Preparing for and Making a Stroke; Advice and Help; Caddies
Purpose of Rule: Rule 10 covers how to prepare for and make a stroke, including advice and other help the player may get from others (including caddies). The underlying principle is that golf is a game of skill and personal challenge.
Preparing for and Making a Stroke; Advice and Help; Caddies
Making a Stroke
Purpose of Rule: 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 to direct and control the movement of the entire club by freely swinging the club without anchoring it.
Fairly Striking the Ball
In making a stroke:
The player must fairly strike at the ball with any part of the head of the club such that there is only momentary contact between the club and the ball and must not push, scrape or scoop the ball.
If the player’s club accidentally hits the ball more than once, there has been only one stroke and there is no penalty.
Anchoring the Club
In making a stroke, the player must not anchor the club, either:
Directly, by holding the club or a gripping hand against any part of the body (except that the player may hold the club or a gripping hand against a hand or forearm), or
Indirectly, through use of an “anchor point,” by holding a forearm against any part of the body to use a gripping hand as a stable point around which the other hand may swing the club.
If the player’s club, gripping hand or forearm merely touches their body or clothing during the stroke, without being held against the body, there is no breach of this Rule.For the purposes of this Rule, “forearm” means the part of the arm below the elbow joint and includes the wrist.
DIAGRAM 10.1b: ANCHORING THE CLUB
See Rules 25.3b and 25.4h (modification of Rule 10.1b for players who are amputees and players who use assistive mobility devices).
Making Stroke While Standing Across or on Line of Play
The player must not make a stroke from a stance with a foot deliberately placed on each side of, or with either foot deliberately touching, the line of play or an extension of that line behind the ball.For this Rule only, the line of play does not include a reasonable distance on either side.Exception – There Is No Penalty If Stance Is Taken Accidentally or to Avoid Another Player’s Line of Play.See Rule 25.4i(for players who use an assistive mobility device, modification of Rule 10.1c includes stance taken with any part of an assistive mobility device).
Playing Moving Ball
A player must not make a stroke at a moving ball:
A ball in play is “moving” when it is not at rest on a spot.
If a ball that has come to rest is wobbling (sometimes referred to as oscillating) but stays on or returns to its original spot, it is treated as being at rest and is not a moving ball.
But there are three exceptions where there is no penalty:Exception 1 – Ball Begins to Move Only after Player Begins Backswing for Stroke: Making a stroke at a moving ball in this situation is covered by Rule 9.1b, not by this Rule.Exception 2 – Ball Falling Off Tee: Making a stroke at a ball falling off a tee is covered by Rule 6.2b(5), not by this Rule.Exception 3 – Ball Moving in Water: When a ball is moving in temporary water or in water in a penalty area:
The player may make a stroke at the moving ball without penalty, or
The player may take relief under Rule 16.1 or 17, and may lift the moving ball.
In either case, the player must not unreasonably delay play (see Rule 5.6a) to allow the wind or water current to move the ball to a better place.Penalty for Making Stroke in Breach of Rule 10.1: General Penalty.In stroke play, a stroke made in breach of this Rule counts and the player gets two penalty strokes.
Advice and Other Help
Purpose of Rule: A fundamental challenge for the player is deciding the strategy and tactics for their play. So there are limits to the advice and other help the player may get during a round.
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.Penalty for Breach of Rule 10.2a: General Penalty.In both match play and stroke play, the penalty is applied in this way:
Player Asks For or Gives Advice When Either Player Is Playing Hole. The player gets the general penalty on the hole being played or just completed.
Player Asks For or Gives Advice When Both Players Are Between Play of Two Holes. The player gets the general penalty on the next hole.
See Rules 22, 23 and 24 (in forms of play involving partners, a player may give advice to their partner or partner'scaddie and may ask their partner or partner'scaddie for advice).
(1) Getting Help from Caddie with Line of Play or Other Directional Information. When a player’s caddie is helping the player with the line of play or other directional information, the caddie is subject to the following limitations:
The caddie must not set an object down to provide such help (and the player cannot avoid penalty by removing the object before the stroke is made).
While the stroke is being made, the caddie must not:
Stand in a position for the player to play towards, or
Do anything else to provide such help (such as pointing out a spot on the ground).
The caddie must not stand in the restricted area when not allowed under Rule 10.2b(4).
But this Rule does not prohibit the caddie from standing close to the hole to attend the flagstick.(2) Getting Help from Any Person Other than Caddie with Line of Play or Other Directional Information. The player must not get help with the line of play or other directional information from any person other than their caddie, except as follows:
That person may provide help by giving public information in relation to an object (such as pointing out a tree that shows the centre line for a blind fairway).
Other than when the player’s ball is on the putting green, that person may stand in a position for the player to play towards, but must move away before the stroke is made.
But this Rule does not prohibit any person from standing close to the hole to attend the flagstick.(3) No Setting Down Object to Help With Aiming, Taking Stance or Swinging. A player must not set an object down to help with aiming or to help in taking a stance for the stroke to be made (such as a club set down on the ground to show where the player should aim or position their feet).“Set an object down” means that the object is in contact with the ground and the player is not touching the object.If the player breaches this Rule, they cannot avoid penalty by removing the object before the stroke is made.This Rule also applies to taking an action for a similar purpose, such as a player putting a mark in sand or dew to help with their swing.This Rule does not apply to a ball-marker when used to mark the spot of a ball or to the ball when it is placed on a spot. But a ball-marker that meets the definition of alignment device in the Equipment Rules is covered under Rule 4.3.See Rule 25.2c (modification of Rule 10.2b(3) for players who are blind).(4) Restricted Area for Caddie Before Player Makes Stroke. When a player begins taking a stance for the stroke (which means they have at least one foot in position for that stance) and until the stroke is made, there are limitations relating to when and why a player’s caddie may deliberately stand on or close to an extension of the line of play behind the ball (that is, the “restricted area”) as follows:
Aiming. The caddie must not stand in the restricted area to help the player with aiming. This help includes when the caddie moves away without saying anything but, by doing so, is giving a signal to the player that they are correctly aimed at the intended target. But there is no penalty if the player backs away before making the stroke and the caddie moves away from the restricted area before the player again begins to take a stance for the stroke.
