Ace or Not…That is The Question?

Let’s be real here – After all, It’s a safe space – LOL, but honestly, We ALL hate that guy – The Flippin’ Rules Guy: He seemingly knows all and is always – ALWAYS watching…chirping in wherever he gets the unsolicited opportunity. There is usually one in every group. However, here is a situation we just may need him for! I don’t always like said rules guy…but when I do need him, I prefer him to be correct! (Or even better – to rule in my favor TBH) All that aside, We got a question that we had to call in our dedicated rules official for. Check out the ruling below and let us know what you think…

Question: While playing a par 3, the first player’s ball stopped about a foot from the hole. The third player’s shot from the tee hit the first ball into the hole. Not sure what the call is. Two good shots, by the way, but was the 1st shot a hole-in-one?  – Ken

Answer: Simply put – NO – We will explain why below. 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. Buckle up here we go…What do the official rules say about a ball that goes in the hole after being bounced by another ball? Answer below 👇👇👇 – AKA Keep reading

First off, Ken, those are some fine players you’re surrounding yourself with. But I must ask…what happened with the second player’s shot? Was it yours? Did we snap a duck hook out of bounds? Inquiring minds want to know! OK- OK – I’ll pump the brakes, sorry, it just seems like you play with some sticks in your group and we want in! #Respect

Regardless, here’s the official ruling: the first ball is replaced back to where it was, and the other ball is played as it lies — with no penalty to either, obviously — under Rules 9.6 and 11.1. Obviously we want to card that a 1 but the rules say it was a nice tap in birdie…Keep hanging out with such super sticks, as it may rub off on you! Wait – Nobody is rubbing off on anyone on this site – PERIOD!

For more partner ball guidance from our guru, read on … This is a legit question we received, and it’s a pretty good one…The answer was shocking

Question: If a handkerchief is considered an “artificial object” as it relates to gauging wind, what about cigar smoke? I often play with one or more smokers, and cigar smoke is a perfect indicator of wind direction and velocity. Does observing this smoke result in a penalty for the observer? — Richard

golf balls

Answer: Simply Put YES, ONLY if it was intended – We know it’s tricky, but let us explain – First off: Kids, don’t smoke — and don’t break the Rules of Golf. 2 pieces of wisdom that we will give you for FREE. That’s just how we do. We explain the ruling below.

This may seem irrational, but think about it. Because cigars et al. are artificial objects, per Rule 4.3a(2) using any of these things for the specific purpose of gauging wind-related information would be an issue.

Might I say, having a handkerchief on the course itself isn’t a breach but using it as a quasi-wind sock is, the same is true with cigarettes, cigars, pipes, etc. Smoking is a health issue but not a rules issue — well, generally.

So, Richard, if there is a smoker in your group — let’s call him Camel Joe— and he is breaching this rule, he would get the general penalty of two strokes in stroke play and loss of hole-in-match play for the first offense and DQ’d upon a second offense.

Assuming you didn’t ask Camel Joe to blow smoke in order to pick up its signals, you, my friend, are in the clear — save for the dangers of secondhand smoke and your friend has a name that sounds like a hottie in yoga pants.

Got a question about the Rules? Ask the Rules Guy! Send your queries, confusions, and comments to We promise he won’t throw the book at you.

3 thoughts on “Ace or Not…That is The Question?”

    I like seeing the under dog come out ahead.

    Myself, I was told I’d never golf again after a team roping accident that put me in a coma for 3.5 months.
    My game is still off by 3 clubs, it’s slowly making a recovery.
    Will fellow members at my country club I get a ton of moral support.
    With a great supporting wife and a great club membership I’ll be able to overcome a major set back

  2. If Brooks qualifies he should play. The PGA should get over it’s self. They are and have always been a self righteous group and don’t seem to have any problem with the DP golfers being associated with the oil money. Competition is not something PGA wants but makes any sport better!

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