Thursday, June 1, 2017
Ask Linda #1543-Holed ball comes out when flagstick removed
A ball is chipped in and holed. When the flag is removed the holed ball comes out with it. Penalty or no penalty?
Lulu from Boksburg, South Africa
No penalty. If the ball is holed, meaning it is at rest and all of it is below the level of the lip of the hole, the ball is indeed holed [Definition of “Holed”].
If the ball is leaning against the flagstick, and part of it is above the hole, the player must place the ball on the lip of the hole and putt it into the hole if the ball does not fall into the hole when the flagstick is removed [Rule 17-4]. There is no penalty for moving the ball.
I always recommend, in this latter case, that the player insist on removing the flagstick herself, and that she carefully tilt it away from the ball before pulling it out. This should allow the ball to fall into the hole, which will save her a stroke.
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