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NJpatbee

One Ball

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I understand that a tournament can declare a one ball rule, requiring the same brand and type of ball be played for the entire round.  Doing some research, I can find nothing that would stop a golfer playing without the one ball rule declared, to voluntarily change brand and/or type of ball between holes.  We all know the example of hitting the Velocity on the 440 yard par 5 and then using a Prov1x for the 135 yard par 3.  I understand replacing a ball when the rules allow (e.g. ball in water hazard) but did not realize that you can switch between holes and have a valid score for hadicap purposes.

The groups I have played games with (Nassau's, Skins, etc.) never allowed someone to replace their ball on the tee depending upon the characteristics of the hole - you basically played the ball you played until it was beat up or lost. - which apparently is wrong.  Am I misunderstanding the rule?  .

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I understand that a tournament can declare a one ball rule, requiring the same brand and type of ball be played for the entire round.  Doing some research, I can find nothing that would stop a golfer playing without the one ball rule declared, to voluntarily change brand and/or type of ball between holes.  We all know the example of hitting the Velocity on the 440 yard par 5 and then using a Prov1x for the 135 yard par 3.  I understand replacing a ball when the rules allow (e.g. ball in water hazard) but did not realize that you can switch between holes and have a valid score for hadicap purposes.

The groups I have played games with (Nassau's, Skins, etc.) never allowed someone to replace their ball on the tee depending upon the characteristics of the hole - you basically played the ball you played until it was beat up or lost. - which apparently is wrong.  Am I misunderstanding the rule?  .

You are basically correct.  If the committee has not instituted the one ball condition then the player may do as he likes between holes as long as the chosen ball is a conforming ball.  In fact, if the player is proceding under a rule which allows him to substitute a ball (Rule 5-3 - ball unfit for play, Rule 26 - water hazards, or Rule 27 - Ball lost or out of bounds, or Rule 28 - Ball unplayable), then he may even change brands at that time.  There is no requirement that a provisional ball be the same as the original ball played.

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If the 'one ball' condition is not in force you may change to a different ball (type etc) on each hole.

I addition, if you lose a ball or is is damaged and unplayable, ie whenever the rules permit you to substitute a ball, again you may change to a different type/model.

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Thanks for the clarifications.

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