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Wrong Ball - Learn From My Errors


bkuehn1952
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During a recent tournament I stubbed my toe again.  Our foursome teed off.  I cut a bit of the dogleg left off and was down the middle.  Two other members pushed shots right. #4 hit a decent drive similar but more left and likely shorter than mine (based on the previous 6 holes).  I was with one of the two who went right (shared cart) and #4 stood near his ball on the left.  I could not see another ball in the fairway so I figured I went through the fairway into the right rough. After #2, #3, and #4 hit, I went forward checking the rough. I found my Titleist in the rough. “leist” was visible.  I hit my shot straight at the hole. A bounce, some roll, into the hole for a “2”.

When I pulled the Titleist from the hole it did not have my red marks on the “T”.  Oh oh.  I looked at #4’s shot/ball.  Yep, he hit my ball. I explained the situation and gave him the other Titleist, which was Not his ball. No idea where his ball was.  Our club uses a maximum score Rule of 9.  Rather than hold up everything, I took a “9”.  Ugh, from an apparent “2” to a “9” in a blink of the eye.

The first episode was similar.  We were playing a 4 person modified best ball.  My teammate and I hit into the same green side bunker. My teammate immediately went into the bunker and hit out.  I then did the same.  Upon going to my ball, I saw it was a Bridgestone and not a Titleist.  My teammate hit my ball and I blindly compounded the error.  Fortunately on that hole our team only had to use two best net balls so our 6’s did not matter.

So, the lesson I have learned (again) is check the balls that are where your ball might be.  Don’t assume the other players have done a good job of identifying their ball.

 

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Brian Kuehn

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I really miss the Snell Get Sum balls.  In addition to being a great ball, it was super rare that anyone else in my group was playing one, which helped to avoid this problem.  I almost never even found one on a golf course (other than finding my own, of course).   In fact, I can only think of two instances where I played in a group where someone else was also playing a Snell ball, and one of those was a TST outing. 

Maybe I should find out if the MTB are right for me.  I have two sleeves of the 2017 edition of those and the current editions are still for sale.

Back to the topic, though -- I think the more likely someone else has a similar ball in your group, the more unique you have to go with markings.  I like taking a sleeve of balls and three different color sharpies, and putting two different color dots on two different spots between the brand marker and the "putting alignment line" (I don't know what that thing is called, and I don't use it for putting anyway), with different color combinations for each of the three in the sleeve. 

-- Michael | My swing! 

"You think you're Jim Furyk. That's why your phone is never charged." - message from my mother

Driver:  Titleist 915D2.  4-wood:  Titleist 917F2.  Titleist TS2 19 degree hybrid.  Another hybrid in here too.  Irons 5-U, Ping G400.  Wedges negotiable (currently 54 degree Cleveland, 58 degree Titleist) Edel putter. 

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52 minutes ago, bkuehn1952 said:

So, the lesson I have learned (again) is check the balls that are where your ball might be.  Don’t assume the other players have done a good job of identifying their ball.

 

Just the other day. Three balls, one hit into the scruff on the left of the fairway, one found just inside the scruff on the left of the fairway, and one found at about the same distance nestled down in the rough a yard off the right of fairway.

All three were Titleist #8 although the one that made it into the hole happened to not be the correct ball, after player noticed an additional logo on the ball.  Original ball lost in the weeds.

I told him "my fault" since I pointed out the ball in the rough as his. I think he took a six on the hole. Didn't matter scorewise to the match. But a good lesson to really ID your ball.  Of course there's the other guy who picks up his ball and wipes it to make sure it's his, but that's a different situation.

Mike

Driver: TM Sim2 9* Ventus Black, M5 9* Kuro Kage
Fwy: TM SLDR 3W, 5W;    Hybrid: TM M1 4 Hybrid
Irons: TM Tour Preferred MC 2014
Wedges: TM Tour Preferred, 52 @ 51*, 56
Putter: Ping Scottsdale TR Anser 2 or Odyssey Rossie

It isn't the hours that you put in at practice that count. It's the way you spend those minutes. -- tony lema

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If I'm ever involved is some kind of competition, I'll put a big W on my balls with a Sharpie. 

Not the most elegant-looking thing, but it leaves zero doubt. 

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used to play callaway supersoft because A) rarely encountered other people playing them and B) costco sold them cheap. Went on trip to Las Vegas, got matched with 3 other singles who also did not know each other. I don't know the odds against this but they seem staggeringly high...we all four were playing the Callaway Supersoft. All got them at Costcos. 

Prior to that did not really mark my ball but now do something I have never seen anybody else do: circle of one color on one side, circle of another color on the other, and half and half the ball type. My golf balls are incredibly easy to recognize now and i never worry about hitting the wrong one. 

I get matched up with a lot of randoms and people seldom mention what ball they are playing so I occasionally run into situations where they have to figure out whose is whose...I am a big believer in distinct markings. 

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My daughter has recently developed a passion for art-work and drawings. So whenever I open up a new sleeve of balls (typically Titleist AVX's), I give them to her with a 6 pack of sharpies and let her go to town. 

