Can You Give Advice To Another Golfer While You’re Playing A Round?

Golf Rules Quick Reference Guide
There are times I wish I didn’t know as much as I do! Some of the rules of golf fall into that category.

I just purchased a brand new copy of the ProActive Golf Rules Quick Reference just published by Artigo Publishing International. It’s a small, plastic coated booklet with easy reference tabs, good images that illustrate all the rules you are likely to encounter while playing a round of golf. I figured if I ever have a question about a rule it would be a good reference tool to keep in my bag. But while I was flipping through the pages, I came across one rule I was not aware of, and perhaps it’s one you never heard of either. I know the women I play with break this rule all the time and if they did know about it, no one ever told me. Here it is:

You are not allowed to ask for or give advice (“Which club did you take?” “Which club should I play?” “Take a 7 iron.” etc. If you ask for or give advice you incure a TWO STROKE PENALTY! (The exception would be if you were playing in teams, in which case I think you can ask advice of your partner.) But if you are playing a regular round of golf, each person in a foursome playing for their own individual score, you cannot ask for or give advice!!! This is a big surprise. It’s going to cut back on a lot of the chit chat in my league, for sure.

Now, there is more to this rule… You are allowed to discuss distances, the position of hazards or out of bounds margins, pin position etc. but you cannot ask for advice!!!

Now, if you knew the answer to the question in the headline, you probably don’t need this little booklet. But if you were totally ignorant of this rule, you probably need to brush up on the rest of them. I know I do. That’s why I got this little book.

The latest edition with all the updated is now available at Amazon.com. Click on the title to see the listing:ProActive Golf Rules Quick Reference

Did you know about this rule? Did you ever break it? Better yet, do you know anyone who follows it? Feel free to add your comment below.

  4 comments for “Can You Give Advice To Another Golfer While You’re Playing A Round?

  1. Jim North
    October 4, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Giving advice is an interesting thing. I have found that asking what club a person used is generally useless information. This is because I don’t hit my clubs the same distance as others, so if my buddy just put his 7 iron shot 10 feet from the pin, I’m still at a loss to know what I should use. However, if I know that we are 143 yards out I can be certain that my pitching wedge with an easy swing is just about perfect. Interestingly, according to the rules, this information is perfectly legal to not only share, but to broadcast! This eliminates the need for everyone in the foursome to pull out their GPS units and lasers like some kind of surveying team, and saves a lot of time!

    Along the same line, and speaking of lines, yes it is illegal to indicate the line of a putt. BUT, it is perfectly legal to observe the speed and break of others while awaiting your turn! (This is one reason why playing in a foursome in some ways is easier than playing in small groups – there is a greater chance to get a good read of the green, especially if you are closest to the pin.)

    Now, would somebody please give me some advice on how to get my partner to please not groan when I hit a really bad shot!

  2. jas908
    March 14, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Thank you for this post. I had no idea this was a rule. I will make sure my golf friends know about it next time we go out.

  3. B.K. Essinger
    March 14, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    If you are not playing in a tournament it is best not to preach a rule during play. If you do you are likely to be playing by yourself soon. If you see someone break a rule talk about it afterwards or give your entire foursome the rulebook you are talking about. Not all players are at the 100% rule following score keeping stage yet If you want them to stay you might want to find out their preferences before you play. Do you want to keep score? Do you want me to point out any rules infractions before or after we play? I would like it if you see me about to break a rule inform me. Thanks- Fairways and greens!

    • Pat Mullaly
      March 14, 2012 at 7:27 pm

      I agree with the idea not to “preach rules” at your golfing buddies, unless it is a tournament. What I try to do is bring up the subject as an interesting bit of trivia after or before the round. I got into quite a rule issue with another player last season and learned it’s best to keep silent and bring the rule question back to the pro shop for an objective ruling after the round. It was during a tournament and everyone was taking rules quite seriously at the time. Most of the time we are quite casual.

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