Do you know when the help you receive violates the rules? Take this quiz to find out…

Decide whether each scenario is permissible:

1. In a four-ball match, your partner’s caddie stops you from swinging and says to use a 6-iron instead of a 7-iron.

2. You tee off on a par 3 before your opponent. As you walk towards the green, you ask what club they used.

3. A rainstorm chases everyone into the clubhouse during the member-guest. While waiting for play to resume from the delay, you ask another member what club he used on a hole you have yet to play.

4. Undecided about what club to use when it’s your turn to play, you wait for your fellow-competitor to grab a club and then you quietly walk over and look in his golf bag to see what club is missing.

5. You’re about to hit a bunker shot but aren’t sure where to attempt to land it. You ask your partner to touch the spot on the green you should aim for.

6. You ask your caddie for a read while he is tending the flag. He tells you to aim at the shadow of his head on the green, and then you hit the putt.

7. The ball just doesn’t seem to be traveling very far, so before making your next club selection, you ask someone to check a weather app on a smartphone to see how much humidity is in the air.

8. Trying to decide where to aim for your shot, you ask your playing partner if there is another bunker beyond the one that you see.

9. To influence your opponent’s club and shot selection, you say out loud as if talking to yourself that you wish you had taken a full swing with your 3-wood instead of a shorter swing with your driver.

10. You want to know where your opponent’s ball is to determine whether you need to hole your next shot. Instead of checking with him, you call out to a bystander and ask him.



1. No penalty. You, your partner and both of your caddies can share advice (rule 8-1).

2. No penalty. Advice is defined, in part,
as counsel that could influence how you play your shot. In this case, the question of club selection came after the fact, so it’s not considered advice (decisions 8-1/6, 8-1/7).

3. No penalty. The prohibition against asking for or giving advice doesn’t apply when a round has been suspended (decision 8-1/20)

4. No penalty. Information obtained through observation is not advice, as long as you don’t commit a physical act such as removing a towel to see what club is missing (decisions 8-1/10, 8-1/11).

5. No penalty. Your side may touch the green to indicate line of play if your ball is off the green (decision 8-2b/3).

6. Penalty (loss of hole in matchplay or two shots in stroke play). However, if he removed the shadow before you putted, there would have been no penalty (8-2b/1).

7. No penalty. Gauging or measuring weather conditions is not allowed, but assessing weather information through an app or Internet browser is permitted (decision 14-3/18).

8. No penalty. Matters of public information such as the location of hazards on a course are not considered advice (definitions).

9. Penalty (loss of hole). It’s considered giving advice because you purposely wanted to mislead your opponent (decision 8-1/9).

10. No penalty. You can get public information from anyone (decision 8-1/5, definitions).