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Wrong Ball- place or drop?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

When a competitor plays your ball, what do you do?

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamo View Post

.Mahan and Donaldson just played each other's golf balls. d2_doh.gif

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nevets88 View Post

That was weird seeing both guys walk back and drop.

 

 

Why did Mahan and Donaldson take drops instead of placing their balls?  Couldn't they figure out where each other hit from and recall what the lie was like or is there something else in the rules that I am missing?

 

15-3. Wrong Ball

 

b. Stroke Play

If a competitor makes a stroke or strokes at a wrong ballhe incurs a penalty of two strokes.

The competitor must correct his mistake by playing the correct ball or by proceeding under the Rules. If he fails to correct his mistake before making astroke on the next teeing ground or, in the case of the last hole of the round, fails to declare his intention to correct his mistake before leaving the putting greenhe is disqualified.

Strokes made by a competitor with a wrong ball do not count in his score. If the wrong ball belongs to another competitor, its owner must place a ball on the spot from which the wrong ball was first played.

 

(Placing and Replacing – see Rule 20-3)

 

 

 

 

20-3. Placing And Replacing

 

b. Lie of Ball to be Placed or Replaced Altered

If the original lie of a ball to be placed or replaced has been altered:

(i) except in a hazard, the ball must be placed in the nearest lie most similar to the original lie that is not more than one club-length from the original lie, not nearer the hole and not in a hazard

 

c. Spot Not Determinable

If it is impossible to determine the spot where the ball is to be placed or replaced:

(i) through the green, the ball must be dropped as near as possible to the place where it lay but not in a hazard or on a putting green;

post #2 of 30

The rule is pretty clear. I don't know why you have a question.

 

If they dropped, they did so because they couldn't determine the exact spot. There were probably lots of divot holes in the area, and they walked 300+ yards down and back to try to figure it out.

post #3 of 30

Because if they didn't drop in the exact spot someone would have called the USGA to report them :-P

post #4 of 30
Thread Starter 

Is it always safer to drop rather than place the ball in this situation, or could an opponent/official say that it was not impossible to determine the spot the ball should have been placed and assess a penalty for dropping rather than placing? 

post #5 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post
 

Is it always safer to drop rather than place the ball in this situation, or could an opponent/official say that it was not impossible to determine the spot the ball should have been placed and assess a penalty for dropping rather than placing? 

An opponent wouldn't be  questioning whether you should replace or drop after you played a wrong ball.  He would be pointing out that you had just lost the hole.  In the case of Mahan and Donaldson, had they been opponents, the one who played the wrong ball first would have lost the hole.

 

In stroke play, given the advantage of placing a ball rather than dropping it, I wouldn't be looking to question a player who dropped rather than replaced because he was uncertain about where the exact spot was. 

post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post
 

Is it always safer to drop rather than place the ball in this situation, or could an opponent/official say that it was not impossible to determine the spot the ball should have been placed and assess a penalty for dropping rather than placing? 

 

The decision is made based on what is "safer".  Safer is to follow the rules, and if the spot isn't determinable, then you drop.  In this case, I'm a bit surprised that they felt that the correct spot was not identifiable.  The pros would always prefer to place the ball rather than drop so if there was any chance at all to place the ball, I'm certain that they would have done so.  I didn't see the incident, so I'm just working on limited data here, but was a rules official brought in to help?  If so, and if they followed his instructions, then they are absolved of any wrongdoing.  If not, then they may be penalized even now if it's shown that they could have proceeded correctly by placing the balls.  If no penalty is forthcoming, then we will have to assume that whatever they did, it was considered correct.

 

For most of us, walking back that far it would have been unusual to be able to find the exact spot again, but I don't think that is necessarily true for the pros.  They are so analytical in their play that they could almost walk the course after the round and find every spot they played from.

post #7 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

The decision is made based on what is "safer".  Safer is to follow the rules, and if the spot isn't determinable, then you drop.  In this case, I'm a bit surprised that they felt that the correct spot was not identifiable.  The pros would always prefer to place the ball rather than drop so if there was any chance at all to place the ball, I'm certain that they would have done so.  I didn't see the incident, so I'm just working on limited data here, but was a rules official brought in to help?  If so, and if they followed his instructions, then they are absolved of any wrongdoing.  If not, then they may be penalized even now if it's shown that they could have proceeded correctly by placing the balls.  If no penalty is forthcoming, then we will have to assume that whatever they did, it was considered correct.

