Did you know this rule about ASKING OTHER PLAYERS FOR ADVICE?

When playing in competitions, it is important you know what you are able to speak to your competitors about such as club choices and advice. 

Matt Chivers's picture
Thu, 15 Jul 2021
Did you know this rule about ASKING OTHER PLAYERS FOR ADVICE?

In the last week, a reader of GolfMagic got in contact to tell us about a situation they experienced at a golf club in Kent, during a club competition. 

The person requested to remain anonymous but they wanted to get into contact as shedding light on as many golf rules as possible could be useful for other readers.

During a competition at the Kent-based golf club, this player was stood on a par-3 tee box and unsure of what club to hit as the wind and rain were causing them confusion.

After their playing partner hit their shot to the green, the reader asked what club they had hit after admitting to us that they had tried to have a peek at their clubs to see which one they had taken out.

The player who had just hit his shot took issue with this and told the reader that they were not allowed to ask about club choices and that they should refrain from doing it again.

The reader who contacted us felt that the player had been too hasty and in their social rounds, they and their friends often consult over club choices and give each other advice. 

Unfortunately for our reader, their irate playing partner was correct. In a competition, you must not ask your playing partners for advice and you must certainly not physically move their clubs in their bag to gain advice.

The Rules of Golf do not specify any type of penalty, but it is strongly frowned upon and you should just aim to make your own decisions with your club choices.

The full rule 10.2a is shown below:

During a round, a player must not:

- Give advice to anyone in the competition who is playing on the course,

- Ask anyone for advice, other than the player’s caddie, or

- Touch another player’s equipment to learn information that would be advice if given by or asked of the other player (such as touching the other player’s clubs or bag to see what club is being used).

- This does not apply before a round, while play is stopped under Rule 5.7a or between rounds in a competition.