Monday, August 5, 2013

Ask Linda #701-Advice in a foreign language

Hi Linda,

I played in my [Florida] county's amateur event last week. This is a two for one event with both individual stroke play, and these same players scores are entered into a "team" event as well.  

All four of the women in my pairing speak English but two of the women speak French also. The women who speak French are on the same "team" although they are playing as individuals against the field and are not allowed to assist each other under the "Advice Rule."

The two women speak French to each other on the course and on the greens. They walk off each other's putts and they gesture in what could be construed as assisting each other. The two women who speak only English are unable to protect the field because they do not understand what is being said. What do you do?

Warm regards,
Lulu from Florida

Dear Lulu,

The first time it happens, Lulu, I would confront the pair immediately and ask if they are offering each other advice. If they admit that they are, the two players must each add two strokes to their score for that hole. The incident needs to be reported to the Committee if they fail to include the penalty strokes in their scores.

If the players insist they are not advising each other, you should explain to them that their physical actions appear otherwise. Ask them to speak in English so there can be no doubt about whether they are violating Rule 8.

If the players are adamant that no advice is being exchanged, and they refuse to speak in English, it is time to seek out a Committee member to monitor play.

It is possible the women did not understand that they could not assist each other even though they were on the same team. In a situation where two competitions are being conducted simultaneously, it would behoove the Committee to explain carefully to each competitor that the rules for the individual competition take precedence, and that players are not permitted to request or receive advice from their teammates.

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