Stumped by something you've seen out on the course? Our Rules of Golf expert delves into the book to find you the answers

Despite the simplification of the Rules of Golf at the beginning of 2019, there are still some that leave us scratching our heads. And as I’ve passed the R&A’s level 2 rules exam with distinction, I am more than happy to help.

You’ve been coming forward in your droves with this one. As clubs have got back to competitions in this coronavirus-altered world, many are using a foam insert to ensure players don’t have to reach all the way into the hole to pick the ball out.

We’ve already covered what happens if the ball hits the insert and bounces out. But while these noodles have worked pretty well in the last couple of months, there’s been a problem.

When the heavens have really opened – as they have in depressingly familiar fashion over the last couple of weeks – the downpours have forced the insert up and, in some cases, out of the hole.

Golfers have noted it has been virtually impossible to hole out. So what do they do?

Rules of golf explained: Our expert says…

This one was beyond my knowledge and so I asked the Rules team at the R&A for help.

The governing body say there are no further temporary measures they would make to the Rules to accommodate the issue created by the rising foam insert.

They say it would really be for clubs to find an alternative method of raising the base of the hole without using the noodle. The foam insert will float due to its design and its use can lead to many situations where the ball will bounce off the noodle and make holing a ball a complete lottery.

An example they give is of inserting the hole upside down. That upturned hole would allow for part of the ball to be beneath the surface of the putting green – meeting the temporary Definition of Holed – and for the ball to be easily retrieved from the hole.

Have a question for our Rules of Golf expert?

Click here for the full Rules of Golf explained archive and details of how to submit a question to our expert.

Follow NCG on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for free online golf instruction, the latest equipment reviews, and much, much more.