Originally Posted by Rulesman
Originally Posted by Fourputt
My Men's Club had the local rule in effect for our competitions. The 6th hole has an unusual water hazard. It's a lake, paralleled by an irrigation ditch, and between the two is what was once a maintenance track for the ditch back when the land was all farmland. The hazard includes all of the area from about 5 feet right of the ditch to the course boundary on the left side of the lake. It was not uncommon for a ball to land on the track between the ditch and the lake, but it was often hard to tell if the ball stayed up or rolled out of play. The blue tees were behind the hazard, so that most tee shots crossed the margin about 10 feet in front of the tee. For that reason we added the local rule to our hard card, but with the cautionary warning that if the ball is not found, there was no option to drop under the 2 clublength option for a lateral water hazard. That way, we would have the option of the local rule if ball entered the hazard close to the tee, but we would not play the provisional if it meant sacrificing too much distance. From the blue tees that required a hard hook to swing out over the fairway then draw back into the hazard. From the white tees a straight pull is the only way to cross in soon enough to make the local rule meaningful. I saw the rule work effectively from the blue tees several times over the years.
If it didn't match the specimen local rule in the appendix it was an unauthorised local rule.
It was copied word for word. Believe me, that club is 100% on the Rules of Golf. Two of us had been to several USGA/PGA Workshops, and several committee members had attended the one day workshops at the Denver Golf Expo. We ran every competition by the rules. Even our opening season warm-up scramble was played by the rules as far it can be done with a scramble.
Originally Posted by MEfree
Originally Posted by Fourputt
If it is virtually certain that the ball will be found if it is not in the hazard, then you are only allowed to play a provisional ball if the local rule has been enacted for that hole. If that is the case, then it applies as you stated it. If the original ball is not found in play either in or out of the hazard, then you must play the provisional ball. You relinquish any other options under Rule 26-1.
What about if it was only 90 or 95% certain that you would find your original if it was outside the hazard, could you then play a provisional?
Assuming that this is ok to do, what happens if you go up and find your ball within the hazard? Do you then have to abandon your provisional and then go back and hit another?
Yes, if none of the other options under 26-1 are applicable, then returning to the tee is the only play.
Percentages are irrelevant. If there is a reasonable chance for the ball to be lost outside of the hazard, or if the ball goes out of sight and there is no way to know if the ball may be lost outside of the hazard, then a provisional ball is allowed. If it is discovered upon arriving at the site that there is no possible place for the original ball to be lost other than in the hazard, then the provisional ball is abandoned and you would proceed under Rule 26-1. If the original ball is not found, but the possibility exists that it may be lost outside of the hazard, then the provisional ball becomes the ball in play.