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wedgehammer40k

Justa neewbie question regarding re-taking a stroke under penalty.

28 posts in this topic

Ok, feel pretty silly asking but I'm going to anyway.

I've been re-taking poorly struck Tee-shots, which are still playable (eg did not go OB) and giving myself a one stroke penalty. This is not in competition, purely practice at my local golf course.

I 've only being doing it this last week and I've had a growing suspicion this was probably a "no-no", I checked the rules for guidance but I didn't really find an answer.

The core rules state:

1-2. Exerting Influence on Movement of Ball or Altering Physical Conditions

Which suggests I'm not allowed to re-take the shot as the ball is still in play, and therefore, retaking the shot would be essentially "Picking up the ball" which would constitue interference and thus 2 stroke penalty - and is probably bad etiquette.

However on the OB notes (27-1. Stroke and Distance; Ball Out of Bounds; Ball Not Found Within

Five Minutes)
a. Proceeding Under Stroke and Distance
At any time, a player may, under penalty of one stroke, play a ball as
nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played
(see Rule 20-5), i.e. proceed under penalty of stroke and distance.
Which kind of reads as though at any time you can sacrifice a stroke with a one stroke penalty?
So the question really is it allowed and more importantly is it bad etiquette to retake a playable shot with a 1 stroke penalty?
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Originally Posted by wedgehammer40k

Ok, feel pretty silly asking but I'm going to anyway.

I've been re-taking poorly struck Tee-shots, which are still playable (eg did not go OB) and giving myself a one stroke penalty. This is not in competition, purely practice at my local golf course.

I 've only being doing it this last week and I've had a growing suspicion this was probably a "no-no", I checked the rules for guidance but I didn't really find an answer.

The core rules state:

1-2. Exerting Influence on Movement of Ball or Altering Physical Conditions

Which suggests I'm not allowed to re-take the shot as the ball is still in play, and therefore, retaking the shot would be essentially "Picking up the ball" which would constitue interference and thus 2 stroke penalty - and is probably bad etiquette.

However on the OB notes (27-1. Stroke and Distance; Ball Out of Bounds; Ball Not Found Within

Five Minutes)

a. Proceeding Under Stroke and Distance

At any time, a player may, under penalty of one stroke, play a ball as

nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played

(see Rule 20-5), i.e. proceed under penalty of stroke and distance.

Which kind of reads as though at any time you can sacrifice a stroke with a one stroke penalty?

So the question really is it allowed and more importantly is it bad etiquette to retake a playable shot with a 1 stroke penalty?

Not really etiquette, just against the rules.  However if you do choose to replay the stroke and do so within the rules, then the stroke you took with the original ball and the stroke with the second ball both count on your score, and you also add a penalty stroke.  You are essentially following the procedure under Rule 28a and declaring your ball unplayable.  This is known as a stroke and distance penalty the way you are applying it.  If you apply this penalty for a ball hit from the tee, then your second ball would be lying 3, and your next stroke would be your 4th.  There is really nothing wrong with doing this as a beginner when not in any sort of competition or wager, but just be aware of the players with you and following you so that you don't delay play for anyone else.

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wedgehammer40k ,

If you are only practising, and on your own, then play as many balls as you like provided you are not delaying any following golfers.

However, where you are playing subject to the rules you have to play the ball you hit off the tee. But, if that ball is suspected as then being o/b or lost in a hazard,  you should tee off another ball having first declared it "provisional" and play that ball.

If, having done that, the first ball is then found you must play that one and proceed accordingly.

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I don't think you can hit a provisional for a ball suspected of being lost in a hazard.  If you say provisional and then it turns out the ball is lost in a hazard the provisional must be abandoned.  Then you have the normal options, one of which is going back to the place the last shot was played and replaying it.  But under no circumstances can you pay the ball you declared as a provisional.

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Originally Posted by turtleback

I don't think you can hit a provisional for a ball suspected of being lost in a hazard.  If you say provisional and then it turns out the ball is lost in a hazard the provisional must be abandoned.  Then you have the normal options, one of which is going back to the place the last shot was played and replaying it.  But under no circumstances can you pay the ball you declared as a provisional.

Close, but not quite.

You cannot play a provisional ball for a ball known to be, or virtually certain to be lost in a hazard.  If you do so, the "provisional" you played is not a provisional and immediately became the ball in play.  There is no option of playing a provisional and then abandoning it in this case.

Provisionals may only be hit for balls which may be lost outside of a hazard, or OOB.

If you have hit your ball towards a hazard and are unsure of whether it is in the hazard, unfortunately, your only choice is to go search for it.  If it is found within the hazard, you proceed under 26-1 (options for a ball in a hazard).  If it is not found and nobody is certain it must be within the hazard, you'd have to return to the original spot and play from there.

