Q: Barry and Ralph are playing No. 16 at Sapelo Hammock. Barry’s ball is on the green, but a long way from the hole. Ralph still is looking near the hazard for his ball. Rather than waiting for Ralph to attend the flagstick, Barry proceeds to putt. His ball approaches the hole, hangs over the lip for a few seconds and then falls into the hole. Ralph says that Barry must add a penalty stroke for hitting the flagstick since he was putting from the green. Barry says no because his ball fell into the hole without hitting the flagstick. Who is correct?
A: Ralph is correct. A ball is not holed until it is at rest in the bottom of the hole. If the flagstick still is in the hole, it is impossible for the ball to come to rest without touching the flagstick. The penalty is two strokes.
Tip of the week: Ask for help if you need it. Barry took a chance and lost.
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