No.16 When Is a Ball Holed?
 

 
Question 1: A ball chipped from off the putting green comes to rest against the flagstick (as in the photo);
a) Is the ball holed?
b) What is the correct procedure?
c) In stroke play, without the player's authority, a fellow competitor removes the flagstick and the ball moves away from the hole. Do they incur a penalty?
d) In match play, without the player's authority, an opponent removes the flagstick and the ball moves away from the hole. Do they incur a penalty?
 
Answers:
a) No, the ball is not holed (see the Note below).
b) The player, or another person authorised by them, may move or remove the flagstick, and if the ball falls into the hole, the player is deemed to have holed out with his last stroke; otherwise, the ball, if moved, must be placed on the lip of the hole, without penalty.
c) There is no penalty to anyone and the ball must be replaced against the flagstick.
d) The opponent incurs a penalty stroke and the ball must be replaced against the flagstick.
 
Note: The definition of 'holed' is;
"A ball is holed when it is at rest within the circumference of the hole and all of it is below the level of the lip of the hole."
__________


 
Question 2: player's ball plugs in the lip of the hole (as in the photo);
a) Is the ball holed?
b) What is the correct procedure?
 
Answers:
a) No, the ball is not holed (see the Note above and Decision 16/3).
b) The player may play the ball as it lies or lift the ball under Rule 16-1b, repair the damage under Rule 16-1c and place the ball on the lip of the hole (Decision 16/3). 
 
 
Another 'Rhodes Rules School' Q&A will follow next week,

Good golfing,