 

For most of us, walking back that far it would have been unusual to be able to find the exact spot again, but I don't think that is necessarily true for the pros.  They are so analytical in their play that they could almost walk the course after the round and find every spot they played from.

 

At the US Open, every group has a walking referee accompanying them to assist the group with the Rules and prevent breaches.  Obviously, it was the referee who concluded the ball(s) must be dropped rather than placed (because the exact spot or precise lie was not known sufficiently).

post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogolf View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

The decision is made based on what is "safer".  Safer is to follow the rules, and if the spot isn't determinable, then you drop.  In this case, I'm a bit surprised that they felt that the correct spot was not identifiable.  The pros would always prefer to place the ball rather than drop so if there was any chance at all to place the ball, I'm certain that they would have done so.  I didn't see the incident, so I'm just working on limited data here, but was a rules official brought in to help?  If so, and if they followed his instructions, then they are absolved of any wrongdoing.  If not, then they may be penalized even now if it's shown that they could have proceeded correctly by placing the balls.  If no penalty is forthcoming, then we will have to assume that whatever they did, it was considered correct.

 

For most of us, walking back that far it would have been unusual to be able to find the exact spot again, but I don't think that is necessarily true for the pros.  They are so analytical in their play that they could almost walk the course after the round and find every spot they played from.

 

At the US Open, every group has a walking referee accompanying them to assist the group with the Rules and prevent breaches.  Obviously, it was the referee who concluded the ball(s) must be dropped rather than placed (because the exact spot or precise lie was not known sufficiently).

 

On my quoted post, the first sentence should have read "The decision is not made based on what is "safer"".  My error - too late to edit it.  

post #9 of 30
Thread Starter 

I agree with 4 Putt that the Pros typically have a very good idea of where they hit from (as the caddie likely paces off their yardage from the nearest sprinkler).  In this case, I know they replayed the shot of Mahan playing the wrong ball on TV (not a close up), so that may have been used to help determine the correct spot.  My point is, that if pros playing on TV in the US Open find it impossible to locate the correct spot to place, when would regular golfers be able to do so?

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
 

An opponent wouldn't be  questioning whether you should replace or drop after you played a wrong ball.  He would be pointing out that you had just lost the hole.  In the case of Mahan and Donaldson, had they been opponents, the one who played the wrong ball first would have lost the hole.

 

In stroke play, given the advantage of placing a ball rather than dropping it, I wouldn't be looking to question a player who dropped rather than replaced because he was uncertain about where the exact spot was. 

 

Should have said competitor, not opponent.  My bad.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 The pros would always prefer to place the ball rather than drop so if there was any chance at all to place the ball, I'm certain that they would have done so. 

 

While it is generally preferable to place rather than drop, I can think of some instances where I would prefer to drop and take my chances-

 

1.  My original ball was sitting in a divot, but the guy who hit it isn't sure which divot it was sitting in as there are 4 grouped near each other.

2.  My ball was sitting down in rough inches off the fairway.  There are two divots in line with each other, one 1 yard closer to the hole than the other and we are not sure which one was caused by my opponent.

3.  My right handed competitor who hit my ball isn't sure which tree he played next to, but knows that a lefty wouldn't have had any swing.

 

Where is the correct drop location in the above 3 instances?  AKA, what spot is "as near as possible" to the original spot when you believe there to be several possible original spots?  

  a.  between the spots in question

  b.  as near as possible to the spot farthest from the hole

  c.  as near as possible to the spot most likely to be yours (this spot my not be determinable with much certainty depending on info available)

  d.  somewhere else

 

In #2 above, suppose there was only 1 divot and you are 100% certain that the ball was located towards the middle of that divot as the competitor who played it hit it a bit fat.  The original lie has been altered so you would need to place the ball SITING DOWN in a similar lie as near as possible to the divot- correct?

post #10 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post
 

My point is, that if pros playing on TV in the US Open find it impossible to locate the correct spot to place, when would regular golfers be able to do so?

 

Asked and answered.

 

If you hit a shot and are standing there ten feet away from your divot and your opponent says "Hey you hit my ball" the spot is pretty easy to determine. There are instances where the spot can be precisely known.

 

The spot - after they walked 300+ yards to the green and back - was not easily determined at the U.S. Open, so they dropped. There may have been several divot holes in the area, and since they couldn't be virtually certain, they dropped.

post #11 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

 

The spot - after they walked 300+ yards to the green and back - was not easily determined at the U.S. Open, so they dropped. There may have been several divot holes in the area, and since they couldn't be virtually certain, they dropped.

