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HonestyPolicy

Improving Speed of Play; Expanding use of Provisional

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I had vaguely heard that the PGA and RoG were considering widening the provisional ball rule to include not only possible lost ball but also possible unplayable. I play in handicap tourneys sometimes with higher handicappers and allowing something like this would be a good idea to move along play I think.

For instance, duff off the tee on a par3 island green skips across the water and comes to rest on the beach but still in the hazzard as the stakes are above the beach in about a foot of rough between the beach and the fringe of the green. Player knows he doesn't want to take a drop where it crossed the hazard but isn't sure if he wants to play the ball on the beach as it lies. I don't think the rules allow him to put a provisional in play because it is certain in this case the ball is in the hazard because we can see that it is, or in other words it's not lost or OB. So he has to either make the decision to hit 3 from the tee (taking an unplayable) right then and there, or go to the ball, inspect the lie, decide upon the unplayable, and then go back to the tee if he doesn't want to play it as it lies. It's time consuming, but I think that's the rule.

Has anyone heard if this was real and if so what happened to this idea?

 

 

Edited by HonestyPolicy
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15 minutes ago, HonestyPolicy said:

I had vaguely heard that the PGA and RoG were considering widening the provisional ball rule to include not only possible lost ball but also possible unplayable. I play in handicap tourneys sometimes with higher handicappers and allowing something like this would be a good idea to move along play I think.

For instance, duff off the tee on a par3 island green skips across the water and comes to rest on the beach but still in the hazzard as the stakes are above the beach in about a foot of rough between the beach and the fringe of the green. Player knows he doesn't want to take a drop where it crossed the hazard but isn't sure if he wants to play the ball on the beach as it lies. I don't think the rules allow him to put a provisional in play because it is certain in this case the ball is in the hazard because we can see that it is, or in other words it's not lost or OB. So he has to either make the decision to hit 3 from the tee (taking an unplayable) right then and there, or go to the ball, inspect the lie, decide upon the unplayable, and then go back to the tee if he doesn't want to play it as it lies. It's time consuming, but I think that's the rule.

Has anyone heard if this was real and if so what happened to this idea?

I've heard discussions, but I'd resist this.  The problem is that the player is given a choice of which ball to play.  He knows the result of the provisional (shot 3 in your example), and he has to decide if he can improve on that with the original ball.  If he hits his provisional in the water, he's more likely to play the original.  If he holes his provisional, he can decide not to play the first one.  I think its appropriate to limit the use of provisionals to only those situations where stroke-and distance is the only option for the next shot.

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13 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

I've heard discussions, but I'd resist this.  The problem is that the player is given a choice of which ball to play.  He knows the result of the provisional (shot 3 in your example), and he has to decide if he can improve on that with the original ball.  If he hits his provisional in the water, he's more likely to play the original.  If he holes his provisional, he can decide not to play the first one.  I think its appropriate to limit the use of provisionals to only those situations where stroke-and distance is the only option for the next shot.

I hear ya. Everything is a trade off.

I was just wondering if there was any truth to the rumor while I'm down here in Orlando waiting 15mins between shots. I'm fine with it because it speeds play and because many of these guys are so mobility challenged that they just abandon the 1st ball even though it is very possible that it is playable. Instead of taking what the consider to be all that time, they just take the stroke and distance so as not to inconvenience the rest of us. 

Most times I try to handle it like I do the the old lady in the grocery store checkout line who apologizes for being slow while checking out.. I always say, "you take all the time you want ma'am, you've earned it". 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, HonestyPolicy said:

I hear ya. Everything is a trade off.

I was just wondering if there was any truth to the rumor while I'm down here in Orlando waiting 15mins between shots. I'm fine with it because it speeds play and because many of these guys are so mobility challenged that they just abandon the 1st ball even though it is very possible that it is playable. Instead of taking what the consider to be all that time, they just take the stroke and distance so as not to inconvenience the rest of us. 

Most times I try to handle it like I do the the old lady in the grocery store checkout line who apologizes for being slow while checking out.. I always say, "you take all the time you want ma'am, you've earned it". 

 

 

Good point HP.  The older golfers have earned it, they don't want to be slow but they don't have a choice, yet they still want to play the grand game of golf.  I can't even get mad at a slow driver in my lane if he or she turns out to be an older person. Bless their hearts. We will all be there one day.

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I've not heard this at all, nor would I ever really want this to come to pass. The player is the only person who can deem his ball unplayable, and so he'd ALWAYS have the option to hit a provisional. Thus, not only would it be contrary to your pace of play example, it would as @DaveP043 pointed out give you a choice between two balls in play, a situation the Rules really work hard to prevent.

Plus, it's not like you have to use stroke and distance for most unplayable balls. Most of the time someone takes the back-on-a-line or two club lengths method.

Also, the PGA has almost nothing to do with the Rules of Golf.

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10 hours ago, HonestyPolicy said:

I had vaguely heard that the PGA and RoG were considering widening the provisional ball rule to include not only possible lost ball but also possible unplayable. I play in handicap tourneys sometimes with higher handicappers and allowing something like this would be a good idea to move along play I think.

For instance, duff off the tee on a par3 island green skips across the water and comes to rest on the beach but still in the hazzard as the stakes are above the beach in about a foot of rough between the beach and the fringe of the green. Player knows he doesn't want to take a drop where it crossed the hazard but isn't sure if he wants to play the ball on the beach as it lies. I don't think the rules allow him to put a provisional in play because it is certain in this case the ball is in the hazard because we can see that it is, or in other words it's not lost or OB. So he has to either make the decision to hit 3 from the tee (taking an unplayable) right then and there, or go to the ball, inspect the lie, decide upon the unplayable, and then go back to the tee if he doesn't want to play it as it lies. It's time consuming, but I think that's the rule.

Has anyone heard if this was real and if so what happened to this idea?

 

 

 

There already is a Model Local Rule for enabling a provisional ball for a ball in a penalty area, so this might be misunderstood as a widening of the provisional ball rule. It should only be used in very limited circumstances - see the Preamble to MLR B-3 on pages 456-7 of the Official Guide. 

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As I mentioned I vaguely heard rumors. Of course if it were to be considered it would have to be under certain special circumstances or conditions and not across the board for any and every shot. Some have heard discussions, and some have not, and of course I meant to say USGA and RoG.

I was only interested in hearing if anyone else had heard anything like this and if there was any truth to it because I've seen multiple times in the last month where elderly golfers opted to take stroke and distance instead of delay play by taking the time to inspect a ball that was possibly playable and where it was clear that the other options were not practical. Thanks for the information about the Model Local Rule, that could be the root of the rumors I've heard. It does not fit my specific example, but that is how some rumors start, so could be. Appreciate everyone's time.

Peace.

 

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I suspect it started when the 2019 was being muted. If it was worthwhile it would have been introduced then. I can't see them making such a significant change now, particularly having just issued a new interpretations update

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