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horsesense

lost provisional ball. What to do

22 posts in this topic

What do yo do if you lose your tee shot out of bounds and then your provisional ball sails the same way.  After looking for 5 min can you just drop and continue or do you hae to walk back to tee and hit another shot.  How do you assess penalty strokes.

Keith

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My feeling would be if the provisional is also OB you would have to go back and re-play nearest to the spot you last played incurring a 1 stroke penalty. Now hitting stroke 5.

If you drop and play from where it went OB you would incur a 2 stroke penalty for playing from the wrong spot. Now hitting stroke 6.

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Originally Posted by vasaribm

My feeling would be if the provisional is also OB you would have to go back and re-play nearest to the spot you last played incurring a 1 stroke penalty. Now hitting stroke 5.

If you drop and play from where it went OB you would incur a 2 stroke penalty for playing from the wrong spot. Now hitting stroke 6.



And pray that you are playing Match-Play and not Stroke-Play!

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If you lose your original ball, your provisional becomes the ball in play (with the penalty stroke).  If that is lost as well, you again have stroke-and-distance.  The rules don't treat it any differently than if you'd walked back and hit another ball OB or whatever.  So in this situation, you should hit a second provisional, which only becomes in-play if you lose both the first two.  You can continue hitting provisionals until you are sure you haven't lost a ball, technically speaking.

Also, normally you get 5 minutes to look for your original ball, then if not found, 5 more minutes for your provisional.  However, if they're in the same area, then you only get 5 minutes to find either of them.

Finally, if you do hit multiple provisionals, be absolutely sure that you can identify conclusively which ball is which.  If you can't, even if you find a ball, you cannot identify it properly so it is lost and.... back to the tee box.

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The point of hitting a provisional is to save you the walk back to the original spot.  If you are worried that your provisional is lost/OB also, then you are entitled to hit a 2nd provisional (just make sure you can tell your balls apart).

If playing with friends, most will typically let you drop near where you lost your ball (in your case, you would be hitting 6) but the correct thing to do would be to go back as vasaribm said .

Looking at rule 20.7, you may be able to play from the wrong spot and take a two stroke penalty as long as this is not considered a "serious breach" (i.e. you gained a significant advantage) by the committee.  Serious breach results in a DQ.  If you realized you played a ball from the wrong spot, you are suppose to play a 2nd ball from the correct spot before teeing off on the next hole and then inform the who can decide which score counts (the wrong spot ball +2 or the 2nd ball +2).  Failure to do this results in a DQ     I recall DQing myself in a JR Tourney after losing a ball that I thought would be in the fairway...I was playing so bad that I didn't feel like walking back to the tee so opted to just drop a ball and DQ/NC.

Bottom line- if playing a Tourney, go back and hit a 3rd ball unless you want to risk getting DQed.

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This happened to my son playing a jr first tee event.  The fist ball was way out of bounds over a house.  The second one was closer to the line but we could not find it.  We decided to have him drop and continue play as it was a course full of young kids 12-18 and time was a concern.  Thanks for the replys.  I havent played golf in many years and is good to get back into it.  I just couldnt remember the correct thing to do.  Will know next time (hopefully it wont happen in the near future).

Keith

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Originally Posted by zeg

Finally, if you do hit multiple provisionals, be absolutely sure that you can identify conclusively which ball is which.  If you can't, even if you find a ball, you cannot identify it properly so it is lost and.... back to the tee box.


Good point about marking your balls. However, if you find all the balls but cannot distinguish them from each other you do not lose them all but the last ball to have been hit will the your ball in play. For example if you hit 2 provisionals from the tee box and find all three balls then you would be lying 5 and your 2nd provisional ball would be your ball in play. See details from http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Decision-27/#27/11 .

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Originally Posted by horsesense

This happened to my son playing a jr first tee event.  The fist ball was way out of bounds over a house.  The second one was closer to the line but we could not find it.  We decided to have him drop and continue play as it was a course full of young kids 12-18 and time was a concern.  Thanks for the replys.  I havent played golf in many years and is good to get back into it.  I just couldnt remember the correct thing to do.  Will know next time (hopefully it wont happen in the near future).

Keith

I'm not sure if the tournament your son was playing in was competitive or not, but if your son managed to beat out other kids for a spot in a future tournament or any other such reward, I hope you will encourage him to withdraw himself due to not posting a proper score. The drop he took is illegal and his score on that hole cannot be counted in any legit way. I understand that this type of thing is way over the top for a recreational/beginners tournament, but it would absolutely be considered cheating in many junior tournaments around here (many men's league tournys as well). I understand it may be hard to tell him, seeing as you told him to drop a ball.

