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Golf Rules. We Don’t Need No Stinking Rules

We are often asked about the rules of the Andy and Chuck Summer Golf Tour. For 11 years now, we say “hit till you are happy.” But for those who like to play it straight, here is a rules question for you.

Andy invited Betsy, Cristina and Elise to her club for a round of golf. Andy promised to give them advice as they played the course. The first hole has a blind tee shot. Andy said that the tree in the distance was in line with the middle of the fairway. The players teed off and proceeded to their balls.

Andy took out a rangefinder and told Betsy that her ball was 148 yards from the hole. Anne gave the rangefinder to Elise to use while Andy went to get a club. Elise played and her ball landed on the green. Andy, whose ball was a few feet away from Elise’s, played and his ball landed short of the green. Andy asked Elise what club she hit. Elise responded, “a 7-iron.”

Cristina hit her ball into a water hazard. Andy told Cristina what her options were for her next shot. Cristina decided to play a ball from a dropping zone. When the players reached the green, they discovered that Betsy’s ball was in the bushes right of the green. Andy told Betsy to deem her ball unplayable and drop within two club-lengths of the ball, but no nearer to the hole, which Betsy did.

How many penalty strokes has Andy incurred for giving advice?

a. 2 b. 4 c. 6 d. 8

The correct answer is a. The location of the tree is public information and not advice. A rangefinder or information from the rangefinder may be shared among players. Andy and Elise had already played their shots, so they may share information about the clubs they used. Andy can explain the options for proceeding under the water-hazard rule to Cristina as it is information on the Rules and not advice. But Andy incurs a two-stroke penalty for telling Betsy to deem her ball unplayable as it could influence Betsy in determining her play.

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