Originally Posted by Jeremie Boop
How about a lost ball *one that is not OB such as one hit in long rough or other course feature which prohibits you from finding the ball* being loss of distance only? If my ball is lost anywhere near an OB area I assume it went OB, however if there is no OB area near where my ball is lost I get the same penalty as hitting OB. There are several areas and times where I've not been able to find my ball because of these circumstances. I don't have a big problem with the rule as it is, but the penalty for a ball lost on the course *not in a hazard* being the same for a ball hit OB is annoying.
It's a popular question, but the problem lies in the basic principle that a penalty must be worse than the consequence of the poor shot.......i.e., you should not be able to accept a penalty for a bad shot and end up with a consequence less severe than the result of the poor shot itself.
As an example...... You hit a tee shot deep into the woods, or even horrible, nasty rough. Not knowing if the ball will be found, you play a provisional and hit a great shot in the middle of the fairway. Under a penalty of simple distance. You're now only lying 2, in good shape, whereas even if you found your ball, you may not be able to advance it to a position nearly as good as that of your provisional.
It's also worth noting that in order to be consistent in the application of the rules, we can't "assume", or leave open to interpretation anything on the golf course and one reason that the penalty for OB and a lost ball are the same.
Originally Posted by saevel25
First I agree with the premise that a ball hit OB should be stroke and distance.
Second I disagree with your statement that a lost ball is not known to be on the course. I have played many of times were I would hit a ball between holes and not find it. It is on the course, it is just not found. I understand the whole Schrodinger concept here. I know the ball flew, I knew it is on the course somewhere, it is just not found. That does not dismiss that it is still on the course. I get that it simplifies the rules by just lumping them together as just lost ball. I would say that if to be fair by intent then there should be a distinction between knowing when the ball is potentially OB and one were it can no clearly be anywhere but on the course.
In that regard I wouldn't mind seeing stroke and distance for OB (white stakes only), and lost ball is classified as distance only.
But again, that would allow you to potentially escape the result of a poor shot with a consequence less than that of the shot itself.
Gotta agree though, there's nothing worse than losing a ball that you know should be found. A real kick in the teeth.
Edited to note that @iacas and @Fourputt have noted all of this while I was compiling my post.....