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ryohazuki222

Playing someone elses ball.

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I played the other day with a threesome (I'm mostly a lone walker) and ran into an awkward situation. I'm curious how different people deal with it??

Someone played my ball the other day and I didn't know how to approach the situation. How do you handle the situation where someone in your group -- stranger -- hits your ball, knows it after the fact and still doesn't come clean?

Here's my story:

One of the holes on my course is pretty evil. It's an annoying length so that it's not really a par 4 driver hole... but more like a long iron hole or hybrid hole off the tee. with the elevation change it's basically a blind shot into a narrow bottlenecking fairway with water and trees on each side. It's also a dogleg to the right...

Anyway, point is that you can only guess where your ball ends up.

The four of us tee off. Theres basically me, a scratch golfer, another guy similar to my level, and their third friend was 20+. The guy about my level obviously loses his ball way right. The scratch golfer hits a 2 or 3 iron to the left side and about 100 yards from the pin. To the right of that in the middle of the fairway (about where i thought mine would have landed seemingly) was another. The 20+ guy hit driver and probably hit his best drive of the day... looked like it was heading for trouble to me, and i thought it would go much further than mine did. Scratch golfer hits his. 20+ guy just sets up and smacks what i think is my ball without a second thought. I figure i was wrong. Then we can't find "my" ball anywhere. Whatever, I wasn't really playing for score so I just dropped one and hit it.

We get to the green, the guy looks at his ball (which I'm 90% sure is mine) quizzically, chips it.... its on the green. I glance at it... and see a red "2" (i'm playing taylormade tp red ldp 2s). By that point im 95% convinced it's mine. But given the situation, I don't want to say anything til i get one more look and I'm at 100% sure it's mine. But he picks it up to mark his ball, and THEN THE BASTARD SWITCHES IT WITH ANOTHER BALL!

He'd been playing titleist all day every time I noticed at least, and sure as hell there was another titleist.

So who would you guys handle the situation?

To top things off. Next hole is kind of similar. The guys slices it into the woods. Goes hits a titleist. then some angry cart guy comes telling him that he hit his ball. I mean... seriously... learn to figure out which ball is yours.

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See this is a tricky situation because you said his shot looked decent. So he had no reason to play your ball bc his was a loss before anyone noticed. BUT maybe he did realize his was a wash and hit yours.

HOWEVER, but the fact that he looked at his ball oddly beside the green, it seems like he didnt mean to but must have realized he hit your ball after the fact as well and was left with a couple options.

1) He could have either said, "AH CRAP I hit your ball, sorry man I really thought it was mine." This would have made him look like a total ass. But would have been the honest thing to do.

OR

2) He could have did what he did and played it cool and just swapped his ball out before anyone noticed. He does this in order to save himself the embarrassment as well as to just continue the game without any confrontations.

Did he do the wrong thing? I don't think so, he just didnt want to look like an idiot and didnt want you/the others to think less of him. Seems like an honest mistake based solely upon you saying the way he looked at the ball beside the green got your attention.

BUT I think you need to discuss with your playing partners what ball you are playing. I always do this and I have never had an issue. "Hey guys I'm playing a Taylormade 1, what are you guys using?" Is usually good enough at the beginning of a round or whenever you meet up. That way I can be proactive and not only prevent myself from playing other peoples' balls but put the thought in their mind to check the ball before they hit it.

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Do you mark your ball? If so you could have just asked to see the one you thought was yours and there would be no doubt as to who it belongs to. It could have been as simple as saying "hey can I see that ball?", if the guy doesn't want to show it to you or asks why then just explain that you think it might be yours. If you don't mark your ball, however, then he can just deny everything and say he was playing the same type.

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I would have called him on it straight away.The worst about not calling him on it it puts you off on the next two holes because you are seething.

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Agreed. Easier to take care of it then and there. This really shouldn't invoke a problem. A simple "you didn't happen to see a Taylormade 2 did you?" and the problem is taken care of without stewing over it for the rest of the round...

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Do you mark your ball? If so you could have just asked to see the one you thought was yours and there would be no doubt as to who it belongs to. It could have been as simple as saying "hey can I see that ball?", if the guy doesn't want to show it to you or asks why then just explain that you think it might be yours. If you don't mark your ball, however, then he can just deny everything and say he was playing the same type.

Exactly. I put two big red dots on both sides of my golf balls. If you were close enough to notice he's playing a red #2, I guarantee you could have been further away and know it was your ball with adequate markings. Marking your ball on both sides is a requirement in tourney golf at my club. This saves time on the course as well as dramatically reduces the chance of 'I need to turn my ball to identify it' drama. Most importantly, it also reduces the chance of someone making an honest mistake in the first place.

It also helps even in your regular group. Nobody cares or keeps track about what number or even brand you're playing that day but they will know your marking and then can just say they've found your ball without this: Player A: I found a ball, what were you playing? Player B: A Titleist? Player A: What number? Player B: I don't remember. I'm playing a Pro-V, is it a Pro-V? Player A: No, it's a NXT. Player B. Oh, yeah, I forgot. That's mine. I also break up the sleeves when I buy a dozen so that there isn't the same numbered ball in any sleeve. So, I'm always playing a different numbered provisional ball.

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Only slightly on topic but to illustrate that sometimes third parties get involved.
On the University course the other day I crossed paths with a guy and his girl friend who are playing random holes at the back of the course. I drive two balls as a single and as I approached my short, center cut drive I notice the girl bend down to pick up a ball about where my second longer drive to the left second cut should be. I hit my 3 metal and head over to look for my second ball and find a Pro V1 20 yards short of where a Mojo should be, hmmm. The couple are now looking toward a guy coming from the other direction down a parallel fairway, he is hollering at them. As the couple engage the guy I see the girl toss a ball down without looking at it. The other golfer comes and says "no" and walks back toward his group. Sometimes it isn't someone in your group causing the problem.
(Point of fact, there is no way the Pro V1 I picked up could be the ball the other guy was looking for; no way, this is a spot close to the nursery area and only a drive on my hole could be there. I think the golf gods simply traded me out when the girl snagged my ball, and she probably has his ball too.)

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right as he was setting up to hit the ball in the fairway I would have mentioned that he was about to hit my ball. He would have done one of two things. 1) He would have look at the ball and said, "I'm sorry, I was not paying attention.", or 2) Looked at the ball and said, "No, I am sure I hit this ball off the tee." If number 2 happens then you can call B.S. because you know he's been hitting Titleist all day then make him pull another one out of his bag to prove it. You don't have to be a jerk, but you also don't have to take it either. Put him on the spot and see what happens.

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It was probably his ball - it probably started out as a Titleist, but had a mid-air identity crisis and morphed into a TP Red. I've played with people in league that have magically had their ball change numbers or brands in the middle of a hole. Apparently it happens.

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Note: This thread is 4054 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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