brokendown wrote:I know that it is not acceptable to ask a partner what club he used for a shot;but is it illegal under the rules of golf?
is it illegal to ask
is it illegal to answer?
Great question. Let me first quote the definition and Rule and then I will comment.
“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.
RULE 8-1. Advice
During a stipulated round, a player must not:
a. give advice to anyone in the competition playing on the course other than
his partner, or
b. ask for advice from anyone other than his partner or either of their caddies.
PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:
Match play – Loss of hole; Stroke play – Two strokes.
Asking Opponent or Fellow-Competitor What Club He Used at Previous Hole
Q. During play of the 6th hole, A asked B what club he (B) had used on the
4th hole, which is a par-3 of a similar length. Was A in breach of Rule 8-1?
After Player Has Played to Green He Asks Opponent or Fellow-Competitor What Club He Used in Playing to Green
Q. A plays his second shot which lands on the green. B does likewise. A then
asks B what club he used for his second shot. Was A in breach of Rule 8-1?
Comment About Club Selection After Stroke
Q. After playing a stroke, a player says: “I should have used a 5‑iron.” Was
the player in breach of Rule 8-1?
A. If the statement was made casually, there was no breach. If the statement
was made to another player who had a shot to play from about the same
position, there was a breach.
Misleading Statement About Club Selection
Q. A made a statement regarding his club selection which was purposely
misleading and was obviously intended to be overheard by B, who had a
similar shot. What is the ruling?
A. A was in breach of Rule 8-1 and lost the hole in match play or incurred a
two-stroke penalty in stroke play.
Looking into Another Player’s Bag to Determine Club Used
Q. A looks into B’s bag to determine which club B used for his last stroke. Is
this the equivalent of asking for advice?
A. No. Information obtained by observation is not advice. But see also
Removing Towel Covering Another Player’s Clubs to Determine Club Used
Q. Decision 8-1/10 states that it is not a breach of Rule 8-1 for A to look
into B’s golf bag to determine which club B used for his last stroke. Suppose a
towel was covering B’s clubs and A removed the towel in order to determine
which club B had used, would that be a breach of Rule 8-1?
A. Yes. A player is prohibited from obtaining such information through a
So you can see that the Rule can have many outcomes depending on the circumstances. I hope this gives you a good idea of what is allowed and what is not allowed. And it is "not acceptable" or "illegal" only because it is "against the Rules of Golf" It is not a Moral or Ethical decision only a Rules Decision. While playing golf, if the Rules allow for you to take an action, you are entitled to use the Rules to your advantage.