is public information and not advice. It is therefore permissible for players to exchange information relating to the distance between two objects. For example, a player may ask anyone, including his opponent, fellow-competitor or either of their caddies, the distance between his ball and the hole.
• 14-3/0.5 Local Rule Permitting Use of Distance-Measuring Device.
• 14-3/0.7 Player Obtains Distance Information Measured with Electronic Device
Seeking Information on Whereabouts of Another Player's Ball
Q.A player preparing to play to a putting green asks a spectator to advise him how far his opponent's or fellow-competitor's ball, which is on the green, lies from the flagstick. Was the player in breach of Rule 8-1?
• 9-2/16 Ascertaining Whereabouts of Opponent's Ball Before Playing.
Asking Opponent or Fellow-Competitor What Club He Used at Previous Hole
Q.During play of the 6th hole, A asked B what club he (B) had used on the 4th hole, which is a par-3 of a similar length. Was A in breach of Rule 8-1?
After Player Has Played to Green He Asks Opponent or Fellow-Competitor What Club He Used in Playing to Green
Q.A plays his second shot which lands on the green. B does likewise. A then asks B what club he used for his second shot. Was A in breach of Rule 8-1?
Comment About Club Selection After Stroke
Q.After playing a stroke, a player says: "I should have used a 5-iron." Was the player in breach of Rule 8-1?
A.If the statement was made casually, there was no breach. If the statement was made to another player who had a shot to play from about the same position, there was a breach.
Misleading Statement About Club Selection
Q.A made a statement regarding his club selection which was purposely misleading and was obviously intended to be overheard by B, who had a similar shot. What is the ruling?
A.A was in breach of Rule 8-1 and lost the hole in match play or incurred a two-stroke penalty in stroke play.
Looking into Another Player's Bag to Determine Club Used
Q.A looks into B's bag to determine which club B used for his last stroke. Is this the equivalent of asking for advice?
A.No. Information obtained by observation is not advice. But see also Decision 8-1/11.
Removing Towel Covering Another Player's Clubs to Determine Club Used
Q.Decision 8-1/10 states that it is not a breach of Rule 8-1 for A to look into B's golf bag to determine which club B used for his last stroke. Suppose a towel was covering B's clubs and A removed the towel in order to determine which club B had used, would that be a breach of Rule 8-1?
A.Yes. A player is prohibited from obtaining such information through a physical act.
Double Caddie Informs One Employer About Club Used by Another
Q.When one caddie is employed by two players, A and B, who are not partners, is it permissible for A, who is about to play, to ask the caddie which club B used for a stroke from a nearby position?
A.Yes. A is entitled to seek from the caddie any information the caddie might possess.
Player Giving Opponent or Fellow-Competitor Instruction During Round
Q.During a round a player tells an opponent or a fellow-competitor that he is overswinging. Is this giving advice in breach of Rule 8-1?
Competitor, After Finishing Hole, Demonstrates to Fellow-Competitor How to Play Shot
Q.In individual stroke play, A, who had just holed out on the 7th hole, demonstrated to B, whose ball was just off the putting green, how he should play his chip shot. What is the ruling?
A.B incurred no penalty as he did not seek advice. A incurred a penalty of two strokes for giving advice to B. As one of the competitors involved (B) had not completed the hole, the penalty would be applied at the 7th hole.
Had both A and B completed the 7th hole, A's penalty would be applied at the 8th hole.
Caddie Swings Club to Show Player How to Play Shot
Q.A player's caddie takes one of his clubs and swings it to show him how to play a certain shot. Is this permissible?
A.Yes, provided there is no undue delay. A player may always seek and accept advice from his caddie (Rule 8-1).
Suggesting to Competitor That He Deem His Ball Unplayable
Q.B's ball was lying badly. B was deliberating 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, contrary to Rule 8-1?
A.Yes. A's suggestion could have influenced B "in determining his play." Thus, it constituted advice – see Definition of "Advice." It did not constitute "information on the Rules," which is not advice.
Request for Advice Made in Error to Opponent's Caddie Withdrawn Before Advice Given
Q.While surveying his putt, A sought advice from B's caddie whom he mistook for his own caddie. A immediately realized his mistake and told B's caddie not to answer. The caddie said nothing. What is the ruling?
A.There should be no penalty.
• 16-1d/6 Caddie Roughens Surface of Putting Green But Player Does Not Benefit.
Player Who Has Not Yet Played Seeks Advice from Player Who Has Finished Round
Q.May a player about to start his round seek advice as to clubs used at various holes from a player who has just finished?
A.Yes. Rule 8-1 applies only during the play of a round.
Advice Between Rounds in 36-Hole Match
Q.May a player seek advice, other than from his partner or caddie, after 18 holes in a 36-hole match?
A.Yes. Rule 8-1 applies only during a stipulated round. A 36-hole match consists of two 18-hole stipulated rounds – see Definition of "Stipulated Round."
Asking Advice When Play Suspended
Q.A is about to play the 6th hole, a par-3, when play is suspended by the Committee. Prior to the resumption of play, A asks X, who had already played the 6th, what club he used for his tee shot. Is A penalized under Rule 8-1?
A.No. The prohibition against giving or asking for advice applies only during a stipulated round. In this case, the stipulated round had been suspended.
