Some players know the rules and others think they know them. By mistake or by ignorance, it may happen that a player gives a bad ruling to a fellow competitor. There is no penalty to the player that gave the information but the competitor will be penalised if he made a mistake with his ball or stroke.
I won’t go into details because most of those rules will change in 2019.
In September 2017, we had a pro tournament at Continental Golf Club in Sorel. A player finds his ball in casual water in a bunker. The player determines the proper point of relief and drops the ball within 1 club length from that point. Before making the stroke the 2 fellow competitors tell him that he should place the ball. The player picked up his ball and replaced it in the same spot.
After a few hours, the group explain to me what happened and I had to tell the player that he hadcorrectly dropped the ball for the relief of casual water. But because he moved his ball in play, he incurred a 1-stroke penalty. He wanted me to cancel the penalty because the other players gave him wrong information. I answered it was not possible. The players are responsible to know the Rules.
The player was lucky to receive only a 1-stroke penalty because if the ball had been placed at a wrong place, it would have been a 2-stroke penalty. They had the possibility to ask one of the 2 rules officials on the course. We gave them a cellular phone number to call us.
Amateur and professional competitors spend a lot of time on the ranges and on the putting greens to try to lower their scores but they don’t always spend enough time on knowing the rules. All those practice hours can be lost by a lack of knowledge on the rules.