Rule 27-2 requires that I must inform my opponent or marker that I am playing a provisional ball but my question is when must I make this announcement? When the original shot has been played from the teeing area, it seems pretty clear that I can place the ball on a tee before I announce it to be provisional because the ball is not in play until I make my stroke. If I have hit a second shot toward OB or where it might be lost, must I announce my intent to play a provisional ball before I drop or may I drop first and then announce that it is provisional?
A second related question, a player drops a ball declaring it provisional at the proper time based upon the above answer. Before he plays a stroke, he receives information that his original ball has been found in bounds. Based upon this information, he picks up the ball he has dropped then discovers that the found ball was not his (or was OB ). Does the player incur a penalty for lifting the provisional ball?