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10
Preparing for and Making a Stroke; Advice and Help; Caddies
Purpose: Rule 10 covers how to prepare for and make a stroke, including advice and other help you may get from others (including your caddie). The underlying principle is that golf is a game of skill and personal challenge.
10
Preparing for and Making a Stroke; Advice and Help; Caddies
10.1

Making a Stroke

Purpose: Rule 10.1 covers how to make a stroke and several acts that are prohibited in doing so. A stroke is made by fairly striking at a ball with the head of a club. The fundamental challenge is for you to direct and control the movement of the entire club by freely swinging the club without anchoring it.
a

Fairly Striking the Ball

In making a stroke:
  • You must fairly strike at the ball with the head of the club such that there is only momentary contact between the club and the ball and you must not push, scrape or scoop the ball.
  • If your club accidentally hits the ball more than once, there has been only one stroke and there is no penalty.
b

Anchoring the Club

In making a stroke, you must not anchor the club either directly or indirectly. See Full Rules For more information on anchoring the club, including the exception for a gripping hand or club merely touching clothing or the body.
c

Making Stroke While Standing Across or on Line of Play

See Full Rules For the prohibition and penalty for making a stroke while deliberately standing across or on the line of play.
d

Playing Moving Ball

You must not make a stroke at a moving ball. But there are three exceptions where there is no penalty: Exception 1 - Ball Begins to Move Only after You Begin Backswing for Stroke. Exception 2 - Ball Falling Off Tee. Exception 3 - Ball Moving in Water. Penalty for Breach of Rule 10.1: General Penalty. In stroke play, a stroke made in breach of this Rule counts and you get two penalty strokes.
10.2

Advice and Other Help

Purpose: A fundamental challenge for you is deciding the strategy and tactics for your play. So there are limits to the advice and other help you may get during a round.
a

Advice

During a round, you must not:
  • Give advice to anyone in the competition who is playing on the course, or
  • Ask anyone for advice, other than your caddie.
  • Touch another player's equipment to learn information that would be advice if given by or asked of the other player.
b

Other Help

Pointing Out Line of Play for Ball Anywhere Except on Putting Green. This is allowed, but any person must move away or any object must be removed before your stroke is made. Pointing Out Line of Play for Ball on Putting Green. You or your caddie may do this, but:
  • Although you or your caddie may touch the putting green with a hand, foot or anything you are holding, you must not improve the conditions affecting your stroke, and
  • You or your caddie must not set an object down anywhere on or off the putting green to show your line of play. This is not allowed even if that object is removed before your stroke is made.
While the stroke is being made, your caddie must not deliberately stand on or close to your line of play or do anything else (such as pointing out a spot on the putting green) to point out the line of play. Exception - Caddie Attended Flagstick: The caddie may stand in a location on or close to the player's line of play to attend the flagstick.
No Setting Down Object to Help in Taking Stance. You must not take a stance for the stroke using any object that was set down to help in lining up your feet or body. Restriction on Your Caddie Standing Behind You. When you begin taking your stance for the stroke and until your stroke is made:
  • Your caddie must not deliberately stand on or close to an extension of your line of play behind your ball for any reason.
  • If you take a stance in breach of this Rule, you cannot avoid penalty by backing away.
Exception - Ball on Putting Green: When your ball is on the putting green, there is no penalty under this Rule if you back away from the stance and do not begin to take your stance again until after your caddie has moved away. Physical Help and Protection from Elements. You must not make a stroke:
  • While getting physical help from your caddie or any other person, or
  • With your caddie or any other person or object deliberately positioned to give you protection from sunlight, rain, wind or other elements.
Penalty for Breach of Rule 10.2: General Penalty.
10.3

Caddies

Purpose: You may have a caddie to carry your clubs and give you advice and other help during your round, but there are limits to what your caddie is allowed to do. You are responsible for your caddie's actions during your round and will get a penalty if your caddie breaches the Rules.
a

Your Caddie May Help You During Round

You may have a caddie to carry, transport and handle your clubs, give you advice and help you in other ways allowed during a round, but you must not have more than one caddie at any one time or change caddies temporarily for the sole purpose of getting advice from the new caddie. See Full Rules For an explanation of how the Rules apply to the actions of a shared caddie. Penalty for Breach of Rule 10.3a: You get the general penalty for each hole during which you were helped by more than one caddie at any one time. If the breach happens or continues between two holes, you get the general penalty for the next hole.
b

What Your Caddie May Do

See Full Rules For the list of actions that your caddie is allowed and not allowed to do.
c

You Are Responsible for Caddie’s Actions and Breach of Rules

You are responsible for your caddie's actions during your round but not before or after your round. If your caddie's action breaches a Rule, or would breach a Rule if the action was taken by you, you get the penalty under that Rule.
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