Balls lifted from the green must be REplaced.
There is a perfectly adequate but under used local rule for muddy balls TTG, described as Cleaning Ball. This involves REplacing the ball and is constrained to simply cleaning off the mud
Whereas PL/LCP is designed primarily for poor grass conditions and course protection, CB/LCR is for cleaning only. If mud on the ball is the only problem LCP gives the player a bonus (particularly when 1 cl is allowed).
IMO LCP is overused when LCR should be the norm.
Sometimes it will "click" and then one day out of the blue you'll have trouble with fat shots (or for me grounders) again. Otherwise we'd be pros right?
But what do you mean by flattening? Do you mean a full back-swing to where the club is horizontal to the ground ?
After slicing my drive near a water hazard with some trees, I had to layup to another water hazard in front of the green complex. I hit a perfect knockdown about 175 yds with my 5 hybrid under the trees leaving a short wedge shot over the hazard. I ended up with a par.
First, four months would be an outlier, really. The only time that seems to happen is if a golfer is doing well and is in the heart of the season and wants to keep on the roll he's on.
Also, if you've taken a lesson from me that shouldn't happen. I provide you with pictures, notes, etc. I tell you to come check in with me now and then for a few minutes so I can see how you're doing. Etc.