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Sandy Lie

Embedded Ball Rule or Lost Ball Rule?

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So, yes I understand the embedded ball rule it’s very clear.  Free lift. But here’s a situation that I can’t find an interpretation on.

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules-hub/rules-modernization/major-changes/relief-for-an-embedded-ball.html

Situation was this. My friend was playing out of the rough on a Par 5. He is a very strong player. He’s going for the green in two. His lie was good.  About 100 yards or so out there’s a fairway bunker.  He thins his shot but still rips it.  The bunker wall is raised and his ball catches the sod wall. We know it’s in the wall.  The sod wall is soft due to all the rain.  That ball has disappeared!  We know it’s not in the sand, the sand is smoothed and there’s no impact mark so it didn’t bury itself.  Its clearly embedded but we can’t find it, so it’s also lost.  What’s the ruling?  Declare lost ball? Embedded ball?  How many strokes?  1 shot penalty or 2. Then where do you drop, inside the bunker, outside?

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Seems similar logic is applied when I know I hit my shot straight down the fairway then can’t find it. I mean I know you said you know it’s there ...but the fact is you couldn’t find it right? Lost ball yes?

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The rules of golf only apply to three dimensions.  When you go fourth dimension ( i.e. rupture the time/space continuum)  I'm afraid it's queso indestructo.

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1 hour ago, Vinsk said:

Seems similar logic is applied when I know I hit my shot straight down the fairway then can’t find it. I mean I know you said you know it’s there ...but the fact is you couldn’t find it right? Lost ball yes?

Not if you're playing on the pro tour.  A marshal, a gallery member, a TV camera will always see your ball.  If it plugged below the surface of the earth you would know.  If Sergio thought he'd found a ball and picked it up you would know.  If a squirrel or wolverine zipped out to the fairway and borrowed the ball, you would know.  

38 minutes ago, Piz said:

The rules of golf only apply to three dimensions.  When you go fourth dimension ( i.e. rupture the time/space continuum)  I'm afraid it's queso indestructo.

Are we talkin' Velveeta here?

Edited by Double Mocha Man

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14 minutes ago, Double Mocha Man said:
1 hour ago, Vinsk said:

 

Not if you're playing on the pro tour.  A marshal, a gallery member, a TV camera will always see your ball

What’s that got to do with the OP ‘s scenario?

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5 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

What’s that got to do with the OP ‘s scenario?

I was only referring to your "lost the ball in the middle of the fairway" scenario.  That's why I quoted you.  It had nothing to do with the OP's dilemma.

Edited by Double Mocha Man

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I think that if you saw the ball go into the sod face, but it's too deep to retrieve it, it is virtually certain where it is: embedded in the sod face (which is not part of the bunker, and is not sand), and as such get relief under the embedded ball rule (16.3), but I don't know where the relief reference point is since you don't really know the position of the ball, and yet you can't set it closer to the hole than the ball was. In fact, depending on the shape of the bunker in reference to the hole, there may be no place to drop, so an unplayable (from the point of origin, i.e. same as lost ball) might be the proper course of action. I don't know... Good question!

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5 minutes ago, sjduffers said:

I think that if you saw the ball go into the sod face, but it's too deep to retrieve it, it is virtually certain where it is: embedded in the sod face (which is not part of the bunker, and is not sand), and as such get relief under the embedded ball rule (16.3), but I don't know where the relief reference point is

That's why it's lost.

18.2a: "(1) When Ball Is Lost. A ball is lost if not found in three minutes after the player or his or her caddie begins to search for it."

Definition of "Lost":

Quote

Lost

The status of a ball that is not found in three minutes after the player or his or her caddie (or the player’s partner or partner’s caddie) begins to search for it.

If the search begins and is then temporarily interrupted for a good reason (such as when the player stops searching when play is suspended or needs to stand aside to wait for another player to play) or when the player has mistakenly identified a wrong ball:

  • The time between the interruption and when the search resumes does not count, and

  • The time allowed for search is three minutes in total, counting the search time both before the interruption and after the search resumes.

So, you didn't find the ball @Sandy Lie. It's lost.

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Nothing much to add. A ball not found cannot be an embedded ball for the purpose of Rule 16.3. You either dig in and identify it or it is lost ball, stroke and distance, Rule 18.1 or 18.2 (the latter if the search clock has run down).

 

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