Advice Given by Team Mate in Another Group in Stroke Play
Q.Individual and team competitions are being played concurrently in stroke play. A competitor is given advice by a team mate who is playing in another group. What is the ruling?
A.The team mate would be penalized two strokes.
Team Mates Playing as Fellow-Competitors Exchange Advice
Q.The format for a competition between two teams is as follows: Individual stroke play, with the winner being the team with the lowest aggregate score. Play is in groups of four, with two players from each team in each group.
In such an event, may two team members playing in the same group give each other advice?
A.No. The team mates are fellow-competitors and not partners in this type of event, which is not the same as four-ball stroke play (Rule 31-1), and they would be penalized for each breach of Rule 8-1.
Advice Given by Team Coach or Captain
Q.A team competition is being played, and in the conditions the Committee has not authorized captains or coaches to give advice under the Note to Rule 8. A non-playing coach or captain gives advice during a round to one of the members of his team. What is the ruling?
A.There is no penalty. However, the player should take action to stop this irregular procedure. If he does not do so, he should, in equity (Rule 1-4), incur a penalty of loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play in view of the purpose of Rule 8-1.
Decisions related to 8-1/21 through 8-1/24: See "Team Competition" in the Index.
Advice Given on Request; Penalties in Various Forms of Play
In singles match play, if A asks for advice from B, it is irrelevant whether B gives advice because A lost the hole as soon as he asked.
In a four-ball match, A and B versus C and D, if A asks for advice from C and C gives advice, A and C are disqualified for the hole. The penalties do not apply to their partners (Rule 30-3f).
In stroke play, if A asks for advice from B, a fellow-competitor, A incurs a penalty of two strokes. If B gives advice, he also incurs a penalty of two strokes.
• 30-3a/2 Absent Partner Gives Advice Before Joining Match.
Player Briefly Changes Caddies for Exchange of Advice
Q.In view of the fact that a player may change caddies during his stipulated round, may a player briefly change caddies for the purpose of receiving advice from the new caddie?
A.No. It would be contrary to the purpose and spirit of the Rules for a player to change caddies briefly for the purpose of circumventing Rule 8-1 (Advice). Therefore, in equity (Rule 1-4), the player would incur a penalty of loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play for each hole at which the action occurred.
• 6-4/7 Changing Caddies During Round.
Other Decisions related to Rule 8-1: See "Advice" in the Index.
INDICATING LINE OF PLAY OTHER THAN ON PUTTING GREEN
Club Placed on Ground to Align Feet
Q.A player places a club on the ground parallel to the line of play to assist him in aligning his feet properly. Is this permissible?
A.Yes, provided the player removes the club before playing his stroke. Otherwise, a breach of Rule 8-2a would occur.
• 14-3/10.3 Use of Rod During Round for Alignment or as Swing Aid.
Object Placed Beside or Behind Ball to Indicate Line of Play
Q.May a player place his pipe or a club beside his ball, or an object behind his ball, to indicate the line of play and leave the object there while playing a stroke?
A.No. Such action would be a breach of Rule 8-2a.
Player Places Mark to Indicate Distance for Pitch Shot
Q.A player who has a pitch shot places a club on the ground off his line of play to indicate the distance he would like his ball to carry and leaves the club there during the stroke. What is the ruling?
A.In view of the purpose of Rule 8-2a, in equity (Rule 1-4), the player incurs the general penalty of loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play.
Other Decisions related to Rule 8-2a: See "Indicating Line of Play" and "Line of Play" in the Index.
INDICATING LINE OF PUTT
Caddie Casts Shadow to Indicate Line for Putting
Q.A caddie casts his shadow on the putting green for the purpose of indicating to the player a line for putting. Is this permissible?
A.Yes, but only if the shadow is removed prior to the stroke.
Caddie Attending Flagstick Advises Player to Aim at His Foot
Q.A player's ball lies on the putting green and his caddie attends the flagstick for him. The caddie suggests, before the stroke, that the player aim at the caddie's left foot. Is the player in breach of Rule 8-2b?
A.If the caddie had placed his foot in position for the purpose of pointing out the line for putting, the player was in breach of Rule 8-2b as soon as the caddie placed his foot in that position. The breach could not be corrected by the caddie subsequently moving his foot.
If the caddie did not initially place his foot in such a position for the purpose of pointing out the line for putting but subsequently suggested the player aim at his left foot, the player would be in breach of Rule 8-2b if the caddie did not move that foot to another position that does not indicate a line for putting prior to the stroke.
The same answer would apply if a player's partner attends the flagstick for him.
Caddie Touches Putting Green to Indicate Line of Play Before Player Chips from Off Green
Q.The caddie of a player who is preparing to play a chip shot from off the putting green touches the green with a club to indicate the line of play. What is the ruling?
A.There is no penalty. The prohibition against touching the putting green to indicate the line of play applies only if the player's ball lies on the putting green.
Whether Team Captain Who Is Authorized to Give Advice May Be Required to Keep Off Putting Greens
Q.In a team competition, the Committee wishes to introduce a condition of competition permitting a Team Captain to give advice to members of his team, including pointing out a line for putting. However, it wishes to stipulate that he must keep off the putting greens. Is such a condition permitted?
A.Yes – see Note to Rule 8.
Related Decisions: See "Team Competition" in the Index.
Other Decisions related to Rule 8-2b: See "Indicating Line for Putting" and "Line of Putt" in the Index.