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Provisional Ball

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

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? 

post #2 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3 Putt Again View Post

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? 

 

 

In most normal cases you must tell your opponent, marker, or fellow competitor before proceeding.  This should provide the answer in the case that no one is close enough to hear your announcement:

 

 

Quote:

27-2a/1.3

Player Intends to Play Provisional Ball But No One Present to Hear Announcement

Q.In stroke play, A hits his tee shot into the trees. After a search of five minutes, he does not find his ball and returns to the tee to play a second ball under Rule 27-1c. He hits the second tee shot into the trees as well. He intends to play a provisional ball, but his two fellow-competitors are well down the fairway and unable to hear an announcement from A of his intention. How should he proceed?

A.Rule 27-2a does not contemplate the absence of an opponent, marker or fellow-competitor when the player intends to play a provisional ball. In this case, in the interest of not delaying play A is considered to have fulfilled the announcement requirements of Rule 27-2a if he informs his marker or fellow-competitor as soon as practicable that he has played a provisional ball.

 

 

 

Quote:
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? 

 

 

 

Quote:

27-2b/8

Provisional Ball Lifted in Erroneous Belief Original Ball Is in Bounds

Q.A player, believing his original ball might be out of bounds, played a provisional ball which came to rest short of where the original ball came to rest. He walked forward, saw his original ball and, believing the original ball to be in bounds, picked up the provisional ball. He then discovered that the original ball was out of bounds. What is the ruling?

A.Since the original ball was out of bounds, the provisional ball was in play (Rule 27-2b). When the player lifted the ball in play (provisional ball) without authority under the Rules, he incurred a penalty stroke and was required to replace it (Rule 18-2a).

post #3 of 19
 
I'm guessing that this might surprise some.
 
The lesson learned here is that it's always your responsibility to identify your own golf ball.

 

 

Quote:

27-2b/8

Provisional Ball Lifted in Erroneous Belief Original Ball Is in Bounds

Q.A player, believing his original ball might be out of bounds, played a provisional ball which came to rest short of where the original ball came to rest. He walked forward, saw his original ball and, believing the original ball to be in bounds, picked up the provisional ball. He then discovered that the original ball was out of bounds. What is the ruling?

A.Since the original ball was out of bounds, the provisional ball was in play (Rule 27-2b). When the player lifted the ball in play (provisional ball) without authority under the Rules, he incurred a penalty stroke and was required to replace it (Rule 18-2a).

 
 
post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3 Putt Again View Post

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? 

 

To slightly expand on the other responses, even though one has not actually played the provisional and merely dropped it, the provisional becomes the ball in play as soon as it is dropped (assuming one does not find the original ball in bounds and within the proper time).  The answer is "yes" to whether a penalty is incurred for improperly lifting the ball in play (the provisional).

post #5 of 19

Its being in play as soon as it is dropped prevents a player changing his mind, picking it up, changing his mind again repeatedly until he gets a perfect lie.

post #6 of 19

Calc fell foul of this at an Open, hit a ball towards some gorse, dropped a provisional hit the provisional, got told his original ball had been found, picked up his provisional, ball found turned out not to be his original ball, oops.

 

There was lots of awkwardness years ago in the old Dunhill Cup at St Andrews in a match between Ireland and Korea, the Korean thrashes a ball at the hotel on 17, hits another ball , original is found in play. Dispute ensues whether the Korean had actually called provisional or not, Christie O'Connor Jnr says nay the Korean says he said it in Korean. I think the Koreans got the shaft but not certain.

post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wansteadimp View Post

Calc fell foul of this at an Open, hit a ball towards some gorse, dropped a provisional hit the provisional, got told his original ball had been found, picked up his provisional, ball found turned out not to be his original ball, oops.

 

There was lots of awkwardness years ago in the old Dunhill Cup at St Andrews in a match between Ireland and Korea, the Korean thrashes a ball at the hotel on 17, hits another ball , original is found in play. Dispute ensues whether the Korean had actually called provisional or not, Christie O'Connor Jnr says nay the Korean says he said it in Korean. I think the Koreans got the shaft but not certain.

 

For the second incident, communication is the key.  When I play a provisional, I'm careful to leave no doubt that's what it is.  I will look for acknowledgement before I play.  I've seen what I consider to be silly and senseless arguments over this issue when a player says something like "I'll play another", then says that he meant that he was playing a provisional.  I'm sorry, but that's not what you said, and I can't read your mind.  Why is it so hard to just say the word "provisional" and remove all doubt?

post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 

OK, everyone is in agreement that if you announce and drop a provisional ball, you better not pick it up until you are absolutely certain your original ball has been found in bounds.

