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Provisional ball

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

So you tee off and decide to hit a provisional ball because you might be out of bounds. Your provisional ball hooks/slices deep out of bounds or into a water hazard.  Are you allowed to hit another provisional? Is there a penalty for this? If anyone could help it would be greatly appreciated.    

post #2 of 20

Yes you may hit as many provisionals as necessary. Each one adds another 2 (provisional) strokes of course. Each provisional is a provisional for the previous ball played not the original. 

 

You need to keep track of your score when you find one of the balls you played. ;-)

post #3 of 20

You also need to be able to identify which is the provisional and which is the original.  If you get to the area where both balls were last seen and find one in bounds and one out out of bounds and you can't positively which is which, then the rules deem that the one in bounds is the provisional ball.

post #4 of 20

And if you find all three (or four) together ........

post #5 of 20

Who decides whether any player may hit a provisional ball?  If my ball is sitting short of the fairway but visible from the tee box and i am very dissatisfied with the stroke just played and i seek to take a 'legitimate mulligan' by calling the next shot, from the same tee box a provisional ball, is that permitted?  Is such an action penalized? 

post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by joekelly View Post
 

Who decides whether any player may hit a provisional ball?  If my ball is sitting short of the fairway but visible from the tee box and i am very dissatisfied with the stroke just played and i seek to take a 'legitimate mulligan' by calling the next shot, from the same tee box a provisional ball, is that permitted?  Is such an action penalized? 

 

Yes, it's penalized. You'd be effectively declaring your ball unplayable and hitting again.

 

The Rules for when you can play a provisional were posted above.

post #7 of 20

Well, i looked over Rule 27 and frankly do not see how my situation warrants a penalty.  Let me re-phrase the scene. On the tee and drive the ball towards the fairway but now the ball disappears, maybe into a drain area, or not. But now cannot see the ball from the tee box. So i think ball may be lost and therefore declare 'provisional ball, Top-Flight 3' and happily drive this ball 234 down the middle. All walk forward and there is my original ball in the drain so i say to all, 'here's my first ball and i'm playing it.'  I have no further interest in 'provisional 'ball and pick it up as i walk past. 

What's the problem? 

post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by joekelly View Post
 

Well, i looked over Rule 27 and frankly do not see how my situation warrants a penalty.  Let me re-phrase the scene. On the tee and drive the ball towards the fairway but now the ball disappears, maybe into a drain area, or not. But now cannot see the ball from the tee box. So i think ball may be lost and therefore declare 'provisional ball, Top-Flight 3' and happily drive this ball 234 down the middle. All walk forward and there is my original ball in the drain so i say to all, 'here's my first ball and i'm playing it.'  I have no further interest in 'provisional 'ball and pick it up as i walk past.

What's the problem?

I think you may be citing stroke and distance, and if that's the case I believe you can do that anytime of course you would be now hitting 3 from the tee box. The situation you would want to do that is if you feel your ball would not be able to be advanced in less shots than just taking s&d but I could be wrong also because you may have to declare unplayable lie instead. Oh well I tried I'm sure someone here knows better.

post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by joekelly View Post
 

Who decides whether any player may hit a provisional ball?  If my ball is sitting short of the fairway but visible from the tee box and i am very dissatisfied with the stroke just played and i seek to take a 'legitimate mulligan' by calling the next shot, from the same tee box a provisional ball, is that permitted?  Is such an action penalized? 

 

You have the answer to this from iacas. There is no such thing as a legitimate mulligan - the second ball you played from the tee is the ball in play and it cost you a penalty stroke.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by joekelly View Post
 

Well, i looked over Rule 27 and frankly do not see how my situation warrants a penalty.  Let me re-phrase the scene. On the tee and drive the ball towards the fairway but now the ball disappears, maybe into a drain area, or not. But now cannot see the ball from the tee box. So i think ball may be lost and therefore declare 'provisional ball, Top-Flight 3' and happily drive this ball 234 down the middle. All walk forward and there is my original ball in the drain so i say to all, 'here's my first ball and i'm playing it.'  I have no further interest in 'provisional 'ball and pick it up as i walk past. 

What's the problem? 

 

Regarding the situation as you first described it,  i.e. seeing your ball but nonetheless playing another one, you must have missed this bit when you looked over Rule 27:

If a ball may be lost outside a water hazard or may be out of bounds, to save time the player may play another ball provisionally...... [27-2a]

Clearly, if you can see your ball, there is no possibility of its being lost and so you are not entitled to play a provisional.  

 

​Your second situation  is not just a re-phrasing of the first - it's a completely different one!  This time you can't see your ball and think it may be lost. That's exactly when you are allowed by the statement above to play a provisional.  When you find your ball in the drain (within 5 minutes of starting to look for it),  you have no choice: you must play it. That's 27-2c where it says,

If the original ball is neither lost nor out of bounds, the player must abandon the provisional ball and continue playing the original ball.

 

So a problem in wanting to play a provisional when you see your ball but think it might not be in too good a place; and no problem in playing a provisional when you can't see the ball and think it may be lost and then continuing play with the original when it is found.

