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Wet ball not so wet...

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

In this past season me and some friends played a stableford competition against each other. On one hole we faced a situation which none of us had encountered before.

 

We stood on the 10th tee of a reachable par 4 (about 310 yards). The green was surrounded by a water hazard except for the front side of the green. There was a hill on the left side of the fairway about 20-30 infront of the green.

 

I was first to drive and hit i over the hill on the left side. We didn't see the ball behind the hill from the tee but I didn't hit a provisional since the only thing there was about 20-30 yards of fairway and then the water hazard. When we walked past the hill my ball wasn't to be found and we all declared it wet.

 

I took a drop and finnished the hole with a bogey, 1 stableford point for me. As we then walked towards the next tee, we saw a ball in the fringe of the backside of the green. I ran back to check and indeed it was my first ball. It must have kicked to the right of the hill and ended up in a downslope towards the water hazard, on the back side of the green.

 

What is the ruling in this case? Do I need to forfeit the holeor would my score still count as a bogey?

 

I assume I could not have continued playing my not so wet ball, since I had claimed it to be "dead".

post #2 of 25

     If you did not see the ball go in the water you are not allowed to assume it did, especially since in this case it obviously did not. You should have considered the ball lost and gone back to the tee to play another ball. In either case once that second ball was in play your first ball is gone. 

 

See this thread about a similar question that was answered by Erik (iacas)

http://thesandtrap.com/t/28510/ruling-question-can-you-assume-a-ball-went-into-a-water-hazard

post #3 of 25

By my understanding once you played the new ball all the way into the hole, which should have been from the tee box because it is lost, once you found your original ball.  That would have meant you played the wrong ball which should incur a penalty of 2 strokes.  And since you had yet to tee off on the next tee you should have finished with the original and taken the score and added the penalty strokes. If you teed off on the next hole you would be disqualified.

 

I'm not a rules master but have tried to learn all this stuff because I play in tournaments and want to be ready for weird occurences.

post #4 of 25

I looked it up and I think I am right unless I am reading it wrong.

 

Rule 26-1 says that if you don't have knowledge or virtual certainty it is lost, proceed under 27-1

 

Rule 27-1 says you must play from as close to the same spot as the original.

 

Rule 27-2c says that you must abandon the provisional if the original is found, if you make any further strokes at the new/provisional you are playing the wrong ball, see 15-3

 

Rule 15-3 says if you play the wrong ball you incur a 2 stroke penalty and that you must correct your mistake by playing the correct ball before playing a shot at the next tee ground or if it's last hole before walking off of the green. If you don't you are disqualified.

 

If I was not playing in a tournament and just playing in a casual round I would have done exactly as you did just because of time/pace of play.

post #5 of 25

In order to drop under the water hazard rule, (Rule 26) it must be known or virtually certain that your ball is in the hazard.  In your case by what you described, it sounds like you assumed it was in the water but did not really do a thorough search.  Consequently you can not drop under Rule 26.  The only applicable rule that would apply is Rule 27, lost ball.  Problem is, you did not drop in the correct place under rule 27.  So, 1 stroke penalty under Rule 27 and a 2 stroke penalty under Rule 20-7 for playing from a wrong place.  However, this only applys if your drop was not cosidered a serious breach.  If it's a serious breach you must correct the error by dropping in the correct place.

 

A serious breach is defined when a significant advantage is obtained by dropping in a wrong place.  It does sound like that would be the ruling in your case. You would have been DQ'd in a tournament for not correcting the error before you played from the next tee.

 

Also, when you dropped a ball, it was an incorrectly substituted ball under an inapplicable rule.  Substituted balls are NOT wrong balls. 

 

Aren't golf rules fun?  a2_wink.gif


Edited by Dormie1360 - 1/22/13 at 10:20pm
post #6 of 25

I think I understand the US tax laws more than I do the rules of golf.  So many quirky rules/situations

post #7 of 25

Let's sort this out.

 

1 stroke for the tee shot.

1 stroke penalty for lost ball and return to tee... But..

 

he played a wrong ball, so that is a 2 stroke penalty and he must correct his mistake

 

Now he is at 4 strokes and still standing on the tee.  Unless he holes out his next shot, he makes at least a double bogey, for zero Stableford points, so in reality he just picks up and heads to the next tee.  

 

That's one of the benefits of the Stableford scoring system.  Once you reach double bogey with any allowed handicap strokes applied, there is no more reason to continue because your score can't get any worse.

post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

 

he played a wrong ball, so that is a 2 stroke penalty and he must correct his mistake

 

 

 

Hi Rick,

 

 

Forgot the format was stableford.  Sorry.  No score for the hole.

 

By definition, he did not play a wrong ball, however.  A ball in play can not be a wrong ball.  He must correct only if it's a serious breach under 20-7.

