Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ask Linda #417-Is this advice?

Dear Linda,
Recently I played a round with 2 friends. After one of them (player A) had hit an iron shot to a par 3, the other (player B) went to player A’s bag to see what club he had just used. He asked player A “is that the club you just hit?,” pointing to an iron, and A replied “yes, it’s the only one with no cover on it.”

After the round, I queried this with B as he was in line to win a prize, and he said “I didn’t ask for advice which is against the rules, I merely checked a fact which is something I’ve always done in this situation.”

To me, it’s the same thing as asking “what iron did you hit ?”

Am I incorrect or what is the rule ?


Dear Lou,

A player is permitted to look into another player’s bag to see which club he used. This is not advice, because it is considered to be “information obtained by observation” [Decision 8-1/10].

If Player B asks Player A what club A used before B hits his shot, this is asking for advice. The penalty is two strokes (loss of hole in match play).

If Player A covers his clubs with a towel, Player B is not permitted to lift the towel and peer into A’s bag to try to find out what club was used [Decision 8-1/11]. Physical acts to obtain information are not allowed.

In the situation you describe, Player B did not violate a Rule when he looked into Player A’s bag. However, as soon as he pointed to a particular club and asked Player A if that was the club he had just hit, Player B asked for advice and breached Rule 8-1.

It’s important to note that one player is permitted to ask another which club he used for a particular shot on a previous hole, or which club a player used to reach the green after both players have hit their balls onto the green [Decisions 8-1/6 and 8-1/7].

Copyright © 2012 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.