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Is 3 Minutes Too Short to Search for a Ball?


iacas
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30 members have voted

  1. 1. Regarding the time to search for a ball under the Rules of Golf:

    • 3 minutes is the perfect amount of time.
      16
    • They should go back to 5 minutes.
      11
    • It should be even shorter than 3 minutes.
      3


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  • Administrator

On another forum, members were talking about how, because of the ball lost during the U.S. Open on Sunday, many decided 3 minutes is too little and they should go back to 5 minutes.

Part of their argument was that because you have only three minutes to search now, people help search first, instead of hitting and then searching.

I don't know if I'm for that, and I'm against going back to five minutes. Few balls found in 3 minutes are found in minutes 4 and 5, and it does speed up play. Particularly casual play. In tournaments, hit a provisional. Yes, occasionally a ball is lost when it shouldn't be, but those situations are rare.

 

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3 minutes is plenty of time.  When you land one in the hay, or even worse the leaves, you could spend half an hour and still not find it.  Take your medicine and move on.  Yeah...it stinks...but that's what you get for hitting it crooked.

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Call me a cicada, cuz I’m gonna climb up a tree and scream!

I want my 5 minutes!!!

  • I don’t have spotters
  • I don’t have practice rounds or caddies to help
  • I don’t even lose many balls anymore

 5 min side won 20-14, is that a lot based on a survey of 36. Is that enough of a sample size?

(I’m not overly serious as I hit the ball much better than before. I do however have a problem with my ball disappearing right off the fairway)

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9 minutes ago, Slim_Pivot said:

(I’m not overly serious as I hit the ball much better than before. I do however have a problem with my ball disappearing right off the fairway)

I heard that.

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  • Administrator
?url=http%3A%2F%2Fmorning-read-brightspo

Reduction to 3 minutes for a lost ball leads to unintended consequences, and tapping down spike marks creates a bad look

Oh yes, and I'd read that article, too.

3 minutes ago, Slim_Pivot said:

Sorry, mis-typed. 

Point stands

What point is that? That you lose a lot of balls? 🙂

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2 minutes ago, iacas said:
?url=http%3A%2F%2Fmorning-read-brightspo

Reduction to 3 minutes for a lost ball leads to unintended consequences, and tapping...

What point is that? That you lose a lot of balls? 🙂

No, that problem has largely vanished. Can still rear it’s head on courses I don’t really know yet (looking in wrong spot)

However, the article you attached made better arguments than my actual arguments

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  • Administrator
Just now, Slim_Pivot said:

However, the article you attached made better arguments than my actual arguments

I disagree.

Harris English lost a ball? Oh pooh.

"The problem with cutting two minutes from a lost-ball search is that it affects competitions without fans or marshals."

Awwww, shucks. I don't consider that much of an argument. Watch where your ball goes, or hit a provisional.

"Pretty soon, there’s at least one provisional hit every third hole." Uh huh. Sure.

"Did the USGA conduct a study on how long it takes to find a 300-plus-yard drive in the rough, or do any research on how often lost balls were found in Minutes 4 and 5? Not to my knowledge."

They did.

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6 minutes ago, iacas said:

I disagree.

Harris English lost a ball? Oh pooh.

"The problem with cutting two minutes from a lost-ball search is that it affects competitions without fans or marshals."

Awwww, shucks. I don't consider that much of an argument. Watch where your ball goes, or hit a provisional.

"Pretty soon, there’s at least one provisional hit every third hole." Uh huh. Sure.

"Did the USGA conduct a study on how long it takes to find a 300-plus-yard drive in the rough, or do any research on how often lost balls were found in Minutes 4 and 5? Not to my knowledge."

They did.

Did you like my argument better then?

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  • Moderator

I voted back to 5, but I don’t feel too strongly about it. I know I’ve found a couple of my own balls after my 3 minutes was up by chance. There are also times I’ll give up on a ball well before 3 minutes based on where I thought it ended up or for pace of play reasons.

From my experience, I don’t see much difference in pace of play during casual rounds. I don’t think most people out there are playing completely by the rules, including the time allowed for a search. People who take too long looking for balls are still doing it.

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I voted to push it even shorter. Crazy PoP guy, so its the only option for me 😁. 3 is a large improvement over 5 though, so I won't complain too much for now.

Now if we could just get them to change the 40 second per shot to 20 seconds.....

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I hit into a downed elm tree last week (marked ground under repair) on the left side of the fairway and my group saw my ball go into the branches. My partner parked his cart to the right of the tree and got out on the left side to help search. After about 2 minutes of wading through the area I started getting pissed and drove in a circle around the area to cover ground quickly and then saw my ball in the fairway just 2 feet right of my partner's cart (ball was muddy so not an obvious white orb). I figured it was close to 3 minutes but not more. My partners all agreed it was under 3 minutes. Since no one had a watch or bothered to put the clock on, what is the ruling? 

Edited by TourSpoon
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I'll admit, I've never timed a search, so I don't have data about the impact of the rule change.  But I do know that we're made an effort to terminate a search earlier than we once would have, so that's positive.  I don't have a real problem knowing that during the COVID times, the Tour professionals will have difficulties similar to mine when they hit errant shots, I have very little sympathy.  If you want to find it, hit it where there's short grass.  

There's no "right" answer, but I'm fine with 3 minutes.  I don't think that too much shorter is appropriate, and I wouldn't recommend going back to 5 minutes. 

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