Assuming that there were several divot holes in the approximate area where each of them hit from, where did they in fact drop (or where would it have been correct for them to drop)?

 

  a.  between the divots in question

  b.  as near as possible to the divot farthest from the hole (or slightly behind as they are pros and didn't appear to hit the wrong ball fat)

  c.  as near as possible to the divot most likely to be theirs (or slightly behind as they are pros and didn't appear to hit the wrong ball fat)

  d.  somewhere else

post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post
 

Assuming that there were several divot holes in the approximate area where each of them hit from, where did they in fact drop (or where would it have been correct for them to drop)?

 

  a.  between the divots in question

  b.  as near as possible to the divot farthest from the hole (or slightly behind as they are pros and didn't appear to hit the wrong ball fat)

  c.  as near as possible to the divot most likely to be theirs (or slightly behind as they are pros and didn't appear to hit the wrong ball fat)

  d.  somewhere else

 

Seriously? Tell you what: call them, ask them, and report back.

 

I didn't even see this on the coverage. They probably dropped as near as possible to the area in which they think they hit their shots. In other words, they probably followed the rule as it's clearly written.

 

This is all covered in the rule. Just read it. It's not that complicated.

post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post
 

Assuming that there were several divot holes in the approximate area where each of them hit from, where did they in fact drop (or where would it have been correct for them to drop)?

 

  a.  between the divots in question

  b.  as near as possible to the divot farthest from the hole (or slightly behind as they are pros and didn't appear to hit the wrong ball fat)

  c.  as near as possible to the divot most likely to be theirs (or slightly behind as they are pros and didn't appear to hit the wrong ball fat)

  d.  somewhere else

 

Not sure where the confusion is here. Do you think they did the wrong thing? Are you just curious if this ever happens to you?

post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post
 

Assuming that there were several divot holes in the approximate area where each of them hit from, where did they in fact drop (or where would it have been correct for them to drop)?

 

  a.  between the divots in question

  b.  as near as possible to the divot farthest from the hole (or slightly behind as they are pros and didn't appear to hit the wrong ball fat)

  c.  as near as possible to the divot most likely to be theirs (or slightly behind as they are pros and didn't appear to hit the wrong ball fat)

  d.  somewhere else

 

Not sure where the confusion is here. Do you think they did the wrong thing? Are you just curious if this ever happens to you?

 

He's just doing what he always does, worrying the situation to death.  I'm assuming that they determined the correct spot as nearly as possible, made their drops as instructed by the referee with the group, then played on.

post #15 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post
 

 

 Not sure where the confusion is here...Are you just curious if this ever happens to you?

Yes.  What I am trying to figure out is what the ROG considers to be "as near as possible to the place where it lay" when you have identified more than one possible location (i.e. multiple divots which could have been the actual location of your ball).  It seems to me that you can try to drop as close as possible to 1 of the divots OR in between the divots in question, but not both.  These are different drop locations, so which one is correct? 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

He's just doing what he always does, worrying the situation to death.  I'm assuming that they determined the correct spot as nearly as possible, made their drops as instructed by the referee with the group, then played on.

Suppose I need to determine the correct spot and don't have a referee with my group.  How do I determine the correct spot when there are several possibilities?  Is there a USGA approved method or does any reasonable method qualify.  i.e. would it be ok for player A to drop at the divot closest to the hole, player B to drop at the divot farthest from the hole and player C to drop between those divots?  Does the answer change if we are talking about trees instead of divots?

 

It seems to me that the ROG are very precise in many instances (i.e. there is only 1 acceptable nearest point of relief location which can be clearly explained with a diagram), so I don't understand why I get criticized when I try to have a complete understanding of how the USGA wants us to determine the correct spot in this situation.  If you think I am being daft, draw a diagram that will help me to understand.  To keep it simple, include 2 divots/trees (A & B, 1 to 5 yards apart) which could have been the location of the ball and show the correct drop spot.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

The decision is made based on what is "safer".  Safer is to follow the rules... was a rules official brought in to help?  If so, and if they followed his instructions, then they are absolved of any wrongdoing.  If not, then they may be penalized even now if it's shown that they could have proceeded correctly by placing the balls.  If no penalty is forthcoming, then we will have to assume that whatever they did, it was considered correct.

 

For most of us, walking back that far it would have been unusual to be able to find the exact spot again, but I don't think that is necessarily true for the pros.  

 

Seems like it is good to know the rules as precisely as possible- Sorry if you think I am worrying about them too much.

post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post
 

 

 Not sure where the confusion is here...Are you just curious if this ever happens to you?