Help Other Than Aiming. If the caddie is helping the player with something specific other than aiming (such as checking to see if the player’s club will hit a nearby tree during the backswing), the caddie may stand in the restricted area but only if the caddie moves away before the stroke is made and provided this positioning is not part of a regular routine.
There is no penalty if the caddie was inadvertently standing in the restricted area.This Rule does not prohibit the player getting help by having a person other than the player’s caddie stand in the restricted area to help track the flight of a ball.See Rules 22, 23 and 24 (in forms of play involving partners and advice givers, a player's partner, the partner’scaddie and any advice giver are restricted in these same ways).See Rule 25.2d (modification of Rule 10.2b(4) for players who are blind).(5) Physical Help, Eliminating Distractions, and Protection from Elements. A player must not make a stroke:
While getting physical help from their caddie or any other person, or
With their caddie or any other person or object deliberately positioned to:
Eliminate distractions, or
Give protection from sunlight, rain, wind or other elements.
This Rule does not prohibit the player from:
Taking their own actions to protect against the elements while making a stroke, such as by wearing protective clothing or holding an umbrella over their own head, or
Asking any other person who was not deliberately positioned by the player to remain in position or move out of the way (such as when a spectator is casting a shadow over the player’s ball).
Penalty for Breach of Rule 10.2b: General Penalty.
Purpose of Rule: The player may have a caddie to carry the player’s clubs and give advice and other help during the round, but there are limits to what the caddie is allowed to do. The player is responsible for the caddie’s actions during the round and will get a penalty if the caddie breaches the Rules.
Caddie May Help Player During Round
(1) Player Allowed Only One Caddie at a Time. A player may have a caddie to carry, transport and handle their clubs, give advice and help them in other ways allowed during a round, but with these limitations:
The player must not have more than one caddie at any one time.
The player may change caddies during a round, but must not do so temporarily for the sole purpose of getting advice from the new caddie.
Whether or not the player has a caddie, any other person who walks or rides along with the player or who carries other things for the player (such as a rain-suit, umbrella or food and drink) is not the player’s caddie unless they are named as such by the player or also carries, transports or handles the player’s clubs.(2) Two or More Players May Share a Caddie. When there is a Rules issue involving a specific action of a shared caddie and it needs to be decided which player the action was taken for:
If the caddie's action was taken at the specific direction of one of the players sharing the caddie, the action was taken for that player.
If none of those players specifically directed that action, the action is treated as taken for the player sharing the caddie whose ball was involved.
If none of the player’s sharing the caddie specifically directed the caddie’s action and none of those players’ balls were involved, all players sharing the caddie get the penalty.
See Committee Procedures, Section 8;Model Local Rule H-1 (the Committee may adopt a Local Rule prohibiting or requiring the use of caddies or restricting a player’s choice of caddie).See Rules 25.2, 25.4 and 25.5 (players with certain disabilities may also get help from an aide).Penalty for Breach of Rule 10.3a:
The player gets the general penalty for each hole during which they are helped by more than one caddie at any one time.
If the breach happens or continues between two holes, the player gets the general penalty for the next hole.
What a Caddie May Do
These are examples of what a caddie is allowed and not allowed to do:(1) Actions Always Allowed. A caddie may always take these actions when allowed under the Rules:
Carry, transport and handle the player’s clubs and other equipment (including driving a cart or pulling a trolley).
Remove loose impediments and movable obstructions (Rules 15.1 and 15.2).
(2) Actions Allowed Only With Player’s Authorization. A caddie may take these actions only when the Rules allow the player to take them and only with the player’s authorization (which must be given specifically each time rather than given generally for a round):
Restore conditions that were worsened after the player’s ball came to rest (Rule 8.1d).
When the player’s ball is anywhere except on the putting green, lift the player’s ball under a Rule requiring it to be replaced (Rule 14.1b).
(3) Actions Not Allowed. A caddie is not allowed to take these actions for the player:
Concede the next stroke, a hole or the match to the opponent or agree with the opponent on the match score (Rule 3.2).
Replace a ball, unless the caddie had lifted or moved the ball (Rule 14.2b).
Drop or place a ball in taking relief (Rule 14.3).
Decide to take relief under a Rule (such as treating a ball as unplayable under Rule 19 or taking relief from an abnormal course condition or penalty area under Rule 16.1 or 17); the caddie may advise the player to do so, but the player must decide.
Player Responsible for Caddie’s Actions and Breach of Rules
A player is responsible for their caddie's actions both during a round and while play is stopped under Rule 5.7a, but not before or after a round.If the caddie's action breaches a Rule or would breach a Rule if the action was taken by the player, the player gets the penalty under that Rule.When application of a Rule depends on whether the player is aware of certain facts, the player’s knowledge is treated as including whatever is known by their caddie.