 

Relative to the first question, I think the only comment on it was by Four Putt who said you must announce before proceeding which I understand to mean before dropping the ball.  That makes sense to me but I what are the specific words in the rule or the decision that supports this?  The rules says he must inform that he "intends to play a provisional ball".  As someone mentioned, the ball is in play when it is dropped but you have not played the ball until you make a stroke at it, correct? 

post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3 Putt Again View Post

OK, everyone is in agreement that if you announce and drop a provisional ball, you better not pick it up until you are absolutely certain your original ball has been found in bounds.

 

Relative to the first question, I think the only comment on it was by Four Putt who said you must announce before proceeding which I understand to mean before dropping the ball.  That makes sense to me but I what are the specific words in the rule or the decision that supports this?  The rules says he must inform that he "intends to play a provisional ball".  As someone mentioned, the ball is in play when it is dropped but you have not played the ball until you make a stroke at it, correct? 

 

Decision 27-2a/1 should clarify it:

 

 

 

Quote:

27-2a/1

Announcement of Provisional Ball

Q.A player hits his ball into an area where it may be lost outside a water hazard or out of bounds. The player then drops another ball and plays it. The player intends the dropped ball to be a provisional ball, but he does not inform his opponent, marker or fellow-competitor that he is "playing a provisional ball." In such a situation, can a player's actions constitute announcement that he is playing a provisional ball?

A.No. Rule 27-2a specifically provides that the player must inform his opponent, marker or a fellow-competitor that he intends to play a provisional ball.

The player's statement must specifically mention the words "provisional ball" or must make it clear that he is proceeding under Rule 27-2a. Therefore, a player who says nothing has put another ball into play.

The following are examples of statements that do not satisfy the requirement of announcing a provisional ball:

(a) "That might be lost. I am going to re-load."

(b) "That might be out of here."

(c) "I'd better hit another one."

(d) "I will never find that one. I'll play another."

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 

 This decision says you have to be specific in terms of the language used to inform that the ball is provisional but I am not seeing where it clearly addresses when that language must be used.  If it is intended to clarify that it must be prior to dropping the ball, the words "and plays it" should have been left out of the second sentence.   

Q.A player hits his ball into an area where it may be lost outside a water hazard or out of bounds. The player then drops another ball and plays it. The player intends the dropped ball to be a provisional ball, but he does not inform his opponent, marker or fellow-competitor that he is "playing a provisional ball." In such a situation, can a player's actions constitute announcement that he is playing a provisional ball?

A.No. Rule 27-2a specifically provides that the player must inform his opponent, marker or a fellow-competitor that he intends to play a provisional ball.

The player's statement must specifically mention the words "provisional ball" or must make it clear that he is proceeding under Rule 27-2a. Therefore, a player who says nothing has put another ball into play.

The following are examples of statements that do not satisfy the requirement of announcing a provisional ball:

(a) "That might be lost. I am going to re-load."

(b) "That might be out of here."

(c) "I'd better hit another one."

(d) "I will never find that one. I'll play another."

post #11 of 19

I sometimes wonder if some people ever bother to read a thread before they post.  This is the second time in the last 10 posts when a reply has been virtually duplicated in the very next post, not simultaneously, but 1 to 2 hours later than the first one.  Sometimes I think that certain members are just trying to up their post count.  a2_wink.gif

post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

For the second incident, communication is the key.  When I play a provisional, I'm careful to leave no doubt that's what it is.  I will look for acknowledgement before I play.  I've seen what I consider to be silly and senseless arguments over this issue when a player says something like "I'll play another", then says that he meant that he was playing a provisional.  I'm sorry, but that's not what you said, and I can't read your mind.  Why is it so hard to just say the word "provisional" and remove all doubt?

Agree totally, I think the Korean player had virtually no English which makes it tricky. This was probably late 80's before there were plenty of Korean pros on Tour.

post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

I sometimes wonder if some people ever bother to read a thread before they post.  This is the second time in the last 10 posts when a reply has been virtually duplicated in the very next post, not simultaneously, but 1 to 2 hours later than the first one.  Sometimes I think that certain members are just trying to up their post count.  a2_wink.gif

 

I think you did not specifically answer the OP question about "when?"

 

Example 1: I hit a tee shot which may be lost and think of hitting a provisional. After everybody has teed and hit, I tee up and say "I am going to hit a provisional ball". Am I too late in stating the provisional as I have already teed up?

