RULE: When is the ball in the hole?

Just recently on the putting green, I was drawn into a discussion with some fellow players about what happens when the ball is resting against the flag stick left in the hole. Much of the talk evolved after the rule change allowing you to putt on the green with the flag stick left unattended in the hole.

Opinions and answers varied (what's to be expected about golfers, especially us old ones?), and each declared they were right!

QUESTIONS POSED:

Does the ball have to be entirely in the hole, or at the bottom of the hole? If the ball rests against the flag stick left unattended in the hole, and only part of the ball is in the hole below the green's surface, is it holed or do you move the flagstick? If the ball pops back onto the green, is that a penalty? Have you caused the ball to move? What if it falls into the hole, have you holed it with your previous shot?

Let's start with the definition.  

Holed: When your ball is at rest in the hole after a stroke and the entire ball is below the surface of the putting green. When the Rules refer “holing out” or “hole out”, it means the player's ball is holed.” (no mention of having to be at the bottom of the cup!)

Now this definition goes on to say, “For the special case of a ball resting against the flagstick in the hole, see Rule 13.2c”

OK, back to Rule 13.2cBall Resting Against Flagstick in Hole

(WARNING: THIS PART OF THE RULE REFERS TO AN UNATTENDED FLAGSTICK, LEFT

If your ball comes to rest against the flagstick left in the hole, and any part of your ball is in the hole below the surface of the putting green, your ball is treated as holed.” IN THE HOLE.) >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

On the odd occasion when the flag stick is leaning (windy day, poor replacement of flagstick, eg), you ball may rest against the flag, but NO part of the ball is in the hole, below the surface of the green, then the rule is again clear.

If no part of your ball is in the hole below the surface ofthe putting green:

Your ball is NOT HOLED and must be played as it lies.

 If the flagstick is removed and your ball moves (whether it falls into the hole or moves away from the hole), there is no penalty and it must be replaced on the lip of the hole.”

 

Another player posed the scenario where your ball is jammed part way down against the flagstick, not resting at the bottom of the hole, but still entirely below the putting surface. He opined that if you pulled the flagstick out, and the ball came out too, then that was not holed and should be a penalty.

Two points to be made to clear up this misconception:

  1. Check back to Rule 13.2c – that tells you your ball is holed.

  2. Rule 1.1 The Game of Golf also tells us “Golf is played by striking your ball with a club, and each hole starts from the teeing area and ends when your ball is holed on the putting green.”

You have holed the ball, and the hole has been completed! If your ball has been holed, and you move the flagstick, any movement of the ball is irrelevant - you have already completed the hole.

  • 8 Dec 2021

    CHARNE CHARMED

    Charne Boyle's name often appears in the Nearest the Pin prizes. But, on Number 6 recently, he made sure of the prize, by holing out on #6 with his trusty sand wedge!


    Read more »
  • 25 Nov 2021

    LADIES CHRISTMAS BREAKUP

    On Thursday 25th November the ladies officially concluded their competition for 2021 until February next year. What else did the ladies celebrate? 


    Read more »
  • 20 Nov 2021

    TWO MORE ACES

    Two more holes have surrendered to that magic shot. Which holes? Who are the latest ace golfers?


    Read more »
  • 1 Nov 2021

    NAMBOUR LADIES ELECTIONS

    The Nambour Ladies conducted their AGM on Thursday 28th October. Who have put their hands up to help serve their members for the next year? Read the Lady President's report.


    Read more »
  • 18 Sep 2021

    LADIES FOURSOMES CHAMPIONS

    The ladies Foursomes Championships took place on Thursday 16th September over 27 holes. Hammond Accounting sponsored the day.


    Read more »
  • 11 Sep 2021

    LADIES CANCER CHARITY DAY

    The Nambour Ladies’ Cancer Charity Day on Saturday 11th September was once again a great success. We had 166 players in the field & Andys’ pink ribbon on the 3rd fairway spurred us all on. We thank all the players who participated & Steve, Nigel & Kynan for getting us all away. Our sponsors were amazingly generous & are too numerous to mention but include Australian Garage Supermarket, Win Television, Twin Waters Golf Club, Noosa Springs Golf Club & Cafe Gingers.


    Read more »
  • VALE JIM LORD

    Vale: Jim Lord. Help celebrate Jim's life this Friday. Read on for details.


    Read more »
  • 3 Sep 2021

    LADIES CHAMPIONSHIPS

    The Nambour Ladies concluded their annual Championships on Thursday 2nd September after a 2 week delay caused by covid restrictions.

    Let's see who were winners. 


    Read more »
  • 14 Jul 2021

    WELCOME NEW SPONSOR

    Nambour Golf Club welcomes another new sponsor on board.


    Read more »
  • 26 Jun 2021

    MIXED FOURSOMES

    Rain, rain, go away - and it stayed away until all 12 pairs had completed their rounds of this year's Championships sponsored by Del Scott.

    Who prevailed, and who picked up the other prizes? 


    Read more »