There is one exception:  if the geography of the hole makes it impractical to tell whether a ball is lost in or outside the hazard (say for example, a lake with very tall reeds on the far side obstructing the landing area) the committee may permit the playing of a provisional ball.  However, that's something which would be announced upfront in the rules of the competition.

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Originally Posted by wadesworld

If you have hit your ball towards a hazard and are unsure of whether it is in the hazard, unfortunately, your only choice is to go search for it.

Close but not right.

If you are not sure if it is in then it is possible that it may be out.

27-2a/2.2

Possibility That Original Ball Is in Water Hazard May Not Preclude Play of Provisional Ball

Q. Is it true that, if a player's original ball may have come to rest in a water hazard, the player is precluded from playing a provisional ball?

A. No. Even though the original ball may be in a water hazard, the player is entitled to play a provisional ball if the original ball might also be lost outside the water hazard or out of bounds. In such a case, if the original ball is found in the water hazard, the provisional ball must be abandoned - Rule 27-2c .

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Quote:

Close but not right.

If you are not sure if it is in then it is possible that it may be out.

Thanks for the clarification.

So to summarize, if you are unsure whether it is in, you may hit a provisional.

If you play a provisional and later discover the area where you thought your ball was lost is a water hazard, there is no penalty but the provisional is immediately abandoned.

If there is no other place for it to be other than a water hazard, you may not play a provisional.

I can foresee a few tricky situations which would likely have to be decided by committee:

1)  Suppose a player has played a course before, hits his ball towards a low-lying area filled with trees.  It is certain the ball is in the area and the player plays a provisional.  Upon discovering the area is marked as a hazard, the player claims he had no idea it was a hazard and that's why he played a provisional ball. His competitor argues that he's played the course before and had to know it was a hazard.

2)  A player is playing a course on the coast.  The hole runs along a rocky shore.  The player slices the ball into the hazard, but nobody sees it land or hears it hit anything.  The player argues his ball might have hit a rock and bounced out.  He then plays a provisional ball.  His competitor argues that nobody heard it hit anything and therefore, it is virtually certain the ball is in the hazard and the provisional is now the ball in play.

3)  Similarly, a player hits his ball into a large hazard containing trees.  The hazard extends at least 30 yards in on all sides beyond the trees where the ball disappeared.  The players hear the ball hit a tree, but nobody sees it land.  The player plays a provisional ball under the assumption that it might have bounced out.  His competitor argues there's no way the ball could have bounced out and it is therefore virtually certain the ball is within the hazard.

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Originally Posted by wadesworld

Thanks for the clarification.

So to summarize, if you are unsure whether it is in, you may hit a provisional.

No, if there is a chance your ball may not be in the hazard AND you would not be able to find it, you may hit a provisional.  Example tall grass around the boundary of the hazard.  THe ball could be in the tall grass, which is not in the hazard, but the grass is tall enough where you might not find it.  If, on the other hand, the ball could be easily found if not in the hazard, you can not play a provisional.

If you play a provisional and later discover the area where you thought your ball was lost is a water hazard, there is no penalty but the provisional is immediately abandoned.

True

If there is no other place for it to be other than a water hazard, you may not play a provisional.

True

I can foresee a few tricky situations which would likely have to be decided by committee:

1)  Suppose a player has played a course before, hits his ball towards a low-lying area filled with trees.  It is certain the ball is in the area and the player plays a provisional.  Upon discovering the area is marked as a hazard, the player claims he had no idea it was a hazard and that's why he played a provisional ball. His competitor argues that he's played the course before and had to know it was a hazard.

Dec 27-2a/3.5 covers this. As you stated above, if a player is unaware that the area is a hazard, he may play a provisional for a ball that might be lost.

2)  A player is playing a course on the coast.  The hole runs along a rocky shore.  The player slices the ball into the hazard, but nobody sees it land or hears it hit anything.  The player argues his ball might have hit a rock and bounced out.  He then plays a provisional ball.  His competitor argues that nobody heard it hit anything and therefore, it is virtually certain the ball is in the hazard and the provisional is now the ball in play.

This comes up a lot at my course. As you described the situation, it sounds like there may not be virtual certainty that the ball is in the hazard.  The ball was not seen and it was not certain if the ball had hit a rock which could have sent it somewhere other than the hazard.  In this case the player would NOT be able to apply Rule 26, (Hazard) without first finding his original in the hazard.  In this case the player may hit a provisional.