 

Example 2: Same thing without tee. I hit a bad shot and drop a ball, then I shout "I am going to hit a provisional ball", am I too late as I already dropped?

 

In real life everybody would most likely say "okay, go ahead". But what about rules?

 

There is a sentence in Decision:

 

 

Quote:
Rule 27-2a specifically provides that the player must inform his opponent, marker or a fellow-competitor that he intends to play a provisional ball.

 

Which by words "intends to play" provides a future tense of intent(?). Does this put teeing a provisional ball and dropping a provisional ball in different status, regarding timing of announcement? 

post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

I sometimes wonder if some people ever bother to read a thread before they post.  This is the second time in the last 10 posts when a reply has been virtually duplicated in the very next post, not simultaneously, but 1 to 2 hours later than the first one.  Sometimes I think that certain members are just trying to up their post count.  a2_wink.gif


I assume you are referring to me.  You had posted a reply to me that decision 27-2a clarified when a player had to announce that a ball was provisional, before or after dropping the ball.  My reply to you was that I did not see the language in 27-2a that addressed this question.  Below is copied the first question from my original posting and I still have not seen a clear answer to that with reference to the applicable rules or decisions. 

 

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?

post #15 of 19

The way I see it. Although I'm happy to be corrected.

 

The 'provisional' to be played from the tee is not it play until a stroke is made at it. So the announcement may be made before a stroke

Definition: A ball is “in play” as soon as the player has made a stroke on the teeing ground.

 

 

The dropped 'provisional' ball is in play when dropped. So that is too late.

From 20-2a/4 The ball was in play when it was first dropped, .......

post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post

The way I see it. Although I'm happy to be corrected.

 

The 'provisional' to be played from the tee is not it play until a stroke is made at it. So the announcement may be made before a stroke

Definition: A ball is “in play” as soon as the player has made a stroke on the teeing ground.

 

 

The dropped 'provisional' ball is in play when dropped. So that is too late.

From 20-2a/4 The ball was in play when it was first dropped, .......


Thank you Rulesman.  This addresses the point of my question.  Certainly, the ball on the teeing ground can be announced as a provisional ball any time prior to making a stroke.  I lean toward your interpretation on the dropped ball.  The other side of the discussion focuses on the wording in the second paragraph of 27-2:

 

" If he fails to do so and plays another ball, that ball is not a provisional ball and becomes the ball in playunder penalty of stroke and distance (Rule 27-1); the original ball is lost."

 

 Is "plays another ball" the same thing as "putting another ball into play"?   

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by luu5 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

I sometimes wonder if some people ever bother to read a thread before they post.  This is the second time in the last 10 posts when a reply has been virtually duplicated in the very next post, not simultaneously, but 1 to 2 hours later than the first one.  Sometimes I think that certain members are just trying to up their post count.  a2_wink.gif

 

I think you did not specifically answer the OP question about "when?"

 

Example 1: I hit a tee shot which may be lost and think of hitting a provisional. After everybody has teed and hit, I tee up and say "I am going to hit a provisional ball". Am I too late in stating the provisional as I have already teed up?

 

Example 2: Same thing without tee. I hit a bad shot and drop a ball, then I shout "I am going to hit a provisional ball", am I too late as I already dropped?

 

In real life everybody would most likely say "okay, go ahead". But what about rules?

 

There is a sentence in Decision:

 

 

Quote:
Rule 27-2a specifically provides that the player must inform his opponent, marker or a fellow-competitor that he intends to play a provisional ball.

 

Which by words "intends to play" provides a future tense of intent(?). Does this put teeing a provisional ball and dropping a provisional ball in different status, regarding timing of announcement? 

 

Between my first response and bkuehn's post I thought that his questions had all been answered.  He answered part of the question himself when he seemed to be aware of the difference between a re-teed ball and a dropped ball and when a ball is in play, which is the key to timing your statement of intent.  I try to resist becoming too pedantic when it seems that someone is fairly conversant with the rules as he seems to be.  

 

A quick summary:  The player must inform his opponent or fellow competitor or marker of his intent to play a provisional ball, and he must state that intent clearly.  The statement must be made before putting a ball in play (before dropping if that is the requirement, or before playing a stroke at a ball which has been teed).  The only exception is when there is nobody close enough to him to reasonably make the statement to,  in which case the clarification of intent must be made as soon as it is practical.

post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3 Putt Again View Post

 

 Is "plays another ball" the same thing as "putting another ball into play"?   

 

Yes. Whenever the effective time for something involves trying to hit the ball, they use the expression 'making (or made) a stroke'.

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