Preventing Penalty Strokes


Frank Guastella PGA Rules Coach

The other day I was asked by a player in a tournament I was officiating at that if I observe a player about to breach a Rule, may I warn the player and thus prevent a penalty.  The answer to this question is yes.

A referee is not obligated to warn a player who is about to breach a Rule, it is generally recommended that a referee should do so.  If a referee volunteers information about the Rules, he should do so uniformly to all of the players.  However, in match play where a referee has not been assigned to accompany players throughout the match, the referee has no authority to intervene and, therefore, must not warn the player other than in relation to Rule 1-3, 6-7, or 33-7.

A “referee” is one who is appointed by the Committee to decide questions of fact and apply the Rules.  He must  act on any breach of a Rule that he observes or is reported to him.  A referee should not attend the flagstick, stand at or mark the position of the hole, or lift the ball or mark its position.

If you have any questions regarding the Rules of Golf please send them to Mike Fay Golf via email, Facebook, Twitter and we will answer them for you.  Here is hoping you are “Playing By The Rules”.

Frank Guastella, PGA Rules Official Michigan Section PGA
Staff Writer, Mike Fay Golf
If you have a question for Frank here’s where you can contact him.
Email:  [email protected]
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