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dkmago

Hitting two from the first tee

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When I play a round at a course without a driving range, I will hit two from the first tee.

Would this not be breaking any rules if I ALWAYS use the 2nd ball?.

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You're effectively declaring the first ball unplayable (you can do this even if it's sitting in the middle of the fairway) and choosing the option to return to the place from which you last played (the tee) and play again. Your second ball from the tee is your third shot of course.

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My thinking is that since I am hitting the first ball (without any intention of playing it), the round hasn't started until I hit the 2nd ball.

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I'm sometimes accused of being a rules "Nazi" but I've become accustomed to so many people doing this that I don't see any harm in it. I play as a walk-on quite a bit and often find myself as the fourth man with a group of three and I hear someone say before the round: "Are we playing two from the first tee?"

Strictly by the rules though, (7-1b)  I believe the round starts with the tee ball and practicing on the course immediately before a round or during a round in storke play is against the rules. In my advanced age and golfing obsession, I'm reaching the point that I don't much care what you do as long as it doesn't affect my round and we're not playing as competitors.

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Originally Posted by bigwave916

Strictly by the rules though, (7-1b)  I believe the round starts with the tee ball and practicing on the course immediately before a round or during a round in storke play is against the rules. In my advanced age and golfing obsession, I'm reaching the point that I don't much care what you do as long as it doesn't affect my round and we're not playing as competitors.

That is correct about the prohibition on practicing before a round in stroke play.

Personally, though, if you're not playing in a competition, I wouldn't sweat it. If you don't have a chance to warm up, I think declaring ahead that you're going to throw away the first shot is fine. Since the penalty is DQ, which is irrelevant to a casual round, there's really no problem as far as I'm concerned. If you're playing a stroke play competition where everyone is present in the same group, the rationale differentiating stroke play from match play is not applicable.

(The idea behind the rule is that in stroke play, different players tee off at different times, so would have different access to the course before their round. In match play, since everyone involved tees off at the same time, practice is permitted because everyone has the same opportunity.)

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It's more of a pace issue than a rules issue to me that prevents me  At most of the courses I play, if a starter were on the first tee, he would ask me to not do that again. When there are six groups waiting to start, they want to keep things moving and breakfast balls don't fit. Stroke & penalty of course, always allowed.

If no one behind you, I agree there's no harm. Still, I play in a group that allows one mulligan per round, but never off the first tee, for the above reasons. Even if the course were wide open, there's still at least 12 of us, and if the first 11 players each took an extra warm up shot,  you don't want to be the 12th. We all know  there are many other things which will slow down the pace, but this still makes sense to me.

At one  course I visit once a year, a sign at the first tee even proclaims ... "NO PRACTICE SWINGS". I finally asked the Pro Desk, they rarely have a starter, what that meant. He said they meant breakfast balls, but if it keeps golfers from doing six swings, so much the better,

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Originally Posted by dkmago

When I play a round at a course without a driving range, I will hit two from the first tee.

Would this not be breaking any rules if I ALWAYS use the 2nd ball?

As long as you realize that are lying 3 in the fariway, the rules have no problem with your plan.  My home course has a range, but I don't use it, so is it all right for me to hit two off the first tee without taking the penalty?  I wouldn't think of doing so, but since I"m not playing you in a competition or for money, you can do whatever your conscience lets you get away with.

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

As long as you realize that are lying 3 in the fariway, the rules have no problem with your plan.  My home course has a range, but I don't use it, so is it all right for me to hit two off the first tee without taking the penalty?  I wouldn't think of doing so, but since I"m not playing you in a competition or for money, you can do whatever your conscience lets you get away with.

If, as the OP stated, he decides before hitting a shot that he is going to play the second, regardless of the outcomes, it's not necessarily a penalty. Practice on the course before the round is permitted except in stroke play. In a situation where you're playing non-competitively, it's a bit unclear (or, perhaps, inconsequential) whether you're playing stroke or match. In any event, I don't see any "real" issue at all.

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I think you have to load up all your clubs into your car and drive around the parking lot twice, park in a different stall then don a fake mustache. Then you reintroduce yourself as Phil Schiffly and take your second drive.

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It can be an advantage even if it doesn't count; you can get a read on the wind, fairway conditions, etc. Your first ball could show you there's a strong crosswind you didn't feel and your ball ended up somewhere bad, so you hit an iron or flight it lower on your "real" shot. Same reason you don't get to hit practice putts, or practice approaches that can tell you how the green is running.

That said, I don't care what you decide to do as long as you keep pace of play. Your intent is to make sure your swing is intact that day and you don't waste a ball by slicing it. But there is a reasoning behind the rule, and it's certainly not acceptable outside of casual rounds. I'd play courses with a range, play more often to get more consistent, or just hit an iron off the first tee to minimize the damage.

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Originally Posted by Valleygolfer

I think you have to load up all your clubs into your car and drive around the parking lot twice, park in a different stall then don a fake mustache. Then you reintroduce yourself as Phil Schiffly and take your second drive.

hahahahaha.

I would never hit a second ball with the intention of using that first one as a practice ball.  That is clearly a violation of the rules and anyone who thinks otherwise isn't a serious golfer in my opinion.

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If you are returning the score for handicap then you must play under the rules of golf.

According to the rules, a player's stipulated round starts when he makes a stroke at a ball. A stroke is the forward movement of the club made with the intention of striking at and moving the ball.

So just add two strokes to every hole when returning your score. You'll soon be winning every net competition in the state.

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Originally Posted by Motown88

hahahahaha.

I would never hit a second ball with the intention of using that first one as a practice ball.  That is clearly a violation of the rules and anyone who thinks otherwise isn't a serious golfer in my opinion.

I agree.  As long as you are between the tee markers when you hit your first drive; the round has begun.  Therefore, if you are always playing your second ball then you should be counting your second shot as your 4th and so on after.

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Originally Posted by LuciusWooding

It can be an advantage even if it doesn't count; you can get a read on the wind, fairway conditions, etc. Your first ball could show you there's a strong crosswind you didn't feel and your ball ended up somewhere bad, so you hit an iron or flight it lower on your "real" shot. Same reason you don't get to hit practice putts, or practice approaches that can tell you how the green is running.

Well said.

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I think it's clear that the OP's procedure would require some sort of ruling in a tournament.  Given the OP's intent, it sounds like a breach of Rule 7-1, Practicing before the start of a round, which is a DQ in stroke play.  But, If the player played his first tee shot within the correct teeing area, I could see the ruling of laying 3 with your second stroke.  What is or is not practice is not always black and white.

As far as posting, GHIN says if you do not play a hole under the rules of golf, (mulligans, playing two balls, using buddies club, etc.) you should give yourself par for the hole and any handicap strokes that you would receive on the hole based on your handicap. You should limit this to 1 or 2 holes however, otherwise the round would not be an acceptable score for posting purposes.

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Note: This thread is 3033 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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