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Fred Darling

Provisional ball question.

40 posts in this topic

Can anyone answer the following question;

I played in a strokes competition at the weekend and on one of the holes I drove my ball very much to the left over a water hazzard which I could not see from where I was standing. My playing partner was sure it had hit the bank and ran into the hazzard. After a few minutes searching I announced I was playing a provisional ball from where we thought point of entry to the hazzard from the lake bank I played a provisional and was on the way to put out when I found my original ball. What is the rule?

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26-1/3

Ball Played Under Water Hazard Rule; Original Ball Then Found Outside Hazard

Q.A player believed his original ball had come to rest in a water hazard. He searched for about a minute but did not find his ball. He therefore dropped another ball behind the hazard under Rule 26-1 and played it. He then found his original ball outside the hazard within five minutes of having begun to search for it. What is the ruling?

A.When the player dropped and played another ball behind the hazard, it became the ball in play and the original ball was lost.

If it was known or virtually certain that the original ball was in the water hazard, the player was entitled to invoke Rule 26-1 . In the absence of knowledge or virtual certainty that the original ball was in the water hazard, the player was required to put another ball into play under Rule 27-1 . In playing the ball dropped under Rule 26-1 , the player played from a wrong place.

In match play, he incurred a penalty of loss of hole (Rule 20-7b ).

In stroke play, he incurred the stroke-and-distance penalty prescribed by Rule 27-1 and an additional penalty of two strokes for a breach of that Rule (Rule 20-7c ). If the breach was a serious one, he was subject to disqualification unless he corrected the error as provided in Rule 20-7c .

See this for the definition of Known or Virtually Certain.

http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Decision-26/#d26-1-1

So you need to decide if your had Virtual Certainty.  Also the ball dropped was not a "provisional'.  Provisional balls are balls dropped for balls that may be lost outside of a hazard, or out of bounds, and must be dropped from where your previous stroke was played.

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Can anyone answer the following question;

I played in a strokes competition at the weekend and on one of the holes I drove my ball very much to the left over a water hazzard which I could not see from where I was standing. My playing partner was sure it had hit the bank and ran into the hazzard. After a few minutes searching I announced I was playing a provisional ball from where we thought point of entry to the hazzard from the lake bank I played a provisional and was on the way to put out when I found my original ball. What is the rule?

You didn't play a provisional ball.

Two issues:

1)  A provisional ball must be played from the spot where the previous stroke was made, and can only be played before you go forward to search.   The reason for a provisional ball is to save time in case the original ball is not found.  Once you have gone forward, you are no longer saving time by playing it, so there is no further reason for it to be a provisional ball.

2)  A provisional ball is played when there is a possibility that the original ball may be lost outside of a water hazard, or out of bounds.  It is not allowed if the ball is thought to be lost in a water hazard.

The ball you played was the ball in play, and if it was not virtually certain that the original ball was lost in the water hazard, then it was a lost ball and you dropped in a wrong place (the procedure for lost ball is stroke and distance).  If it was known or virtually certain that the original ball was lost in the hazard, then your play might have been correct under Rule 26-1 if the point where you dropped was in correct relationship to the point where the original ball last crossed the margin of the hazard.  That can only be determined by fact, not by supposition, and I don't have the facts to know if you did that correctly or not.

But the fact does remain that your second ball was never a provisional ball.

Rule 27-2:

27-2. Provisional Ball

a. Procedure

If a ball may be lost outside a water hazard or may be out of bounds, to save time the player may play another ball provisionally in accordance with Rule 27-1. The player must inform his opponent in match play or his marker or afellow-competitor in stroke play that he intends to play a provisional ball, and he must play it before he or his partner goes forward to search for the original ball.

If he fails to do so and plays another ball, that ball is not a provisional ball and becomes the ball in playunder penalty of stroke and distance (Rule 27-1); the original ball is lost.

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You cannot go back and play a provisional ball after you have gone forward to search for your original ball. When you played a second ball as you did, it became the ball in play.

