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Rules Situation: Ball Rests on Twig Over Hole

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Let's say this is the result of your second shot on a par four.

What do you score for the hole and how?


The coach of another college asked me this yesterday, after a player sent him this post. I gave him the answer, but I thought it might be fun to discuss it here.

Go ahead, have at it.

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I’m no rules buff, but wouldn’t you mark the ball, remove the stick, replace the ball and if it goes in it’s an eagle? 

Ive seen this happen where a ball stays in its pitch mark on a slope of a green. The guy marked, fixed the pitch mark, replaced his ball and picked up the coin before it started rolling. 

Edited by kpaulhus

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1 minute ago, kpaulhus said:

I’m no rules buff, but wouldn’t you mark the ball, remove the stick, replace the ball and if it goes in it’s an eagle? 

Ive seen this happen where a ball stays in its pitch mark on a slope of a green. The guy marked, fixed the pitch mark, replaced his ball and picked up the coin before it started rolling. 

@iacas, I think he's right. It's got to be a 2. Why can't it be a second shot on a par-5, Erik?

Anyway, by the time you mark the ball, remove the twig, and replace the ball, the ball will not come to rest without the twig there, especially the way the ball is hanging over the hole... You might as well consider it holed.

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Would you have to remove the flag?  Seems like you could mark the ball, remove the twig, and drop the ball in the hole.  Replacing the ball isn't a stroke; so contact with the flag shouldn't matter.

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I'll share the answer when many people have shared their opinions, or someone else who knows the rule points it out and spoils it for everyone else. ;-)

BTW we had a similar discussion back on… June 11, 2015 about this.

82576

Just now, Piz said:

Would you have to remove the flag?  Seems like you could mark the ball, remove the twig, and drop the ball in the hole.  Replacing the ball isn't a stroke; so contact with the flag shouldn't matter.

FWIW the ball is not touching the flagstick. The twig appears to be, but could be stuck in the ground behind the flagstick. I don't know.

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Loose impediment on the green can be moved without penalty, and the shot was from off the green so hitting the flagstick is no issue.  Move the twig, if the ball falls in its holed.

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My guess would be the ball must be marked first. Then remove the loose impediment, then replace the ball to it's original position which then the ball would drop into the hole and considered holed out.

I would certainly call an official to request a ruling before taking any action if playing in a sanctioned event. 

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Since the ball is on the green, the loose impediment (the twig) can be removed without penalty. The ball has to be replaced once the loose impediment is removed, and if the ball moves once it is placed then it has to be placed at the nearest spot no closer to the hole where it wont move when placed, so on the lip of the hole. 

Rule 20-3 Section D

If a ball when placed fails to come to rest on the spot on which it was placed, there is no penalty and the ball must be replaced. If it still fails to come to rest on that spot:

(i) except in a hazard, it must be placed at the nearest spot where it can be placed at rest that is not nearer the hole and not in a hazard;

(ii) in a hazard, it must be placed in the hazard at the nearest spot where it can be placed at rest that is not nearer the hole.

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30 minutes ago, kpaulhus said:

I’m no rules buff, but wouldn’t you mark the ball, remove the stick, replace the ball and if it goes in it’s an eagle? 

Ive seen this happen where a ball stays in its pitch mark on a slope of a green. The guy marked, fixed the pitch mark, replaced his ball and picked up the coin before it started rolling. 

This seems logical, but I think I've seen where you have to place the ball wherever you can get it to stay, so you'd have to keep moving back until it wouldn't fall in the hole, then you'd have to tap in for a 3.

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Rule 16-2. The ball is at rest, sadly ;-)

The golfer must make a stroke. 

Lets say the golfer moves the stick. He suffers a 1 stroke penalty because his ball moved. He must replace the ball. Which can’t be replaced since it would fall into the hole. I guess he then would incur a one stroke penalty and is deemed holed out as per rule 16-2. 

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Ball needs to be below the lip to be considered holed.  You can move the flagstick to let a ball come to rest under the lip but I think that to have to mark the ball and replace it (above the lip) on the edge of the hole.  I’m guessing it’s like when you have a ball that is wedges against the flagstick and not below the lip...if you remove the flagstick and the ball comes out then the ball has to be placed on the lip with no penalty.  You haven’t made a stroke to put that ball under the lip.

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You can't move the stick without moving the ball, so you have to play it as Matt said. It is not resting against the flag stick, so that rule doesn't apply.

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7 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

Rule 16-2. The ball is at rest, sadly ;-)

The golfer must make a stroke. 

Lets say the golfer moves the stick. He suffers a 1 stroke penalty because his ball moved. He must replace the ball. Which can’t be replaced since it would fall into the hole. I guess he then would incur a one stroke penalty and is deemed holed out as per rule 16-2. 

Even though the ball is at rest, the golfer is still able to remove the loose impediment since the ball is on the green

From Rule 23-1

Except when both the loose impediment and the ball lie in or touch the same hazard, any loose impediment may be removed without penalty.

If the ball lies anywhere other than on the putting green and the removal of a loose impediment by the player causes the ball to move, Rule 18-2 applies.

"Loose impediments" are natural objects, including:

  • stones, leaves, twigs, branches and the like

@boogielicious the ball is on the green, so in my mind, I can mark the ball, remove the loose impediment, then replace the ball in the exact spot where it was before the impediment was removed. Since the ball would move after being placed twice, then rule 20-3 comes into play in my opinion/interpretation.

Edited by klineka

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5 minutes ago, klineka said:

Even though the ball is at rest, the golfer is still able to remove the loose impediment since the ball is on the green

I agree

Quote

If the ball lies anywhere other than on the putting green and the removal of a loose impediment by the player causes the ball to move, Rule 18-2 applies.

On the putting green, if the ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved in the process of the player removing a loose impediment, the ball or ball-marker must be replaced. There is no penalty, provided the movement of the ball or ball-marker is directly attributable to the removal of the loose impediment. Otherwise, the player incurs a penalty of one stroke under Rule 18-2.

Rule 18-2 states that if the player caused the ball to move they suffer a one-stroke penalty and then must replace the ball. A player can not say they accidently move the ball when they intently moved loose impediment with the ball against it like that. Unless accidently include knowing the ball will move, and doing it anyways because the intent is not to move the ball.

 

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2 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

I agree

Rule 18-2 states that if the player caused the ball to move they suffer a one-stroke penalty and then must replace the ball. A player can not say they accidently move the ball when they intently moved loose impediment with the ball against it like that. Unless accidently include knowing the ball will move, and doing it anyways because the intent is not to move the ball.

What if I mark the ball, pick the ball up, remove the loose impediment, then attempt to place the ball again?

Also from rule 18-2

Under the Rules there is no penalty if a player accidentally causes his ball to move in the following circumstances:

Edited by klineka

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