Originally Posted by Fourputt
You still have to put in the qualifier that if the player did as 27/1 suggests, he could also end up being penalized for slow play. That decision can only be invoked if you are not causing a roadblock on the course. Just because you are following a rule or decision to the letter, doesn't mean that you are always in the right. If taking that tack causes you to unduly delay play, then you are guilty of not only facing a breach of the pace of play policy, but you just messed up the rounds of the players behind you and the ones behind them, etc. on back down the line as they all bump into each other trying to get past the logjam you created.
This is what I was hoping to see from this thread. So can taking 4 minutes to search for a ball be considered a violation of rule 6-7? Decision 6-7/2 says a 10 minute search might be undue delay, but I can`t find anything about a 4 minute search http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Decision-06/#6-7/2 I am not saying you are wrong, but I can`t find it.
One of my pet peeves about the Lost Ball rule is that it is very penal and seems biased against players who do not have the resources (i.e. galleries, caddies, fore caddies, helpful playing partners) to aid in the search.
So can searching as permitted under decision 27/1 really get you a penalty under 6-7? Do others agree with this?
Originally Posted by Fourputt
"That line in the handicap manual of which you are so fond applies to intentionally taking unnecessary strokes to pad ones handicap. It was never intended to be applied in the way that you have interpreted it. If that was the case, then rules like the lost ball rule would require that you must take 5 minutes before giving up the search. Since those words are not in the rule, then such a condition doesn't exist. It is always the player's option to declare a ball unplayable anywhere on the course. That is Rule 28. That means that if I hit the ball into some bushes where finding the ball or having a play on it is unlikely, or maybe undesirable, then I may choose to not play a provisional ball. I may simply declare the original ball unplayable and play again from the same spot. That is not sandbagging (and I somewhat resent your accusation of such). If it was, then declaring it unplayable would not be allowed until after the player had gone forward and determined the true status of his ball. In such a case it is using common sense and keeping pace with the group in front by not wasting time in a fruitless search. That line about trying to shoot the lowest score possible just have the common sense phrase: The player must try to post the lowest score possible while playing within the Rules of Golf. That is what it really means, and taking it to supersede the rules is a backwards interpretation."
Now you are going too far. It might not ALWAYS be better to find your first ball. If you hit it somewhere that you know is completely dead then proceeding under rule 28 might be your best option. Of course, there are times that your original will be the better play if you can find it, depending on how well you hit your provisional. i.e. I pushed my drive about 25 yards left of Keystone Ranch #11 into some very long grass and then proceeded to hit my provisional to within 4 feet of the cup, leaving me with a par putt if I didn`t find my original. In this case it did not hurt me losing the original, but if I had hit my provisional into the bunker, I would have had more incentive to find my first one as I still would have had a good chance at par if found. The point is, it would not have made sense to declare my first one unplayable under rule 28...the smarter play was to hit a provisional and wait and see. Requiring someone to look for 5 minutes does not result in a lower score in all situations. Your example is really not related to what I was trying to talk about.
Originally Posted by Fourputt
"What do you do if you play a provisional ball, then go forward and find that your original ball is in an unplayable position and the only possible relief is to go back to the previous spot? Do you follow the rule exactly, abandon your provisional ball, and return to the last spot during a casual round which is only being played for handicap? Do you pick up and just mark your ESC max? I'm not busting your chops on this. I'm just pointing out that there are situations in a non-competition round where dogged adherence to every small nuance of the rules can make the round uncomfortable for those you are playing with and for the players following you."
Not busting my chops at all...I had this situation yesterday and feel this is a case where I think the ROG are inconsistent with promoting faster play. I hit my drive into the scrub left and hit a provisional (perfect down the middle) because I was not sure if I would find it. My opponent (friend) found my 1st one against against some scrub brush with no left handed swing possible- being that there was nowhere reasonable to drop within 2 club lengths or behind the line, under the ROG, I could either play it as it lies (by turning my left handed club around, standing in a very awkward lie and swinging right handed) or go back to the tee and re hit. In a stroke play format, going back to the tee was probably the safer bet, but we were playing match play and had people behind us, so I hit a great right handed pitch out instead.
You are correct that a "dogged adherence to every small nuance of the rules can make the round uncomfortable for those you playing with and for the players following you." This is an example where I feel the rules of golf would be improved by either letting you play your provisional or by expanding the options of where you can take an unplayable lie. In a more general sense, I think the rules of golf could be simplified and improved to be more consistent with how most players actually play. As it stands now, a guy who follows all the rules is the exception who make others feel uncomfortable rather than the norm that others try to emulate.