What do you call a ball that won’t drop?

With all the restrictions and safety precautions we encounter on and off the golfcourse these days due to the pandemic, it’s difficult to keep accurate scores.

At our home club, the flag sticks are set into metal holders that actually prevent the golf ball from easily dropping into the hole. I’ve seen too many balls hit the stick, hit the holder inside the hole and pop out. How do you count it? Did the ball go in the hole, or just around the rim? Does it count as if you holed the ball? I’ve decided when that happens and you just don’t know for sure, I call it a COVID! And count the ball as holed.


Unusual circumstances, with grounds keepers doing their best to keep things as close to normal as possible, balls popping out of holes is happening all the time. And golfers hardly know what’s an accurate score. Did the ball go into the hole and then pop out? Or did luck play a role and a ball that would have popped out, got jammed between the stick and the edge of the hole? I’ve seen it happen both ways.

At a small public course I just played, the goundskeeper decided the best way to handle things was to put a ring of styrofoam (think backyard pool “noodle”) around the base of the flagstick. The ball can’t drop! It can only rest between the stick and the rim. You have to hit the ball with just enough firmness to have it just reach the front edge of the cup. Too much pressure and out it pops.

So what’s the bottom line? How do you keep score, when so many “ifs” and “maybes” are in play—all thanks to the corona-19 pandemic?

I say, do your best, call the stroke a COVID, and pray for better days. For more information check out Golf Advisor’s post: “Can you post scores of rounds you play during the coronavirus pandemic?” by Tim Gavrich

Wishing you smart golf. Wear a mask, keep your distance, and be reasonable keeping score.

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