 
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by joekelly View Post
 

Well, i looked over Rule 27 and frankly do not see how my situation warrants a penalty.  Let me re-phrase the scene. On the tee and drive the ball towards the fairway but now the ball disappears, maybe into a drain area, or not. But now cannot see the ball from the tee box. So i think ball may be lost and therefore declare 'provisional ball, Top-Flight 3' and happily drive this ball 234 down the middle. All walk forward and there is my original ball in the drain so i say to all, 'here's my first ball and i'm playing it.'  I have no further interest in 'provisional 'ball and pick it up as i walk past. 

What's the problem? 

 

Sorry, but there has to be some reasonable possibility that the original ball might be lost.

 

Quote:
 

27-2a/3

Play of Provisional Ball in Absence of Reasonable Possibility Original Ball Is Lost or Out of Bounds

Q.In the absence of reasonable possibility that a ball is lost outside a water hazard or is out of bounds, may the player play a provisional ball?

A.No. If a player plays a ball under such circumstances, the ball is not a provisional ball but the ball in play – see Decision 27-2a/2.

post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowkie View Post

So you tee off and decide to hit a provisional ball because you might be out of bounds. Your provisional ball hooks/slices deep out of bounds or into a water hazard.  Are you allowed to hit another provisional? Is there a penalty for this? If anyone could help it would be greatly appreciated.    

Note, you may NOT play that second provisional if you believe your first provisional is lost in a water hazard......
post #12 of 20

When my course is wet and the crew has not mowed in a week, plenty of balls are not found even though they lie only a foot off the fairway.  Grass here grows fast and is curly so can easily hide a ball.,  A very reasonable possibility ball won't be found and can be claimed to  be lost. 

post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by joekelly View Post
 

When my course is wet and the crew has not mowed in a week, plenty of balls are not found even though they lie only a foot off the fairway.  Grass here grows fast and is curly so can easily hide a ball.,  A very reasonable possibility ball won't be found and can be claimed to  be lost. 

And those are exactly the circumstances where you should play a provisional ball.  It saves time.

post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for your help and responses.  It helps to know that other scoring (thought it was a one stroke penalty) I've been doing it right on the occasions I have to hit a provisional.

post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

Note, you may NOT play that second provisional if you believe your first provisional is lost in a water hazard......

Perhaps semantics, if so, don't be upset. If your first provisional MAY be lost outside a water hazard, you are permitted to play a provisional. Your next ball will not be a provisional if it is known or virtually certain that your first provisional is in a water hazard. "Known or virtually certain" is a high standard of evidence, anything less suggests it may be lost outside the water hazard and another provisional is permitted.
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogolf View Post


Perhaps semantics, if so, don't be upset. If your first provisional MAY be lost outside a water hazard, you are permitted to play a provisional. Your next ball will not be a provisional if it is known or virtually certain that your first provisional is in a water hazard. "Known or virtually certain" is a high standard of evidence, anything less suggests it may be lost outside the water hazard and another provisional is permitted.

 

Semantics.  In the OP he specifically mentioned lost in a WH as an equivalent option with OB.  It's not....

 

Question.  If the provisional is known to be lost the WH, and he plays another ball incorrectly thinking that it is a second provisional, does that ball become the ball in play, and he has given up his right to find the original ball?  It would seem so.

post #17 of 20

It can be confusing if you don't know the rules and the jargon.  But it's pretty much common sense once you know the intent.  The purpose of a provisional ball is to speed up play if there's a reasonable chance you'll end up in a situation where you need to go back and re-tee.  There are only two situations where you must go back and re-tee: (i) you can't find your ball, (ii) your ball is OB.  If you hit your tee shot and you think there's a chance you'll encounter either of those two situations, you may hit a provisional.

 

One tricky thing is that you can not hit a provisional for a ball you know is in a water hazard.  You may choose to re-tee, but in doing so you are simply declaring the first ball lost and hitting 3 off the tee (or 5 or 7 or whatever).  If you hit a ball in a water hazard, you may not hit a provisional and then choose whether you'll be better off playing your 4th stroke from where your provisional lies or playing your 3rd stroke from where you can drop outside the hazard.  That gives you two balls in play which is always against the rules.

 

That leaves one other tricky thing.  What if you hit a ball that may be in a water hazard but may also be in play?  My understanding of the rules is that because you're not almost certain the ball went into the hazard, you basically can't play it as if it went into the water.  You can't just declare it went into the water even though you're not sure just because you like your chances better playing 3 from where you'd drop better than playing 3 from the tee.  You are also not allowed to hit a provisional, go look for your ball, not find it, then declare that since it's gone it must have gone into the hazard and play a drop.  This is essentially a sneaky way of accomplishing the two balls in play thing I mentioned, since when you don't find your ball you'd be able to decide if you're better off playing a drop or playing your provisional.

post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

Semantics.  In the OP he specifically mentioned lost in a WH as an equivalent option with OB.  It's not....

Question.  If the provisional is known to be lost the WH, and he plays another ball incorrectly thinking that it is a second provisional, does that ball become the ball in play, and he has given up his right to find the original ball?  It would seem so.

Your question - no, the next ball only bears a relationship to the previous ball (Decision 27-2a/4). In the situation that you've described, the second ball is now no longer in play. If the original ball is found within five minutes, it is still the ball in play; if not found within five minutes, the third ball is in play, lying five if play originated from the tee.
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