The important question is whether at the time you  were certain that your ball was in the hazard. The Rules term is "virtually certain" which really means that you are sure your ball could not be anywhere else.  If you had that 99% certainty that your ball was in the hazard, you were correct to play from where you did - at the cost of a penalty stroke.  The fact that you then found the original ball outside the hazard doesn't change anything.  You carry on with the second ball.

If, on the other hand, you did not have that high degree of certainty that your ball was in the hazard, you unfortunately screwed up rather expensively.   Without that virtual certainty, your ball is simply lost and you have to return to where you played the previous stroke (stroke and distance).  By playing the second ball from where you did, you played from a wrong place (2 penalty strokes plus the 1 for getting out the hazard).  It would most likely be serious breach of playing from the wrong place (i.e. it gave you a significant advantage) which would lead to disqualification.  If there is the likelihood of a serious breach, you have to  hole out with the second ball and also correct the mistake by playing another ball from the correct place (back to the tee in this instance).  You report the circumstances and the scores to the Committee after the game and the Committee decides which score will count.

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I hope you don't get  confused by the flurry of replies, Fred.  We're all saying the same things in different ways!

@Fourputt and Dormie

We should set up a duty roster and save the time on duplication :-D

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so he still gets penalized even though playing partner was certain he saw it go in water?heres the problem.why do I get penalized because playing partner claims he saw it go in water?if partner declares that he saw it go in water and you cant find it till after you hit your drop then I don't feel you should be penalized.

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so he still gets penalized even though playing partner was certain he saw it go in water?heres the problem.why do I get penalized because playing partner claims he saw it go in water?if partner declares that he saw it go in water and you cant find it till after you hit your drop then I don't feel you should be penalized.

I guess the question is about the virtual certainty that ball was in hazard.these are the rules that need to be looked at.,some of these rules require too much questioning about what is right.really needs to be simplified so people arnt having to look for balls slowing play.

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I hope you don't get  confused by the flurry of replies, Fred.  We're all saying the same things in different ways!

@Fourputt and Dormie

We should set up a duty roster and save the time on duplication

Having read most of your responses on the other forums I would say you often explain things the most clearly, even though English is not your native language. :-D

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so he still gets penalized even though playing partner was certain he saw it go in water?heres the problem.why do I get penalized because playing partner claims he saw it go in water?if partner declares that he saw it go in water and you cant find it till after you hit your drop then I don't feel you should be penalized.

You are always going to be penalised  to play your next stroke after going into a water hazard from outside the hazard.  It makes no difference whether you find the ball or not.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Aflighter

so he still gets penalized even though playing partner was certain he saw it go in water?heres the problem.why do I get penalized because playing partner claims he saw it go in water?if partner declares that he saw it go in water and you cant find it till after you hit your drop then I don't feel you should be penalized.

You are always going to be penalised  to play your next stroke after going into a water hazard from outside the hazard.  It makes no difference whether you find the ball or not.

Unless the ball is playable from within the hazard. ;-)

The key issue here is that once he dropped and played from the location he chose, that was the ball in play.  The original ball was deemed lost, regardless of it's actual location.  The problem is that from the description given, he played from a wrong place.  Because the ball was later found outside of the water hazard, Rule 26-1 did not apply, so it is probable that it was a serious breach.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Aflighter

so he still gets penalized even though playing partner was certain he saw it go in water?heres the problem.why do I get penalized because playing partner claims he saw it go in water?if partner declares that he saw it go in water and you cant find it till after you hit your drop then I don't feel you should be penalized.

I guess the question is about the virtual certainty that ball was in hazard.these are the rules that need to be looked at.,some of these rules require too much questioning about what is right.really needs to be simplified so people arnt having to look for balls slowing play.

Virtual certainty is necessary. A requirement for absolute knowledge might pose an enormous existential problem.

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Unless the ball is playable from within the hazard.

The key issue here is that once he dropped and played from the location he chose, that was the ball in play.  The original ball was deemed lost, regardless of it's actual location.  The problem is that from the description given, he played from a wrong place.  Because the ball was later found outside of the water hazard, Rule 26-1 did not apply, so it is probable that it was a serious breach.

