Hey all -
First time poster and soon to be first time tournament player and I'm confused about a lost ball ruling and how to handle it.
I feel pretty confident that I know how to handle situations where my ball is OB or into a water hazard and how the rules apply, but I'm confused about rulings that involve a ball that is lost behind a green.
Let me give you a scenario that has happened to me a few times that I am always confused about: I have a short pitch shot to the green. I end up skulling the shot quite badly and send a low line drive into the trees behind the green. The area where the ball lies is not marked as OB. After searching around in the trees behind the green, I find my ball. As long as it's not marked OB, I can attempt a shot, correct?
If I deem the ball to be unplayable, I know I have a few options. However, since I am now behind the green and in the trees, how can I make a drop that is not closer to the hole? Do I go two club lengths to the left or right of where the ball entered into the trees, providing that it is no closer to the pin? Or do I need to go back and hit the shot again from the original spot? Or is there something I need to be doing completely differently? I can't pick a spot in a straight line further back from the pin as this would just take you deeper into the trees.
If I don't end up finding my ball at all, I would need to go back and hit a new ball correct?
This has always confused me when I get into situations like this and I'm looking for some guidance. Rulings like this make me nervous to enter a tournament, so I figured you guys and gals could help...thanks!