On #10 we are standing in the fairway waiting on our 2nd shots. The group in front is searching the vegetation over the green for one of their group's ball. After an extremely long 5 minutes (maybe 7 or 8??) they abandon the search and one of the walking players jumps in the other guy's cart and drives back to play from the spot he last hit from.
Hmmm, I think, that doesn't seem like a permitted exception. On the next tee, the Director of Golf Operations is sitting in a cart monitoring groups and how they play the lateral hazard that is very much in play off the tee.