Is it a hole-in-one if a ball hits a modified hole and bounces out? Rules Guy

Is it an ace if your ball bounces off a Covid-adjusted hole and out?

Getty Images

The Rules of Golf are tricky! Thankfully, we’ve got the guru. Our Rules Guy knows the book front to back. Got a question? He’s got all the answers.

Q: A few weeks ago, I hit a perfect slam-dunk shot on a par 3…but our club has placed 2-inch pool noodles in the holes for COVID-19 reasons, and the ball bounced out. Our club pro said it was an ace. The state golf association said it probably was, too, but not having seen it suggested I talk with my fellow players. They all agreed the ball had landed directly in the hole. Do you agree that it was a hole-in-one (with an asterisk)?—Dennis Doherty, Lexington, Ky.

A: Dennis, there are no pictures on the scorecard, nor asterisks, question marks or parallelograms….The USGA hasn’t changed its guidance in terms of when a ball is considered holed.

It has to be, yes, holed…or with the limited exception of it resting against the flagstick with some portion of the ball below the surface.

Otherwise, sorry, you’ve got to play on, noodle or not.

Love reading about the rules? Remember, you can always send your rules-related queries, confusions and comments to We promise he won’t throw the book at you.

Golf Magazine

Subscribe To The Magazine

generic profile image