Originally Posted by NM Golf
Originally Posted by Rulesman
If a FC's ball is to one side of the fairway and your's is to the other, you may find a referee wanders across and has a word with you about wasting time.
I am not wasting time, just not walking ahead of the group to look. Find the rule that says that is against the rules or causing undue delay.
Originally Posted by Fourputt
Yep... this would be the issue with that idea. You must proceed without undue delay. I have never assumed that my fellow competitors would come to help me search unless there was a reason for them to be in the area where my ball went out of sight.
It's an unwritten rule in our association that we help our fellow competitors search for lost balls. I always help people look for their ball. I would consider it extremely poor sportsmanship to not look.
I agree that most of the time, at least some of the group would help to find a misplaced ball, particularly if they have to wait for the target area to clear, or if they are already in the general area where another player's ball disappeared. At the same time, if I'm with 3 guys who are walking, and they all hit to the right rough, but my ball is in the far left rough, I don't expect all of them to race up and hit their shots, then run over and help me find mine. I also don't go over to their balls with them, even if one is in a position where it might be lost. I go directly to my ball and begin to search. If the time runs out, or I give up, before anyone comes to help, that is my fault for playing a poor shot. I don't just expect that they will delay play to help me. Such help is a courtesy, not a requirement or a "rule", written or otherwise.
I played in the same Men's Club for 22 years, And in that time, most of the regular members became my friends. We were always helpful and courteous in such situations when it was reasonable to be helpful, but not at the expense of delaying play and risking a penalty (and we had a strictly enforced pace of play policy on our tournament hard card). We treated each other with respect and friendship, but it was a golf club, not a ladies aid society, and the main focus was playing golf by the rules.