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Provisional, lateral water hazard - Page 2

post #19 of 27

This is one I've thought is a dumb rule! I agree with everyone that has said that a ball in a hazard does not allow for a provisional. However, one of the options for a ball in the hazard is to hit another ball from the spot where the original ball was hit. So why not allow a provisional? Of course if you would play a provisional and then determine your ball is in the hazard and not playable, you have given up your other drop options.

post #20 of 27

The reason is that the player should not have a choice as to which ball he wants to play. He must live with what he got originally.

 

The sole purpose of a provisional is to save time not to give a player a second bite at the cherry.

post #21 of 27

Sorry to add wrinkles to an already confusing discussion... but...

 

It's worth pointing out a rare but legal local rule that might be the source of the confusion. It is permissible for a committee to add a rule permitting a provisional in the case that a ball is believed to be in a hazard. For this to be a permissible local rule, however, by playing a provisional in this situation, the player waives his option to relief under 26-1 other than playing the provisional. He can play the ball as it lies, or he can play the provisional.

 

This is the very first specimen local rule in part B of Appendix I of the USGA rules, quoted below.

 

 

Quote:

If a water hazard (including a lateral water hazard) is of such size and shape and/or located in such a position that:

 

(i) it would be impracticable to determine whether the ball is in the hazard or to do so would unduly delay play, and

 

(ii) if the original ball is not found, it is known or virtually certain that it is in the water hazard,

 

the Committee may introduce a Local Rule permitting the play of a ball provisionally under Rule 26-1. The ball is played provisionally under any of the applicable options under Rule 26-1 or any applicable Local Rule. In such a case, if a ball is played provisionally and the original ball is in a water hazard, the player may play the original ball as it lies or continue with the ball played provisionally, but he may not proceed under Rule 26-1 with regard to the original ball.

 

In these circumstances, the following Local Rule is recommended:

 

“If there is doubt whether a ball is in or is lost in the water hazard (specify location), the player may play another ball provisionally under any of the applicable options in Rule 26-1.

 

If the original ball is found outside the water hazard, the player must continue play with it.

 

If the original ball is found in the water hazard, the player may either play the original ball as it lies or continue with the ball played provisionally under Rule 26-1.

 

If the original ball is not found or identified within the five-minute search period, the player must continue with the ball played provisionally.

post #22 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeg View Post

Sorry to add wrinkles to an already confusing discussion... but...

 

It's worth pointing out a rare but legal local rule that might be the source of the confusion. It is permissible for a committee to add a rule permitting a provisional in the case that a ball is believed to be in a hazard. For this to be a permissible local rule, however, by playing a provisional in this situation, the player waives his option to relief under 26-1 other than playing the provisional. He can play the ball as it lies, or he can play the provisional.

 

This is the very first specimen local rule in part B of Appendix I of the USGA rules, quoted below.

 

 

That's interesting.  As far as my situation goes, I'm "virtually certain" (ha ha) that no such local rule is in force at our club (it's not listed on the score card), but I'll enquire nonetheless.

 

Anyone have any ideas as to the reasoning behind such a local rule?  Would it be to prevent players from cherry picking?

post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdl View Post

 

Thanks for the answer.  So you should basically should never take a provisional on a ball that's probably in a hazard but might be lost or OB. Just note to everyone in your group it's "virtually certain" the ball's in the hazard and voila, don't give up distance!  

 

 

LOL, well I understand what you're saying, however whether or not there was Virtual Certainty is based on the definition of Virtual Certainty in the decision I posted earlier....not whether or not you chose to play a provisional.  

 

This decision will really start the rules hate mail........note the last paragraph.

 

 

26-1/3.5

Ball Dropped Under Water Hazard Rule with Knowledge or Virtual Certainty; Original Ball Then Found

Q.A player's ball is struck towards a water hazard. It is known or virtually certain that the player's ball is in the water hazard, and he drops a ball under Rule 26-1b. Before he plays the dropped ball, his original ball is found within the five-minute search period. What is the ruling?

