Rules School with Bunkers Paradise’s Kate Hughes

‘The game of golf is full of Rules, but rules are there to help you and not hurt you. Embrace them and learn the rules and you will see how you can play with less stress every round’!

Rules Set-Up and Question

Manny, unaware that his original ball has holed out and unable to find his original ball puts another ball into play. Manny then discovers his original ball is actually in the hole. Is Manny assessed a penalty?


Manny will be able to post his score with the original ball. The play of the hole was completed the moment Manny holed the original ball.

Different Situation Set-Up on Same Rule

On a par 3, Manny believes his ball may be lost and plays a provisional.  Manny searches for 5 minutes (the allotted time to look for a lost ball) and is unable to find his ball. Manny continues to play his provisional ball and hits it onto the green. Once on the green, Manny looks into the cup and sees his original ball. What is the ruling?


Manny will be allowed to post a 1 on his score card. Again, the play was completed the moment Manny holed his original ball.

Another Situation Set-up on the Same Rule

Manny played up to a blind green and putted what he thought was his ball. He then realized that his own ball (the original ball he hit up to the blind green) was in the hole and the ball he had just putted was in fact the wrong ball. What is the ruling in this situation?


Since Manny holed out the original ball, he is deemed to have completed the hole once the original ball was holed. In other words, he will not be assessed any penalty for hitting the wrong ball.


Final thoughts

As always, know your rules as they are there to help you and protect the field. I have had this exact ruling before and I thought I was to be penalized for finding my original holed ball after looking for 5 minutes for it. I guess I had no confidence it was actually in the hole!

Fortunately for me and my group we had a ruling by a rules official that enlightened all of us that there was no penalty to be assessed because once the original ball was holed out, the hole was over and that score was to be posted.

Knowing the rules will only help you in the long run alleviate any uncertainty and stress that may occur and affect your game.

‘keep smiling and always believe’

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