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If the provisional ball is also lost or OB you walk back to the tee and hit 5, that's the rule.  But I have played in leagues that for purposes of speeding up play allow you to drop near where you believe the ball is lost or OB and take 2 strokes, e.g. if your provisional ball was lost you're now hitting 6 from that spot.  I would just concede the hole at that point or if stroke play start drinking as suggested above.

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This.

Originally Posted by Lebowski

I'm not sure if the tournament your son was playing in was competitive or not, but if your son managed to beat out other kids for a spot in a future tournament or any other such reward, I hope you will encourage him to withdraw himself due to not posting a proper score. The drop he took is illegal and his score on that hole cannot be counted in any legit way. I understand that this type of thing is way over the top for a recreational/beginners tournament, but it would absolutely be considered cheating in many junior tournaments around here (many men's league tournys as well). I understand it may be hard to tell him, seeing as you told him to drop a ball.



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If you are in anything but a sanctioned tournament you should play the ball from the point it lasts crossed the hazard/woods/OB etc. this is a violationof the rules but it is how golf should be played unless its a very serious tournament.

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Originally Posted by Edgk

If you are in anything but a sanctioned tournament you should play the ball from the point it lasts crossed the hazard/woods/OB etc. this is a violationof the rules but it is how golf should be played unless its a very serious tournament.


Fair enough, but at that point you stop scoring.

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Originally Posted by Shorty

Fair enough, but at that point you stop scoring.


Depends on what you're using the score for.  For handicap purposes, you had probably better go ahead and keep the score and turn it in unless you do this on more than 5 or 6 (or whatever the number is) holes in an 18-hole round.  For a competition, you'd be DQ, but that doesn't nullify the round for handicap purposes.  Since you didn't play the hole out according to the RoG, the handicap regulations require you to estimate what score you'd have made from the point where you stopped playing by the rules.  I'm personally of the opinion that playing it out and using that score is about as accurate a way to estimate as there is.

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Originally Posted by zeg

Depends on what you're using the score for.  For handicap purposes, you had probably better go ahead and keep the score and turn it in unless you do this on more than 5 or 6 (or whatever the number is) holes in an 18-hole round.  For a competition, you'd be DQ, but that doesn't nullify the round for handicap purposes.  Since you didn't play the hole out according to the RoG, the handicap regulations require you to estimate what score you'd have made from the point where you stopped playing by the rules.  I'm personally of the opinion that playing it out and using that score is about as accurate a way to estimate as there is.

for handicap purposes, unless you are a high handicapper who plays the rest of the hole really well, chances are you are going to take the max permitted adjusted score on that hole regardless of which way you go (back to spot and replay according to rules or drop at spot +2)- this makes estimating your adjusted score pretty easy, so Zeg has a good point.

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Originally Posted by Shorty

Fair enough, but at that point you stop scoring.


I have always wondered about this, if I can't find my provisional am I allowed to take a two stroke penalty and play it from the spot I think the ball went? This is what I have done the few times it has happened to me.

I am usually walking the course and playing as a single so if there is someone behind me walking all the way back to the tee box it is not very realistic.  I am not keeping an official handicap yet so it is not a big deal but I would like to keep my score correctly.

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Originally Posted by darkhunter139

I have always wondered about this, if I can't find my provisional am I allowed to take a two stroke penalty and play it from the spot I think the ball went? This is what I have done the few times it has happened to me.

I am usually walking the course and playing as a single so if there is someone behind me walking all the way back to the tee box it is not very realistic.  I am not keeping an official handicap yet so it is not a big deal but I would like to keep my score correctly.

No, you are never allowed to drop anywhere except at the point you last played a stroke unless you can find and identify your ball, or qualify for the "known or virtually certain" that it's in a water hazard (or a few other obscure cases like watching your ball land in a fairway, then seeing someone run off with a ball that must be yours...).  If you don't return to the previous point, you're at least guilty of playing from a wrong place, but unless you made no or very little progress on the stroke, it'd be very hard to argue that you didn't gain a significant advantage by taking the drop, so you'd have to take the stiffer disqualification penalty for that.  That's what's behind Shorty's comment.

There are plenty of discussions on the forum about whether this rule is sensible since it does cause quite a slow-down if you unexpectedly lose a ball.  I think it's fair to say that many players who otherwise play by the rules choose to break this rule during informal competitions, though.  Since it's outside the rules, there's no "right" way to handle it, but taking a two stroke penalty is IMO as close as you can get, since it simulates a stroke-and-distance, though minus the risk that you go back and whack another one out of bounds....

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