If a player hits the ball into the hole from off the green and the ball is lodged next to the flagstick but not touching the bottom of the hole, is it considered to be “holed?”
In this case, we have to look at the definition of “holed” in the Rules of Golf.
A ball is “holed” when it is at rest within the circumference of the hole and all of it is below the level of the lip of the hole.
So, if the ball meets these requirements, it is deemed to be holed.
Now, take a look at Rule 17-4:
“When a player’s ball rests against the flagstick in the hole and the ball is not holed, the player or another person authorized by him may move or remove the flagstick, and if the ball falls into the hole, the player is deemed to have holed out with his last stroke; otherwise, the ball, if moved, must be placed on the lip of the hole, without penalty.”
This may seem like it is in opposition to the previous definition, but if the ball is not “holed,” it apparently hasn’t dropped beneath the level of the lip of the hole. Whoever removes the flagstick will have to do so very carefully to make sure the ball falls into the hole.