 

2PS under R20-7 not R15.

 

Also, as far as scoring under stableford, which I never play,  I'm assuming if you applied 3 PS in the above example and still made a bogey, there would be no score on the hole because of a Serious Breach?  THe player is just DQ'd for that hole?

post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dormie1360 View Post

In order to drop under the water hazard rule, (Rule 26) it must be known or virtually certain that your ball is in the hazard.  In your case by what you described, it sounds like you assumed it was in the water but did not really do a thorough search.

 

Also, when you dropped a ball, it was an incorrectly substituted ball under an inapplicable rule.  Substituted balls are NOT wrong balls. 

 

 

Thanks for the replies, although I'm still not 100% sure what the ruling should be.

 

Well, as we played stableford there should not be a disqualifycation for the entire round, but only for the particular hole described. This because you can not get any minus points in stableford, only zero points if the score is double bogie or worse in relation to handicap.

 

As Dormie1360 states: In order to drop under the water hazard rule, (Rule 26) it must be known or virtually certain that your ball is in the hazard.

 

What does virtually certain mean in this case? Does it mean that you have to actually see the ball enter the water hazard? If thats the case, do you then also have to see a splash? Otherwise it might be possible that the ball hit a rock in the water hazard and bounced out of it... (without your knowledge)

 

Or does virtually certain mean that there should be no doubts that the ball is in the water hazard? If thats the case, we would claim that there were no doubts that the ball was in the water hazard. We did search every place where we could possibly imagine the ball ending up. The place where the ball actually was unrealistic to all of us and could only be seen from the back of the green. Meaning on the other side of the water hazard towards the next tee.

 

As for playing the wrong ball, correct me if I'm wrong. Shouldn't the first ball be "out of play" when declared lost or declared as in a water hazard. If not, what would the outcome be if we actually saw the ball enter the hazard, only to later find the same senario as described. (the ball bounced out of the water hazard without our knowledge)

post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweDeuS View Post

Or does virtually certain mean that there should be no doubts that the ball is in the water hazard? If thats the case, we would claim that there were no doubts that the ball was in the water hazard. We did search every place where we could possibly imagine the ball ending up. The place where the ball actually was unrealistic to all of us and could only be seen from the back of the green. Meaning on the other side of the water hazard towards the next tee.

 

Based on your writing here, as we have not seen the place, I would say you were "virtually certain" that the ball was in the hazard. When standing there and looking for the ball, ask yourself a question "can the ball be anywhere else than in WH?". If yes, then it is back to tee.

 

It is easy(?) for people here on forums to say that of course the ball could be somewhere else, but it really is something else when you are standing there, after seeing your shot disappearing behind the hill. Seeing the flight path until the crest, seeing the closely mown grass to the edge of the water etc.

post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweDeuS View Post

 

What does virtually certain mean in this case? Does it mean that you have to actually see the ball enter the water hazard? If thats the case, do you then also have to see a splash?

IMO, virtually certain means that 1) you saw it go in to the water and did not see it come out and still not found, or 2) it was rolling on a line with enough speed that you are certain it is in unless you find it.  I think virtually certain means you don't lose sight of it before it potentially went in.  In your case you lost sight of it over a hill and were not sure if it actually went in, but just assumed that since you couldn't find it, it must be in the water.

 

I had that same scenario happen to me at a tournament where I hit my approach to the green and it rolled just a little off of the back of the green.  My competitors and I assumed it would be a few yards off because it was rolling very slow, but when we got up to the area we thought it was at it was no where to be found.  The rough was a little thick and we looked but could not find so I thought it must have rolled a lot further than we thought and went into the water.  An official was near by and corrected us, saying the same as above, so instead of dropping like we thought he informed me I had to go back and hit from original spot. 

 

I was thinking the same thing you are.  My ball was not on the course and the only place it could have been is in the water, but it didn't matter.

post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanuckAaron View Post

     If you did not see the ball go in the water you are not allowed to assume it did

 

Known is only part of "Known or Virtually Certain".

 

 

 

Quote:
However, “virtual certainty” also means that, although the ball has not been found, when all readily available information is considered, the conclusion that there is nowhere that the ball could be except in the water hazard would be justified. 
In determining whether “virtual certainty” exists, some of the relevant factors in the area of the water hazard to be considered include topography, turf conditions, grass heights, visibility, weather conditions and the proximity of trees, bushes and abnormal ground conditions.
post #13 of 25

Modifying decision 26-1/3.7 to fit this case.

 

It was neither known nor virtually certain that the player's ball was in the water hazard when he put the substituted ball into play, and, therefore, that ball was incorrectly substituted under an inapplicable Rule.

