Rule 10 - Preparing for and Making a Stroke; Advice and Help; Caddies

10.1  Making a Stroke

10.1a/1 – Examples of Pushing, Scraping or Scooping

These terms have overlapping meanings but can be defined through these three examples of using the club in a manner not allowed by the Rule:

10.1a/2 – Player May Use Any Part of Clubhead to Fairly Strike Ball

In fairly striking a ball, any part of the clubhead may be used, including the toe, heel and back of the clubhead.

10.1a/3 – Other Material May Intervene Between Ball and Clubhead During Stroke

In fairly striking a ball, it is not necessary for the clubhead to make contact with the ball. Sometimes other material may intervene.

An example of fairly striking a ball includes when a ball is lying against the base of a fence defining out of bounds and the player makes a stroke at the out-of-bounds side of the fence to make the ball move.

10.1b/1 – Player Must Not Anchor the Club with Forearm Against Body

Holding a forearm against the body during a stroke is an indirect means of anchoring the club.

For an “anchor point” to exist, two things must happen: (1) the player must hold a forearm against the body; and (2) the player must grip the club so that the hands are separated and work independently from each other.

For example, in making a stroke with a long putter, the player’s forearm is held against his or her body to establish a stable point, while the bottom hand is held down the shaft to swing the lower portion of the club.

However, a player is allowed to hold one or both forearms against his or her body in making a stroke, so long as doing so does not create an anchor point.

10.1b/2 – Deliberate Contact with Clothing During Stroke Is a Breach

Clothing held against the body by a club or gripping hand is treated as if it is part of the player’s body for the purpose of applying Rule 10.1b. The concept of a free-flowing swing may not be circumvented by having something intervene between the player’s body and club or hand.

For example, if a player is wearing a rain jacket and is using a mid-length  putter, and presses the club into his or her body, the player is in breach of Rule 10.1b.

Additionally, if the player deliberately uses a gripping hand to hold an article of clothing worn on any part of the body (such as holding the sleeve of a shirt with a hand) while making a stroke, there is a breach of Rule 4.3 (Prohibited Use of Equipment) since that is not its intended use and doing so might assist the player in making that stroke.

10.1b/3 – Inadvertent Contact with Clothing During Stroke Is Not a Breach

Touching an article of clothing with the club or gripping hand and making a stroke is allowed.

This might occur in various situations where a player:

10.2  Advice and Other Help

10.2a/1 – Player May Get Information from Shared Caddie

If a caddie is being shared by more than one player, any of the players sharing that caddie may seek information from him or her.

For example, two players are sharing a caddie and both hit tee shots into a similar area. One of the players gets a club to make the stroke, while the other is undecided. The undecided player is allowed to ask the shared caddie what club the other player chose.

10.2a/2 – Player Must Try to Stop Ongoing Advice That Is Given Voluntarily

If a player gets advice from someone other than his or her caddie (such as a spectator) without asking for it, he or she gets no penalty. However, if the player continues to get advice from that same person, the player must try to stop that person from giving advice. If the player does not do so, he or she is treated as asking for that advice and gets the penalty under Rule 10.2a.

In a team competition (Rule 24), this also applies to a player who gets advice from a team captain who has not been named an advice giver.

10.2b(3)/1 – Setting Clubhead on Ground Behind Ball to Help the Player Take a Stance is Allowed

Rule 10.2b(3) does not allow a player to set down an object (such as an alignment rod or a golf club) to help the player take a stance.

However, this prohibition does not prevent a player from setting his or her clubhead behind the ball, such as when a player stands behind the ball and places the clubhead perpendicular to the line of play and then walks around from behind the ball to take his or her stance.

10.2b(4)/1 – Examples of When Player Begins Taking His or Her Stance

Rule 10.2b(4) does not allow a player to have his or her caddie deliberately stand behind him or her when the player begins taking a stance because aiming at the intended target is one of the challenges the player must overcome alone.

There is no set procedure for determining when a player has begun to take a stance since each player has his or her own set-up routine. However, if a player has his or her feet or body close to a position where useful guidance on aiming at the intended target could be given, it should be decided that the player has begun to take his or her stance.

Examples of when a player has begun to take a stance include when:

10.2b(5)/1 – Player May Ask Another Person Who Was Not Deliberately Positioned to Move or Remain in Place

Although a player may not place an object or position a person for the purpose of blocking the sunlight from the ball, the player may ask a person (such as a spectator) not to move when that spectator is already in position, so that a shadow remains over the ball, or may ask that spectator to move, so that his or her shadow is no longer over the ball.

10.2b(5)/2 – Player May Wear Protective Clothing

Although a player must not improve conditions affecting the stroke to protect against the elements, he or she may wear protective clothing to protect against the elements.

For example, if a player’s ball comes to rest right next to a cactus, it would breach Rule 8.1a (Actions That Improve Conditions Affecting the Stroke) if he or she placed a towel on the cactus to improve his or her area of intended stance. However, a towel may be wrapped around the player’s body to protect him or her from the cactus.

10.3 Caddies

10.3a/1 – Player Transports Clubs on Motorized Golf Cart and Hires Individual to Perform All Other Functions of a Caddie

A player whose clubs are transported on a motorized golf cart that he or she is driving is allowed to hire an individual to perform all the other duties of a caddie, and this individual is considered to be a caddie.

This arrangement is allowed provided the player has not also hired someone else to drive the cart. In such a case, the cart driver is also a caddie since he is transporting the player’s clubs, and the player gets a penalty under Rule 10.3a(1) for having more than one caddie.

10.3a/2 – Player May Caddie for Another Player When Not Playing a Round

A player in a competition may caddie for another player in the same competition, except when the player is playing his or her round or when a Local Rule restricts the player from being a caddie.

For example: