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Searching for ball

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 

This scenario happened to me (almost) yesterday in my tournament.

 

Hit my drive probably 240 yards but very close to OB, so I hit a provisional.  My provisional only went about 150 yards but in the fairway.  When we got to my provisional, we were unable to hit because the group in front was still in the way.  So me and the guy in my cart zoomed ahead to see if we could find my first ball. We looked for probably 30 seconds before the green cleared so we went back and played my provisional, which I hit onto the green.  When we drove up to the area in which my original had landed we searched for probably a minute and found it.  The guy I was playing with said that I cannot use the original because I had already looked for it in the area it was found.  I told him that I was allowed to play my provisional up to the point of where my original was thought to be and if I found it, I could use the original and pick up the provisional.  Is that correct?

 

The reason I said almost happened yesterday, is because after we discussed/argued for a minute.  Upon further inspection, it was not my ball.  It was the exact same make, model, number, and blue mark on the ball, all it was missing was my red mark on the side.  But it was enough to start the discussion, so I now I want to know what to do if that were to happen.

post #2 of 57
Thread Starter 

I don't think I made the issue clear in my original post.  He agreed with me that I could play my provisional up to where we thought the original was, but his argument was once I searched for it and it wasn't found he said I couldn't search for it again.

post #3 of 57
Not sure you're allowed to "pause" the timer once you start looking. My guess would be that if it took more than 5 minutes from the moment you first started looking then he would be correct ... I stress the word guess though. :)
post #4 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

Not sure you're allowed to "pause" the timer once you start looking. My guess would be that if it took more than 5 minutes from the moment you first started looking then he would be correct ... I stress the word guess though. :)

I am almost positive it wasn't.  When I drove back to play my provisional, it took no time at all, and then I immediately went back and then about a minute or less we thought we found it, discussion ensued. 

 

His argument was not that time elapsed, but that when someone looks for a ball and can't find it, if they then find it where they have already looked it is not allowed. I told him that means you only get 1 pass at an area and that's it??? Sarcasm.

post #5 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

Not sure you're allowed to "pause" the timer once you start looking. My guess would be that if it took more than 5 minutes from the moment you first started looking then he would be correct ... I stress the word guess though. :)

That's a good thing to do next time.  I won't look until I get up to where it's at, regardless of situation just so this 5 minute rule won't come back and bite me in the butt.

post #6 of 57
Well he's wrong there ... However the other issue at hand would what officially constitutes "abandoning a search"

You clearly weren't giving up so maybe you were fine.

I just don't know. Good question.
post #7 of 57
The rule 27-2b is as follows.
 
b. When Provisional Ball Becomes Ball in Play 
The player may play a provisional ball until he reaches the place where the original ball is likely to be. If he makes a stroke with the provisional ball from the place where the original ball is likely to be or from a point nearer the hole than that place, the original ball is lost and the provisional ball becomes the ball in play under penalty of stroke and distance (Rule 27-1). 
 
While the first sentence may indicate that once you reach the point where your original ball is likely to be that you can no longer make a stroke at your provisional without it becoming the ball in play, I'd say the second sentence is more conclusive and you did not fulfil the criteria for that so it was still a provisional ball and as long as you were within the 5 minutes for your search you were fine. At least until you made a stroke at a wrong ball.
post #8 of 57

There's even a decision which matches your situation:

 

27-2b/3 Original Ball Is Beyond Provisional Ball; Player Searches Briefly for Original Ball, Plays Provisional Ball and Then Finds Original Ball

 

Q. A player's provisional ball comes to rest short of where the original ball is likely to be. After a two-minute search for the original ball, the player goes back, plays a second stroke with the provisional ball and then his original ball is found within the five-minute time limit. What is the ruling? 

 

A. The player must continue play with the original ball. Play of a provisional ball does not render the original ball lost until it has been played from the place where the original ball is likely to be or from a point nearer the hole than that place (Rule 27-2b). 

post #9 of 57

So everyone is clear, the "timer" does not stop in the OP's case.  The 5 minutes starts when the player began his search.  The 5 minute period can be suspended in certain situations but they involve either a suspension of play or finding "a" ball first.  In this case, nothing was done that would have stopped the 5 minute clock.  If someone other than the player had found the ball, the player is allowed time to get to the ball to identify it. 

post #10 of 57
Thread Starter 

Thanks, that answers it perfectly.  So the best thing to do is not search until I get up to original next time.

post #11 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCfanatic35 View Post

Thanks, that answers it perfectly.  So the best thing to do is not search until I get up to original next time.

And don't forget, there is no reason to ever argue with your dumb partners (man, you got some doozies, all the more incentive to move up divisions :)) because if the scenario that you described happened, you just announce you're playing both balls through to the end of the hole, write down both scores somewhere, and take it as a group to the tournament director. He'll set you all straight.

post #12 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

And don't forget, there is no reason to ever argue with your dumb partners (man, you got some doozies, all the more incentive to move up divisions :)) because if the scenario that you described happened, you just announce you're playing both balls through to the end of the hole, write down both scores somewhere, and take it as a group to the tournament director. He'll set you all straight.

That's exactly what i started to do, and started my pre shot routine. which for me is to verify its my ball. thats when i noticed it wasnt mine anyway so the argument was not valid. because i knew i was right if it was my original.
post #13 of 57

I think that your friend was conflating two separate parts of the provisional rule.  What you CANNOT do is play a provisional AFTER going forward and looking for your original ball.  I think your friend confused this provision and thought it applied to continuing to play the provisional, not the original playing of the provisional.

