Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Padraig Harrington's Ball 'Jumps' out of the Hole

Was he lucky or unlucky? Padraig Harrington’s short approach shot to the par-4 11th hole at the HP Byron Nelson Championship on Sunday, bounced once on the putting green, into the hole and, seemingly impossibly, popped out again coming to rest just inches away from the lip. I am sure that if this happened to some amateur golfers they would claim that their ball was holed, as it disappeared below the lip and obviously touched the bottom of the hole. But this ignores the part of the Definition of Holed that states that the ball has to be at rest;
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.
Here is a short video of the incident, courtesy of

Those of you that receive my ‘Rhodes Rules School’ photo series (click here if you don't!) may remember reading about a favourite Rules incident of mine that a fellow Club member assures me actually happened! Following a putt from the putting green a player’s ball was dropping into the hole when it landed on a frog that was taking a rest inside the hole. Naturally, the frog hopped out of the hole and deflected the ball away. As we saw from the Harrington incident above, the ball was not holed, but how does the player proceed in this situation? Rule 19-1b, Ball in Motion Deflected or Stopped by an Outside Agency, provides the answer;
If a player’s ball in motion after a stroke on the putting green is deflected or stopped by, or comes to rest in or on, any moving or animate outside agency, except a worm, insect or the like, the stroke is cancelled. The ball must be replaced and replayed.
Now that was unlucky!

Good golfing,

The above content is strictly copyright to Barry Rhodes © 2014 and may not be copied without permission.


Marc Cools said...

Is this true?
'there is no penalty if a player touches their ball with a club, causing it to rock off its spot, providing it returns to its original position.'
It's the touching that all these time is bothering me.

Barry Rhodes said...


Rule 18-2a(i) confirms that there is no penalty if a player touches their ball with their club in the act of addressing the ball, providing they do not cause it to move.


Interested Golfer said...

What happens if the player picks his/her ball out of the hole before it comes to rest? Meaning they make a two footer and pick the ball out before it fully comes to rest.

Barry Rhodes said...

Interested Golfer,

Providing all the ball falls below the lip it is holed. Decision 16/5.5 clarifies that 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.