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BrushCaddy

Interesting flag stick rules...

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I just learned that if your ball gets stuck between the flag stick and cup edge, without going in, the player can wiggle the flag stick to let it drop in.  No penalty.  I looked it up and sure enough, It's true.  I thought it was an interesting rule.

I was also told that if you chip in or ace, pull the flag out (without removing your ball first) and your ball pops out on to the green, your ball is now in play.  I looked this one up but can't find anything on it.

Is this second rule true?

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Not true unless the ball was stuck against the pin but not holed, as in the first rule.  If the ball is inside the cup at rest and is entirely below the lip, it is holed and your ball will not be in play again until you tee off on the next hole.  It doesn't matter whether the ball is on the bottom of the cup, only that it's below the lip.

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I am not a rules expert, but I would say that "no", the second question is not true. Consider Rule 17.4: [quote]17-4. Ball Resting Against Flagstick When a player's ball rests against the flagstick in the hole and the ball is not holed, the player or another person authorized by him 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.[/quote] That clearly only applies if the ball is not holed. See the definition of "holed": [quote]Holed 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.[/quote] Although I can't find explicit verb-age stating that the holing of the ball concludes any play of the hole (seems obvious), many other rules that wave any penalties for a player for conduct after the ball has been holed. See [url=http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Decision-01/#1-1/2]Decisions on Rule 1-1[/url] for a couple of them. It would seem strongly implied that when the ball is holed, it might as well vanish into thin air instantly because the hole is completed. My conclusion is that once the ball is in the hole and at rest, the hole is done. Nothing else can apply toward that hole, except the addition of penalties for actions already taken. Note that the ball must be at rest to be holed, if it's still jittering around while the flagstick is yanked and it pops out, my guess would be that it is still in play.

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Originally Posted by BrushCaddy

I just learned that if your ball gets stuck between the flag stick and cup edge, without going in, the player can wiggle the flag stick to let it drop in.  No penalty.  I looked it up and sure enough, It's true.  I thought it was an interesting rule.

I was also told that if you chip in or ace, pull the flag out (without removing your ball first) and your ball pops out on to the green, your ball is now in play.  I looked this one up but can't find anything on it.

Is this second rule true?

It depends.  If the ball comes to rest and is completely below the level of the ground it is holed and the hole is over and nothing that happens after that can change that.  So if you pull out the flagstick and the ball jumps out it is still deemed holed.

If the whole ball is not below the level of the hole you can move or remove the flagstick and if the ball goes below the level of the hole and comes to rest it is deemed holed.  But if the ball jumps out then it is deemed to have been moved and must be replaced on the lip and tapped in.

Rule 17-4

http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Rule-17/#17-4

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Originally Posted by BrushCaddy

I just learned that if your ball gets stuck between the flag stick and cup edge, without going in, the player can wiggle the flag stick to let it drop in.  No penalty.  I looked it up and sure enough, It's true.  I thought it was an interesting rule.

It is an intersting rule.  Another interesting rule is that if the ball is on the edge you have 10 seconds for the ball to drop.  During that time you can jump up and down or stomp around by the hole and if that ball drops it counts with no penalty.

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Originally Posted by TitleistWI

It is an intersting rule.  Another interesting rule is that if the ball is on the edge you have 10 seconds for the ball to drop.  During that time you can jump up and down or stomp around by the hole and if that ball drops it counts with no penalty.

Decision 1-2/4  Player Jumps Close to Hole to Cause Ball to Drop; Ball Moves

Q. A ball overhangs the lip of the hole. The player jumps close to the hole in the hope of jarring the earth and causing the ball to fall into the hole, which it does. Is this permissible?

A. No.

If the ball was still moving when the player jumped, the player took action to influence the movement of the ball in breach of Rule 1-2 . In match play, he lost the hole. In stroke play, he incurred a penalty of two strokes, and the ball was holed.

If the ball was at rest when the player jumped, it should be assumed that the player caused the ball to move, and he incurred a penalty of one stroke in both match and stroke play under Rule 18-2a and was required to replace the ball.

If it is not possible to determine whether the ball was still moving, it should be presumed to be moving unless it was deemed to be at rest under Rule 16-2 .

http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Decision-01/#1-2/4

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Originally Posted by BrushCaddy

I just learned that if your ball gets stuck between the flag stick and cup edge, without going in, the player can wiggle the flag stick to let it drop in.  No penalty.  I looked it up and sure enough, It's true.  I thought it was an interesting rule.

I was also told that if you chip in or ace, pull the flag out (without removing your ball first) and your ball pops out on to the green, your ball is now in play.  I looked this one up but can't find anything on it.

Is this second rule true?

No.  If the ball is holed, then play is finished for that hole.  The definitions in the Rules of Golf state that 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 ."

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Originally Posted by B-Con

Note that the ball must be at rest to be holed, if it's still jittering around while the flagstick is yanked and it pops out, my guess would be that it is still in play.


This is not entirely true. Pls. read Dec 16/5.5: http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Decision-16/#16/5.5

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Originally Posted by BrushCaddy

I just learned that if your ball gets stuck between the flag stick and cup edge, without going in, the player can wiggle the flag stick to let it drop in.  No penalty.  I looked it up and sure enough, It's true.  I thought it was an interesting rule.

I was also told that if you chip in or ace, pull the flag out (without removing your ball first) and your ball pops out on to the green, your ball is now in play.  I looked this one up but can't find anything on it.

Is this second rule true?

Why wouldn't a player who holed a chip/ace just reach in and remove the ball from the hole - with the flagstick intact?  If you pull up hard enough on the stick to pop the ball out of the hole, you're more than likely to damage the edge/circumference of the hole as the ball squirts by it - thereby pissing off your fellow golfers playing in groups behind you.