As the player failed to correct his improper procedure and played the dropped ball, he has proceeded under an inapplicable Rule and incurred a penalty (see Decision 34-3/6). The ruling would be that the player has proceeded under Rule 27-1 (the only Rule that applied to his situation), incurring the one-stroke penalty under that Rule. Additionally, as he played the ball from a wrong place (i.e., a place not permitted by Rule 27-1), he incurred the general penalty, loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play, for a breach of Rule 27-1. In stroke play, the Committee must determine whether the player committed a serious breach when he played from the wrong place (Rule 20-7c).

post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post

Modifying decision 26-1/3.7 to fit this case.

 

It was neither known nor virtually certain that the player's ball was in the water hazard when he put the substituted ball into play, and, therefore, that ball was incorrectly substituted under an inapplicable Rule.

As the player failed to correct his improper procedure and played the dropped ball, he has proceeded under an inapplicable Rule and incurred a penalty (see Decision 34-3/6). The ruling would be that the player has proceeded under Rule 27-1 (the only Rule that applied to his situation), incurring the one-stroke penalty under that Rule. Additionally, as he played the ball from a wrong place (i.e., a place not permitted by Rule 27-1), he incurred the general penalty, loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play, for a breach of Rule 27-1. In stroke play, the Committee must determine whether the player committed a serious breach when he played from the wrong place (Rule 20-7c).

 

These decisions start with "it was neither known nor virtually certain" which is difficult to establish if not present on the course. As the original case was an informal competition, not a tournament with RO's and committee, they made the decision and proceeded with it, based on evidence they had at that time.

 

So after they found out that the original ball was not in water hazard, the hole was already over. On contrary to the above decision, the new ball was played into the hole. Should the score of the hole change when the original ball was found after holing out?

post #15 of 25

No. As it was decided it was  'known or virtually certain' that the ball was in the WH at the time, the player was entitled to continue under Rule 26. The score stands.

 

 

 

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.


Edited by Rulesman - 1/23/13 at 6:38am
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dormie1360 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

 

he played a wrong ball, so that is a 2 stroke penalty and he must correct his mistake

 

 

 

Hi Rick,

 

 

Forgot the format was stableford.  Sorry.  No score for the hole.

 

By definition, he did not play a wrong ball, however.  A ball in play can not be a wrong ball.  He must correct only if it's a serious breach under 20-7.

 

2PS under R20-7 not R15.

 

Also, as far as scoring under stableford, which I never play,  I'm assuming if you applied 3 PS in the above example and still made a bogey, there would be no score on the hole because of a Serious Breach?  THe player is just DQ'd for that hole?

 

Yes, my bad there - trying to go too fast late in the evening.   It was a wrong place, and a serious breach so the error must be corrected.  Not sure how failure to correct is applied in a Stableford if it's just for handicap.  If it's a competition then he is disqualified from the competition, not just the hole.  

 

Apparently Rulesman has found a decision which  allows his incorrect play to be ignored.  Curious.  That is a more favorable result than the rules usually give in a situation of doubt.  In my opinion, with the mounding that the OP mentioned, I would have considered the possibility of a bounce back toward the green.  I've seen good bounces like that often enough.  And sometimes a bad bounce when hoping for a good one.  

 

I've seen a ball hit a tree on the right side of the fairway, and after a 5 minute search under the tree, the player returns to the tee, plays his 3rd stroke, then on his way back up to his second ball, he finds the original ball in the left rough, 75 yards from the tree the ball hit.  I always search farther afield than seems reasonable in a situation where an odd bounce may have occurred.  Making the assumption that the ball is in the hazard without actually doing a full search and lacking any real evidence that the ball was in the hazard, I don't quite see why he should gain from such an assumption.  Just because his group "agrees" that it is in the hazard doesn't make it so, nor does that make it "known or virtually certain".  

 

My opinion anyway.


Edited by Fourputt - 1/23/13 at 9:11am
post #17 of 25

4putt. 

 

His 'incorrect play' can only be ignored if there is no serious breach.

 

However he would only be DQd for the hole in stableford, not the competition.

 

http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Rule-32/#32-2

post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
With the information given so far it seemes like the play was correct if it was virtually certain that the ball was in the water hazard. If not then the hole was incorrectly continued and the player would loose the hole in match play. In stroke play he would recieve a two stroke penalty for a breach against rule 27-1 and possibly be disqualyfied if decided that the player also breached rule 20-1. In stableford i guess it would mean a lost hole and zero stableford points aquired for that given hole.

It all comes down to if it really was vitually certain that the ball was in the water hazard when a new ball was set into play.

Which means that in a public tournament, a tournament ruler would have to make the decision given the known facts. In a private game it would have to be decided by the players in that group. Meaning by the player himself and his opponents in the group.

Does this sound like a fair conclusion? a2_wink.gif
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