 

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 a fellow-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. (emphasis added)

post #14 of 57

What a dumb situation.  I know the rules are the rules and all, but he was clearly looking for the first ball to save time.  That's the sort of thing the rules should encourage.

post #15 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsc123 View Post

What a dumb situation.  I know the rules are the rules and all, but he was clearly looking for the first ball to save time.  That's the sort of thing the rules should encourage.

 

What's dumb about it? It was ok for him to go forward, look for his ball and then go back and play his provisional before going forward to continue the search again. As long as it all happened within 5 minutes. 

 

The only thing you can't do it go forward to look for your ball, then go back to where you played from originally and put a provisional in play, and then return to searching again. I can't think of too many situations where doing that would save time.

post #16 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

I think that your friend was conflating two separate parts of the provisional rule.  What you CANNOT do is play a provisional AFTER going forward and looking for your original ball.  I think your friend confused this provision and thought it applied to continuing to play the provisional, not the original playing of the provisional.

 

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 a fellow-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. (emphasis added)

What is the purpose of this last provision?  It seems unnecessary at best, and at worst intentionally slowing down play.

 

As the OP has already learned, it's not any type of advantage to temporarily abandon your search to go back and hit a provisional, because the clock keeps ticking.  And I notice this rule specifically says before he "goes forward" to search for original ball.  Is that to say that if you walk off the tee area towards your cart and then somebody says "I think that is close to OB, you might want to hit a provisional" that you can't do it?  You have to go look for it and then come back and hit after you don't find it?

 

The whole point of a provisional is to help speed up play, why would they put in a provision that makes that harder?  I'm missing something here ...

post #17 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

What is the purpose of this last provision?  It seems unnecessary at best, and at worst intentionally slowing down play.

 

As the OP has already learned, it's not any type of advantage to temporarily abandon your search to go back and hit a provisional, because the clock keeps ticking.  And I notice this rule specifically says before he "goes forward" to search for original ball.  Is that to say that if you walk off the tee area towards your cart and then somebody says "I think that is close to OB, you might want to hit a provisional" that you can't do it?  You have to go look for it and then come back and hit after you don't find it?

 

The whole point of a provisional is to help speed up play, why would they put in a provision that makes that harder?  I'm missing something here ...

 

As you say once the search has commenced the timer runs for 5 minutes, so if the player wants to spend some of that 5 minutes returning to the tee to hit a provisional it's not necessarily going to slow down play. However if the player is only going to spend say 2 of his 5 minutes searching for the ball (his other 3 minutes spent returning to hit the provisional) he might as well just search for 2 minutes and if he doesn't find it return to play again under stroke and distance penalty. If he finds his ball it's going to be much faster, and if he doesn't it's no slower.

 

If the player goes forward most of the way, realises his ball might be lost, returns to the tee to hit a provisional, then goes forward again to start his search and spends 5 minutes looking then that's going to be slower than just searching and returning if the ball isn't found.

 

Regarding the meaning of "goes forward", there is a decision which clarifies the intent of the rule a little:

 

 

27-2a/1.5

Meaning of "Goes Forward to Search"

Q.With respect to Rule 27-2a, when has a player gone forward to search for the original ball such that a provisional ball cannot be played?

A.The sole purpose of Rule 27-2 is to enable the player to save time. The only way he can effectively do so is to play the provisional ball before going forward for the purpose of searching for the original ball. However, this provision should not be so narrowly interpreted to preclude a player from playing a provisional ball even though he has proceeded from where he last played in the direction of the original ball, e.g., in retrieving a ball or a different club to play the provisional ball. The Committee must consider all of the relevant facts in determining if the player did in fact go forward to search for the original ball.

post #18 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mordan View Post

If the player goes forward most of the way, realises his ball might be lost, returns to the tee to hit a provisional, then goes forward again to start his search and spends 5 minutes looking then that's going to be slower than just searching and returning if the ball isn't found.

How so?  It will be slightly faster by exactly the amount of time saved by only traveling most of the way.  Alternative #2 has him traveling all of the way, so that will take longer.  On the other hand, if you are already most of the way there, you're not going to go back now before you look because if you do and then come back and DO find it, then you just wasted a bunch of time.

 

Of course, around here, playing a busy course where you're waiting to hit your hext shot anyway, it's a moot point.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mordan View Post

 

 

27-2a/1.5

Meaning of "Goes Forward to Search"

Q.With respect to Rule 27-2a, when has a player gone forward to search for the original ball such that a provisional ball cannot be played?

A.The sole purpose of Rule 27-2 is to enable the player to save time. The only way he can effectively do so is to play the provisional ball before going forward for the purpose of searching for the original ball. However, this provision should not be so narrowly interpreted to preclude a player from playing a provisional ball even though he has proceeded from where he last played in the direction of the original ball, e.g., in retrieving a ball or a different club to play the provisional ball. The Committee must consider all of the relevant facts in determining if the player did in fact go forward to search for the original ball.

OK, so what they are saying is that this rule has some wiggle room.  (In that it's not really a rule, I guess)  You're not going to be penalized for doing something like I mentioned in my previous post, but they also don't want you doing what we're talking about either.  Going forward most of the way, then deciding to come back and hit a provisional, THEN going to look and actually finding it.

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