It's a win-win because it occupies her for about 30 minutes (always a plus with an active 6 year old), and it is literally impossible for anyone to mistake their ball for mine. 

I have definitely gotten some strange looks on the first tee when I tee up a ball marked with crazy pink hearts, orange balloons and green smiley faces, but when I tell them the story, everyone gets a kick out of it.

1 hour ago, Shindig said:

I really miss the Snell Get Sum balls.  In addition to being a great ball, it was super rare that anyone else in my group was playing one, which helped to avoid this problem. 

Agreed. I liked the old "Kick-X" balls for the same reason.

Edited by Big C
grammar
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2 hours ago, bkuehn1952 said:

When I pulled the Titleist from the hole it did not have my red marks on the “T”.  Oh oh.  I looked at #4’s shot/ball.  Yep, he hit my ball. I explained the situation and gave him the other Titleist, which was Not his ball. No idea where his ball was.  Our club uses a maximum score Rule of 9.  Rather than hold up everything, I took a “9”.  Ugh, from an apparent “2” to a “9” in a blink of the eye.

Did he take a 9 as well?

Driver: :callaway: Epic Flash Sub Zero
Woods:  :ping: G425 3Wood:ping: G410 3 Hybrid
Irons: :tmade: P770 (4-PW)
Wedges: :callaway: MD3 50   MD5 54 58 degree  
Putter: :scotty_cameron:  2018 Select Fastback
Ball: :tmade: TP5x

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1 hour ago, mcanadiens said:

I'll put a big W on my balls with a Sharpie. 

Hmm.... so tempting to go blue here.....

I'll resist.

Instead, take a look at the Vice Ball options. They have ones like this: vice-pro-drip-red-blue.png.f114b8cf2dd2bffa5cec7fffeb151ba4.png 

My guess is it would be pretty unlikely to confuse that with somebody else's. 

For all the folks that mock me playing a Srixon Divide or a Volvik Vivid. I don't have these issues. 

Edited by ChetlovesMer
type-o
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I'm with @mcanadiens.  I put a good sized "S" just above the brand (Srixon if interested).  I also do it on both sides so more chance to be able see the mark without needing to lift the ball.  Just need to remember to look.

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Stuart M.
 

I am a "SCRATCH GOLFER".  I hit ball, Ball hits Tree, I scratch my head. 😜

Driver: Ping G410 Plus 10.5* +1* / 3 Hybrid: Cleveland HIBORE XLS / 4,5 & 6 Hybrids: Mizuno JP FLI-HI / Irons/Wedges 7-8-9-P-G: Mizuno JPX800 HD / Sand Wedge: Mizuno JPX 800 / Lob Wedge: Cleveland CBX 60* / Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG 7S / Balls: Srixon Soft / Beer: Labatt Blue (or anything nice & cold) 

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I've play another person's ball once.  Since, I place my initials on the ball.  I've saved others from playing mine but haven't mistaken theirs for mine.  

From the land of perpetual cloudiness.   I'm Denny

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42 minutes ago, dennyjones said:

I've play another person's ball once.  Since, I place my initials on the ball.  I've saved others from playing mine but haven't mistaken theirs for mine.  

So, begs the question.  If you are in competition and know they are about to play the wrong ball, are you required to tell them?  Or just let them hit then impose the penalty on them while replacing your ball to hit legally?

I'm not asking if you "Should" or "Should Not" tell them, just what you are "Required" to do.  Personally, I would probably say something instinctively before even thinking about any strategy.

Stuart M.
 

I am a "SCRATCH GOLFER".  I hit ball, Ball hits Tree, I scratch my head. 😜

Driver: Ping G410 Plus 10.5* +1* / 3 Hybrid: Cleveland HIBORE XLS / 4,5 & 6 Hybrids: Mizuno JP FLI-HI / Irons/Wedges 7-8-9-P-G: Mizuno JPX800 HD / Sand Wedge: Mizuno JPX 800 / Lob Wedge: Cleveland CBX 60* / Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG 7S / Balls: Srixon Soft / Beer: Labatt Blue (or anything nice & cold) 

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5 minutes ago, StuM said:

So, begs the question.  If you are in competition and know they are about to play the wrong ball, are you required to tell them?  Or just let them hit then impose the penalty on them while replacing your ball to hit legally?

I'm not asking if you "Should" or "Should Not" tell them, just what you are "Required" to do.  Personally, I would probably say something instinctively before even thinking about any strategy.

No - You are never required to stop an opponent from committing a penalty. But in stroke-play you are required to call the penalty once you are aware that it has occurred.

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21 minutes ago, StuM said:

So, begs the question.  If you are in competition and know they are about to play the wrong ball, are you required to tell them?  Or just let them hit then impose the penalty on them while replacing your ball to hit legally?

I'm not asking if you "Should" or "Should Not" tell them, just what you are "Required" to do.  Personally, I would probably say something instinctively before even thinking about any strategy.