A.As it was known or virtually certain that the ball was in the water hazard when the player put the substituted ball into play, that ball was correctly substituted and he may not play the original ball.

If the original ball was found in the water hazard and this discovery affects the reference point for proceeding under Rule 26-1b, resulting in the substituted ball having been dropped in a wrong place, the player must correct the error under Rule 20-6. The player must proceed in accordance with any of the applicable options under Rule 26-1 with respect to the correct reference point (see Decisions 20-6/2 and 26-1/16). Otherwise, Rule 20-6 does not apply and the player must continue play with the dropped ball. In either case, the player incurs a penalty of one stroke under Rule 26-1.

In the unlikely event that the original ball was found outside the water hazard, the player must continue with the dropped ball under penalty of one stroke (Rule 26-1).

post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdl View Post

 

Thanks for the answer.  So you should basically should never take a provisional on a ball that's probably in a hazard but might be lost or OB. Just note to everyone in your group it's "virtually certain" the ball's in the hazard and voila, don't give up distance!  

 

Not quite. If you ball is 'probably' in a WH it may or may not be. So you may play a provisional.

 

It is unlikely that unless you know for certain that it is in, then the standard of proof required for to be 'virtually certain' cannot be assessed until you get to the place where the ball is thought to be.

 

You will note the the term 'known or virtually certain' is not used in the rule specifying the procedure for playing a provisional. It is only used when determining the status of the original ball when searching. 

post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by dv7834 View Post

That's interesting.  As far as my situation goes, I'm "virtually certain" (ha ha) that no such local rule is in force at our club (it's not listed on the score card), but I'll enquire nonetheless.

 

Anyone have any ideas as to the reasoning behind such a local rule?  Would it be to prevent players from cherry picking?


Yes, that is just it. If you're allowed to play a provisional and consider a drop, you already know exactly what you'd be facing by playing the provisional (i.e., the stroke and distance option under the hazard rule). You get a bit of a break in that you can opt whether to play the original ball as it lies versus knowing the outcome of your other option, so there's a little cherry picking left. I guess this is permitted because it's rare, it'd be contrary to the "play it as it lies" principle to remove that option, and if you forced the player to abandon the provisional you'd be eliminating the time savings that the rule was designed to obtain.

 

I strongly doubt that this rule is in effect at your course in the situation described. It's really only intended for cases where you can be almost certain that the ball is in the hazard and you're unlikely to have any idea where the ball ended up.

post #26 of 27

I have a very similar question and it just came up at my tournament friday.  There is a par three at my course where you play over water. If you pull it a bit left it can go into tall weeds that line the far side of the hazard, or it could possibly be over and in short grass. There are only two possibilities- either it will be in play and findable because the grass is short, or it will be virtually certain to be in the hazard. The only drop is back on the tee box. Anyone know any way of preventing the need to walk 200 yards around the pond and check for the ball first?

 

Against the rules we all agreed to allow a player in our group to hit provisional because it's a very casual tournament and didn't feel like waiting.

post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jefferey13 View Post

I have a very similar question and it just came up at my tournament friday.  There is a par three at my course where you play over water. If you pull it a bit left it can go into tall weeds that line the far side of the hazard, or it could possibly be over and in short grass. There are only two possibilities- either it will be in play and findable because the grass is short, or it will be virtually certain to be in the hazard. The only drop is back on the tee box. Anyone know any way of preventing the need to walk 200 yards around the pond and check for the ball first?

 

Against the rules we all agreed to allow a player in our group to hit provisional because it's a very casual tournament and didn't feel like waiting.

 

Get the club to use the Local Rule quoted above.

 

1. Water Hazards; Ball Played Provisionally Under Rule 26-1

If a water hazard (including a lateral water hazard) is of such size and shape and/or located in such a position that:

(i) it would be impracticable to determine whether the ball is in the hazard or to do so would unduly delay play, and

(ii) if the original ball is not found, it is known or virtually certain that it is in the water hazard,

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