Our most-read rules question of the year involved an intriguing hole-in-one conundrum

A golfer celebrating his shot with a dramatic sky behind.

Rules Guy made the call on an intriguing hole-in-one question this year.

Getty Images

Is it or isn’t it?

That’s the crux of the issue in this year’s most-read Rules Guy column, which involved a question about golf’s holy grail, the hole-in-one.

Rules Guy has made a call on many hole-in-one inquiries in his day, from whether or not a shot that bounces off a rake counts as an ace to questions about one-shotters that go in on modified holes.

But this year’s query was of particular interest to readers because of some very specific circumstances. Rather than knocking his shot in the cup himself, Ken Skolny’s email asked for a ruling when a playing partner’s shot collides with a ball at rest on the green on a par-3, causing that ball to roll into the hole. Is it an ace?

Hmmm. Think you know the answer? Enjoy revisiting the details of Ken’s situation below, which was originally published on May 23, 2023. (You can read it in its original form here.)

The most-read rules question of 2023

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! —Ken Skolny, via email

Those are some fine players you’re surrounding yourself with, Ken. But what happened with the second player’s shot? Was it yours? Ace, or duck-hook out-of-bounds? Inquiring minds want to know!

Regardless, 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. Keep hanging out with such super sticks, as it may rub off on you!

Need help unriddling the greens at your home course? Pick up a custom Green Book from Golf Logix.

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

The Prism

$229.99 (was $329.99)
From the six brand new colors to the many added features, The Prism is the best looking and most feature packed golf rangefinder we have ever created!
View Product

Golf.com Editor

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on GOLF.com.