Yesterday, while playing 36 holes with my buddies I had something happen that I have heard of and seen on tour, but never had happen to myself or any playing partners...and the circumstances seemed a little different to me.
So...hit a shot on a par 3 to about 8-10 feet. Hit my birdie putt and had it stop on the high side of the hole, overlooking the cup. I paused for a couple seconds, not believing that it hadn't fallen and then walked up to the ball and was preparing to address the golf ball and, BEFORE placing my putter behind the ball, the ball fell in the hole. We were split on what to call the hole...birdie or par. I looked into the rules
Rule 16-2, ball Overhanging Hole. When any part of the ball overhangs the lip of the hole, the player is allowed enough time to reach the hole without unreasonable delay and an additional ten seconds to determine whether the ball is at rest. If by then the ball has not fallen into the hole, it is deemed to be at rest. If the ball subsequently falls into the hole, the player is deemed to have holed out with his last stroke, and he must add a penalty stroke to his score for the hole; otherwise, there is no penalty under this Rule.
So...looking at the rule, I am pretty sure that I had a birdie, 2 and not a par, 3 (didn't matter...we were playing a 3-2-1 validation skins game where you have to validate the skin on the following hole with a par or better...and I made bogey). Again, I paused for maybe 3 seconds in amazement that the putt hadn't fallen, walked to the ball and was getting ready to address the ball, I had not grounded the putter anywhere near the ball (in fact the putter was on the way down over top of and behind the ball getting ready to address the ball) and I had not done anything ridiculous (jumping up and down or blowing on the ball) and I had not waited any unreasonable amount and had definitely not waited longer than 10 seconds once reaching the ball.
Am I right?
Also...I figured this would be a good spot to post rules type questions for the few people that post in the golf forum.
My thought would be you and your friends need to lighten up and have some fun lol. I cant imagine the **** me or my friends would take if having to quote rule 16.2 of the official rule book.
If you were not lined up with the putter behind the ball and didnt wait like 2 minutes then you're fine
I didn't quote the rule book while on the hole. As a high school golf coach, however, I like to help my golfers when it comes to rules questions, so I looked it up during the round on my phone (any time something new comes up I can then pose the rule in question to my kids). We have had 3 or 4 incidents in my 5 years of coaching where a rules question came into play (where neither my player nor their opponent knew the ruling) that I was able to clear up. I do carry a rule book with me during our high school matches just to be sure...but, oftentimes, experiencing things on the course helps to clear things up.
For example...in our first match of the season, one of our opponents hit a shot that we all saw go into a bunker...but could not find the golf ball. The opposing coach took a rake and raked along the top edge of the bunker, finding it completely buried beneath the sand. We gave a free drop in the bunker (it didn't mean anything as my kids were beating the opponent considerably). In looking up the rule now...we were both correct and incorrect. It would have fallen under "Abnormal Ground Conditions - 25.1-b.ii part a or part b". If the golfer chose to drop without penalty, they would have to drop in the nearest point in the bunker. The golfer could also chose to take a penalty stroke, in which case they could drop the ball behind the bunker while keeping the flag and location of their ball in line.
I get that when playing with your buddies in a friendly round of golf (where some adult beverages may be consumed) that the rules aren't nearly as important (unless there is $$$ on the line). However...this game is so crazy when actually playing by the USGA rules...it is fun to investigate rulings to see just how much you know (or don't know).