Yes.  What I am trying to figure out is what the ROG considers to be "as near as possible to the place where it lay" when you have identified more than one possible location (i.e. multiple divots which could have been the actual location of your ball).  It seems to me that you can try to drop as close as possible to 1 of the divots OR in between the divots in question, but not both.  These are different drop locations, so which one is correct? 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

He's just doing what he always does, worrying the situation to death.  I'm assuming that they determined the correct spot as nearly as possible, made their drops as instructed by the referee with the group, then played on.

Suppose I need to determine the correct spot and don't have a referee with my group.  How do I determine the correct spot when there are several possibilities?  Is there a USGA approved method or does any reasonable method qualify.  i.e. would it be ok for player A to drop at the divot closest to the hole, player B to drop at the divot farthest from the hole and player C to drop between those divots?  Does the answer change if we are talking about trees instead of divots?

 

It seems to me that the ROG are very precise in many instances (i.e. there is only 1 acceptable nearest point of relief location which can be clearly explained with a diagram), so I don't understand why I get criticized when I try to have a complete understanding of how the USGA wants us to determine the correct spot in this situation.  If you think I am being daft, draw a diagram that will help me to understand.  To keep it simple, include 2 divots/trees (A & B, 1 to 5 yards apart) which could have been the location of the ball and show the correct drop spot.  

 

 

You make your best, honest estimate.  If it's reasonable, you get input from your fellow competitors.  That is all you can do.   It's very similar to determining the point where a ball last crossed into a hazard.  When the ball is 100 feet in the air and curving when it crosses, you have no choice but to make your best estimate.  The rules allow for that.

post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post
 

Yes.  What I am trying to figure out is what the ROG considers to be "as near as possible to the place where it lay" when you have identified more than one possible location (i.e. multiple divots which could have been the actual location of your ball).  It seems to me that you can try to drop as close as possible to 1 of the divots OR in between the divots in question, but not both.  These are different drop locations, so which one is correct? 

 

Suppose I need to determine the correct spot and don't have a referee with my group.  How do I determine the correct spot when there are several possibilities?  Is there a USGA approved method or does any reasonable method qualify.  i.e. would it be ok for player A to drop at the divot closest to the hole, player B to drop at the divot farthest from the hole and player C to drop between those divots?  Does the answer change if we are talking about trees instead of divots?

 

It seems to me that the ROG are very precise in many instances (i.e. there is only 1 acceptable nearest point of relief location which can be clearly explained with a diagram), so I don't understand why I get criticized when I try to have a complete understanding of how the USGA wants us to determine the correct spot in this situation.  If you think I am being daft, draw a diagram that will help me to understand.  To keep it simple, include 2 divots/trees (A & B, 1 to 5 yards apart) which could have been the location of the ball and show the correct drop spot.  

 

Seems like it is good to know the rules as precisely as possible- Sorry if you think I am worrying about them too much.

 

If there is no one correct, known spot, you do your best to estimate, considering what others might say, and that's all you can do. There are never "two correct spots" or "multiple possibilities," because if there are "multiple possibilities" then the spot is not known, so you must drop per the rules.

 

Again, it's all stated in the rules, and fairly clearly at that.

 

You should participate in other threads. You've continued to show no interest in reading the Principles document that we requested you read, and you continue to drag on rules discussions with things you should be able to figure out just by reading the rules.

post #18 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

You make your best, honest estimate.  If it's reasonable, you get input from your fellow competitors.  That is all you can do.   It's very similar to determining the point where a ball last crossed into a hazard.  When the ball is 100 feet in the air and curving when it crosses, you have no choice but to make you best estimate.

Yes, I think we had a similar discussion with a hazard also.  I understand the part about an honest estimate, but being good at math, I would like to know what you are suppose to do when there are 2 spots that are equally likely- pick 1 or pick an average?

 

In this situation, they must have felt there was more than 1 possible location (possibly because of multiple divots being present) or a range of locations.  Did the referee have them drop as close as possible to 1 specific divot or in the middle of the range?  The answer to this question might shed some light on what the rest of us should be doing.

 

Without clarification from the governing bodies, it seems that different players "best, honest estimate" may be point A (closer to the hole), point B (farther from the hole) or an average of the two.  While it doesn't make much of a difference if we are talking about a few yards from the fairway, it could be a big difference if a ball was stymied against a tree, but nobody knows if it was tree A or tree B (or in the case of a hazard where points A & B are a long distance apart). 

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