@Big C has it right, the only true requirement is that you make sure that any penalty strokes incurred are included in the other player's score, in stroke play.  

Dave

:callaway: Rogue SubZero Driver

:titleist: 915F 15 Fairway, 816 H1 19 Hybrid, AP2 4 iron to PW, Vokey 52, 56, and 60 wedges, ProV1 balls 
:ping: G5i putter, B60 version
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4 hours ago, bkuehn1952 said:

When I pulled the Titleist from the hole it did not have my red marks on the “T”.  Oh oh.  I looked at #4’s shot/ball.  Yep, he hit my ball. I explained the situation and gave him the other Titleist, which was Not his ball. No idea where his ball was.  Our club uses a maximum score Rule of 9.  Rather than hold up everything, I took a “9”.  Ugh, from an apparent “2” to a “9” in a blink of the eye.

So the reason you took a 9 on the hole is because you didn’t want to hold up play by going back to the original spot? Because from what I’m reading it seems like you had a pretty good idea of where that was because you knew who played your ball.

If you played it, you could have holed that one for par 😉

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Bill

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” - Confucius

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I've also played another person's ball in a high school tournament and to make matters even worse, the shot went OB and we never found it. I remember I caught the shanks and posted a score in the 100s so I didn't care about the penalty strokes I just felt really bad because it was a ProV1. I offered him one of mine but said no. Now that I think of it there's probably a rule against that which is probably why he refused 🙃

 

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Recently, a guy and I both played similar, custom-logo golf balls, those logos you can get imprinted with a custom word or initials. We never bothered to tell each other what ball we were playing, and so we had no idea that our ball choices were an accident waiting to happen. 

I don't think we ended up with an actual penalty, though. IIRC, he was about to hit, and I asked him to please look at the ball again, because it really seemed like it was right where I had hit my shot. I think then he looked closely and realized that what he thought was his custom logo was actually mine. We must have both gotten them from golfballs.com because we chose the same style marking, a word in all caps surrounded by asterisks, same font, etc. They were different words, but being men of a certain age, when he looked down originally, he didn't see the custom marking in enough detail to realize it wasn't actually his ball. 

 

 

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JP Bouffard

"I cut a little driver in there." -- Jim Murray

Driver: Titleist 915 D3, ACCRA Shaft 9.5*.
3W: Callaway XR,
3,4 Hybrid: Taylor Made RBZ Rescue Tour, Oban shaft.
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Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM5 56 degree, M grind
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8 hours ago, StuM said:

So, begs the question.  If you are in competition and know they are about to play the wrong ball, are you required to tell them?  Or just let them hit then impose the penalty on them while replacing your ball to hit legally?

You're not required to, but you can.  The following related story happened on Tour many years ago.  In the 1993 Kemper Open (okay, many years ago), Grant Waite had taken relief from GUR, or so he thought.  He didn't take full relief and had addressed the ball with his foot still in GUR.  Tom Kite told him before he hit, saying there's no need to take such a penalty.  Grant stopped, realized the ball was not in play, took proper relief, and continued.

He went on to win by one over Tom Kite.  Tom has said he has no regrets about telling Grant about the incident, even though he knows he could have waited for the shot and then said to mark down two.

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-- Michael | My swing! 

"You think you're Jim Furyk. That's why your phone is never charged." - message from my mother

Driver:  Titleist 915D2.  4-wood:  Titleist 917F2.  Titleist TS2 19 degree hybrid.  Another hybrid in here too.  Irons 5-U, Ping G400.  Wedges negotiable (currently 54 degree Cleveland, 58 degree Titleist) Edel putter. 

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8 hours ago, Shindig said:

You're not required to, but you can.  The following related story happened on Tour many years ago.  In the 1993 Kemper Open (okay, many years ago), Grant Waite had taken relief from GUR, or so he thought.  He didn't take full relief and had addressed the ball with his foot still in GUR.  Tom Kite told him before he hit, saying there's no need to take such a penalty.  Grant stopped, realized the ball was not in play, took proper relief, and continued.

He went on to win by one over Tom Kite.  Tom has said he has no regrets about telling Grant about the incident, even though he knows he could have waited for the shot and then said to mark down two.

This illustrates the difference between what you MUST do and what you really SHOULD do.

One little nit with the underlined bit, as soon as you dropped the ball with the intention to put it into play, it is in play.  It may be in a wrong place, as it was in this case, but its in play.  There's a difference in how you handle playing from a Wrong Place, as compared to playing a ball not in play (Wrong Ball), but its really beyond the focus of this thread.

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Dave

:callaway: Rogue SubZero Driver

:titleist: 915F 15 Fairway, 816 H1 19 Hybrid, AP2 4 iron to PW, Vokey 52, 56, and 60 wedges, ProV1 balls 
:ping: G5i putter, B60 version
 :ping:Hoofer Bag, complete with Newport Cup logo
:footjoy::true_linkswear:, and Ashworth shoes

the only thing wrong with this car is the nut behind the wheel.

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