I think I covered that.   Not the most elegant of phrasing (I'm translating from Scots, after all :whistle: )  but I was clearly referring to playing the next stroke from outside the hazard don't you think?

You are always going to be penalised to play your next stroke after going into a water hazard from outside the hazard. B-)

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

Unless the ball is playable from within the hazard.

The key issue here is that once he dropped and played from the location he chose, that was the ball in play.  The original ball was deemed lost, regardless of it's actual location.  The problem is that from the description given, he played from a wrong place.  Because the ball was later found outside of the water hazard, Rule 26-1 did not apply, so it is probable that it was a serious breach.

I think I covered that.   Not the most elegant of phrasing (I'm translating from Scots, after all  )  but I was clearly referring to playing the next stroke from outside the hazard don't you think?

You are always going to be penalised  to play your next stroke after going into a water hazard from outside the hazard.

Your phraseology is what tripped me.  " You are always going to be penalised to play your next stroke after going into a water hazard from outside the hazard. "  To me that sounds like you said that "you went into the hazard from outside of the hazard" (as opposed to playing the previous stroke when the ball already lies in the hazard).

I would have organized the sentence to read: You are always going to be penalized after going into a water hazard, if you have to drop and play your next stroke from outside the hazard. Just a grammatical technicality, but can be important for clarity.

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Your phraseology is what tripped me.  "You are always going to be penalised  to play your next stroke after going into a water hazard from outside the hazard. "  To me that sounds like you said that "you went into the hazard from outside of the hazard" (as opposed to playing the previous stroke when the ball already lies in the hazard).

I would have organized the sentence to read:  You are always going to be penalized after going into a water hazard,  if you have to drop and play your next stroke from outside the hazard.  Just a grammatical technicality, but can be important for clarity.

It was indeed a very clumsily constructed sentence of which I should be ashamed. :8) And I was when I went back to read it again.    If it tripped someone knowledgeable, it wouldn't be much help to anyone who isn't.

I shall take myself aside and give myself a good talking to. Must do better x 100  at the very least.

Or I could write it all in Scots and no-one would be any the wiser. :-)

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Can anyone answer the following question;

I played in a strokes competition at the weekend and on one of the holes I drove my ball very much to the left over a water hazzard which I could not see from where I was standing. My playing partner was sure it had hit the bank and ran into the hazzard. After a few minutes searching I announced I was playing a provisional ball from where we thought point of entry to the hazzard from the lake bank I played a provisional and was on the way to put out when I found my original ball. What is the rule?

Hi Fred,

Hope you got through all the answers without too much confusion.

Most likely your ruling would be this.

You did not have known or virtual certainty that the ball was in the hazard.  As a result you needed to either find your ball within 5 minutes of searching, or play under the lost ball rule which means back to the tee hitting 3.

Because you did not do this, and gained a significant advantage from playing your 3rd stroke from the area of the hazard and not the tee,  you committed a serious breach of Rule 20-7. (Playing from a Wrong Place).  Assuming you did not correct this error, by going back and hitting 3 from the tee before you played from the next tee.....the ruling would be disqualification.

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Or I could write it all in Scots and no-one would be any the wiser.

My ancestors are from Scotland, so I guess that's why I understand you.

Thread creep.  I live about a mile from the 7th hole at Valhalla.  Very wet....too bad, hasn't rained this much all summer.  The weather here last week was gorgeous.

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To creep a little further, I'm just settling down to an entertaining  evening's viewing - looking for a McIlroy win,  but mainly just intent on enjoying golf such as I can't even play in my dreams.

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To creep a little further, I'm just settling down to an entertaining  evening's viewing - looking for a McIlroy win,  but mainly just intent on enjoying golf such as I can't even play in my dreams.

Going to be a late night for you.  I've played the course a few times. You can not imagine how far they are hitting the ball and how easy the leaders are making it look.

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