Advice - Barry Rhodes Rules School
On a par-3 a player would like to know what club his fellow competitor is using. Is he penalised if he looks into his bag to determine which club he has taken ....
a) ... if he does not touch anything?
b) ... if he moves a towel or rain cover that is covering the clubs?
a) No, information obtained by observation is not advice. Decision 8-1/10.
b) Yes, A player is prohibited from obtaining such information through a physical act. Decision 8-1/11.
Two fellow competitors are considering their next strokes. Which of the following questions would incur a penalty?
a) How far is my ball from the flagstick?
b) Does the putting green slope from front to back and is there a ridge running from left to right?
c) Are there any hidden bunkers between my ball and the green?
d) Is that a water hazard to the left of the bunker and how wide is the margin from the water?
e) What is the condition of the ground on the approach to the green?
f) How long is the rough behind the fringe?
g) There is a lump of mud on my ball, am I permitted to clean it off?
h) What is the line of play from where my ball lies?
None of these questions a) to h) incurs a penalty, as they all relate to matters of distance, public information or the Rules.
Definition of Advice:
"Advice" is any counsel or suggestion that could influence a player in determining his play, the choice of a club or the method of making a stroke.
Information on the Rules, distance or matters of public information, such as the position of hazards or the flagstick on the putting green, is not advice.
The first sentence of Rule 8-2b states;
Except on the putting green, a player may have the line of play indicated to him by anyone, but no one may be positioned by the player on or close to the line or an extension of the line beyond the hole while the stroke is being made.