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Rule 17-4 it states, "and if the ball falls into the hole".   Reading that, I would assume if your ball was resting against the flag and NOT holed and you wiggled the flag and the ball came out, then it would still be in play.  I would have to guess that this is where the assumption of the second rule came from.

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Originally Posted by Ignorant

This is not entirely true. Pls. read Dec 16/5.5: http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Decision-16/#16/5.5


I almost posted that decision here, too.  It's one of my favorites because it peels back some of the rules legalese and confirms common sense against a strict, verbatim reading of the rules.

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Originally Posted by BrushCaddy

Rule 17-4 it states, "and if the ball falls into the hole".   Reading that, I would assume if your ball was resting against the flag and NOT holed and you wiggled the flag and the ball came out, then it would still be in play.  I would have to guess that this is where the assumption of the second rule came from.


What if the ball originally was partially above the lip level (thus not 'Holed') but moved downwards due to wiggling of the flag pole to reach the definition 'Holed', and only then popped up on the green...? Was the ball 'Holed' or not?

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Originally Posted by Ignorant

What if the ball originally was partially above the lip level (thus not 'Holed') but moved downwards due to wiggling of the flag pole to reach the definition 'Holed', and only then popped up on the green...? Was the ball 'Holed' or not?


In that case, it's a question of whether it came to rest (necessary to be holed) or not.  It'd have to drop in and come to a rest (or be obviously going to come to a rest before you unwisely snatch it out).  If it bounced off the bottom of the cup and back out, then tough luck, I believe.

Also, I think this'll be a case where if it's impossible to determine the facts with certainty, it should be ruled against the player.  So be careful and don't let it happen...

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Originally Posted by zeg

Not true unless the ball was stuck against the pin but not holed, as in the first rule.  If the ball is inside the cup at rest and is entirely below the lip, it is holed and your ball will not be in play again until you tee off on the next hole.  It doesn't matter whether the ball is on the bottom of the cup, only that it's below the lip.


To clarify:

17-4. Ball Resting Against Flag stick

When a player's ball rests against the flag stick in the hole and the ball is not holed , the player or another person authorized by him may move or remove the flag stick , and if the ball falls into the hole , the player is deemed to have holed out, but if the ball comes out with the flag it is put on the edge of the hole for a tap in and stroke.

I was in a scramble about 15 years ago, new car for a hole in one on a 215 yd Par 3. The group behind us had one of the players make a hole in one and win the car, not the case. there was an older gentleman sitting in a lawn chair witnessing the hole as an employee of the insurance company covering the cost of the new car. He never got out of his chair when the hole in one golfer came running up to the green screaming and yahooing about his new car. He pulled the flag stick and the ball came out with the pin. Then the old guy finally got out of his chair and said "no hole in one" placed ball on edge of cup and told golfer he was lying 1. One hell of an argument broke out and we even had the cops come to settle things down. But the ruling held and no car. I'm still waiting to make my first ace, but when and if I do I will take the ball out of the cup before pulling the pin.


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Originally Posted by Conspirator

To clarify:

17-4. Ball Resting Against Flag stick

When a player's ball rests against the flag stick in the hole and the ball is not holed, the player or another person authorized by him may move or remove the flag stick, and if the ball falls into the hole, the player is deemed to have holed out, but if the ball comes out with the flag it is put on the edge of the hole for a tap in and stroke.

I was in a scramble about 15 years ago, new car for a hole in one on a 215 yd Par 3. The group behind us had one of the players make a hole in one and win the car, not the case. there was an older gentleman sitting in a lawn chair witnessing the hole as an employee of the insurance company covering the cost of the new car. He never got out of his chair when the hole in one golfer came running up to the green screaming and yahooing about his new car. He pulled the flag stick and the ball came out with the pin. Then the old guy finally got out of his chair and said "no hole in one" placed ball on edge of cup and told golfer he was lying 1. One hell of an argument broke out and we even had the cops come to settle things down. But the ruling held and no car. I'm still waiting to make my first ace, but when and if I do I will take the ball out of the cup before pulling the pin.

In order to take a good stand on this event 15 years ago one would have to dig up the Rules from that era as well as Dec's. From today's point of view the insurance guy was dead wrong UNLESS he saw that part of the ball was not under the lip of the hole. This seems quite unplausible because the player would have seen that as well and would have acted properly. If he did not, then he got what he deserved. Personally I think the insurance guy just wanted to hide behind a technicality and save his company a bunch of money. I bet that company got a lot of goodwill and positive publicity on that day...

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Originally Posted by Ignorant

In order to take a good stand on this event 15 years ago one would have to dig up the Rules from that era as well as Dec's. From today's point of view the insurance guy was dead wrong UNLESS he saw that part of the ball was not under the lip of the hole. This seems quite unplausible because the player would have seen that as well and would have acted properly. If he did not, then he got what he deserved. Personally I think the insurance guy just wanted to hide behind a technicality and save his company a bunch of money. I bet that company got a lot of goodwill and positive publicity on that day...



The definition of "holed" was the same then as it is now.  That has not changed since at least 1988 (that's as far back as I looked), so the if the ball was at rest within the hole and entirely below the lip of the hole, then he was cheated.  Since the ball was holed by definition, nothing which happens afterward matters.  Once the ball is holed, the play of that hole is finished.

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This is not entirely true. Pls. read Dec 16/5.5: [URL=http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Decision-16/#16/5.5]http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Decision-16/#16/5.5[/URL]

Good catch. :-) For the lazy, the important phrase there was: [quote=Decision 16/5.5]The words "at rest" are in the Definition of "Holed" to make it clear that if a ball falls below the lip and thereafter bounces out, it is not holed. [/quote]

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