3)  Similarly, a player hits his ball into a large hazard containing trees.  The hazard extends at least 30 yards in on all sides beyond the trees where the ball disappeared.  The players hear the ball hit a tree, but nobody sees it land.  The player plays a provisional ball under the assumption that it might have bounced out.  His competitor argues there's no way the ball could have bounced out and it is therefore virtually certain the ball is within the hazard.

Decision 26 -1/1 helps in determining virtual certainty.

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Originally Posted by wadesworld

Thanks for the clarification.

A couple of comments to add to those of dormie.

You refer to 'his competitor'.

In fact a 'Competitor' is any player playing in a strokeplay competition.

A 'Fellow Competitor' is one who is playing in the same group. I assume this is what you meant.

In addition a person you are playing against in a head to head match is your 'Opponent'

The person who makes the judgement about 'Virtual Certainty' is the player himself. He make take note of what others say but ultimately it is his responsibility.

In Strokeplay, if a Fellow Competitor disagrees he must take it up with a referee (if available) or the Committee at the end of the round. If the player is not sure, he may declare and play 2 balls under rule 3-3.

Link http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Rule-03/#3-3

In Matchplay, if an Opponent disagrees he must make a claim before the next hole is started and refer the matter to the Committee under rule 2-5.

Link http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Rule-02/#2-5

The player cannot play 2 balls. He make up his own mind as to the situation.

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Originally Posted by Dormie1360

2)  A player is playing a course on the coast.  The hole runs along a rocky shore.  The player slices the ball into the hazard, but nobody sees it land or hears it hit anything.  The player argues his ball might have hit a rock and bounced out.  He then plays a provisional ball.  His competitor argues that nobody heard it hit anything and therefore, it is virtually certain the ball is in the hazard and the provisional is now the ball in play.

This comes up a lot at my course. As you described the situation, it sounds like there may not be virtual certainty that the ball is in the hazard.  The ball was not seen and it was not certain if the ball had hit a rock which could have sent it somewhere other than the hazard.  In this case the player would NOT be able to apply Rule 26, (Hazard) without first finding his original in the hazard.  In this case the player may hit a provisional.

It is good to understand that in such a situation the player is being very true to the RoG by acknowleding his ball may very well be (lost) outside hazard. Thus he is by no means trying to take any advantage by playing a provisional but merely trying to avoid the nuisance of walking back to the tee after having discovered that his ball may indeed have been lost outside the hazard. This means that a fellow-competitor arguing against the provisional does not really understand the idea of provisional.

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Originally Posted by Ignorant

It is good to understand that in such a situation the player is being very true to the Rog by acknowleding his ball may very well be (lost) outside hazard. Thus he is by no means trying to take any advantage by playing a provisional but merely trying to avoid the nuisance of walking back to the tee after having discovered that his ball may indeed have been lost outside the hazard. This means that a fellow-competitor arguing against the provisional does not really understand the idea of provisional.

Hi Ignorant,

Generally speaking I think that's a very good point.  If I understand the OP's scenario correctly it sounded like the argument wasn't about the rules governing a provisional as much as it was an argument whether or not there was KVC as to where the ball lies.  I think Rulesman has a good explanation on the procedure for deciding this.

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If you wish to declare your first shot unplayable, take a stroke and hit three from the tee (technically you should retrieve the first ball and play it)---that's the lowest score you could card, and even then...  If your carding your score for a USGA handicap, then you have taken a practice stroke---which is a two stroke penalty, three if you play the second ball; and three each ball if you play them both through the green.  If your just practicing score them both separately or the first or the second or whatever you want to do.

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Originally Posted by stangmark

(technically you should retrieve the first ball and play it)

There is no requirement in the Rules to do that.

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Originally Posted by stangmark

If you wish to declare your first shot unplayable, take a stroke and hit three from the tee (technically you should retrieve the first ball and play it)---that's the lowest score you could card, and even then...  If your carding your score for a USGA handicap, then you have taken a practice stroke---which is a two stroke penalty, three if you play the second ball; and three each ball if you play them both through the green.  If your just practicing score them both separately or the first or the second or whatever you want to do.

Originally Posted by Rulesman

Quote:

Originally Posted by stangmark

(technically you should retrieve the first ball and play it)

There is no requirement in the Rules to do that.

C'mon Rulesman, this post is just as nonsensical as the rest of his shots.... tell it like it is.  Pure nonsense.

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Well its been a while since I posted my original question and sure enough I've played in three competitions since and this issue arose on two occasions.

My understanding after reading these posts and upon checking the rule book is that:

  • Rule 28 clearly states that a player may deem his/her ball unplayable at their own discretion -  unless their shot has clearly and unmistakably (with a loud splash) come to rest in a water hazard.
  • In the spirit of avoiding slow play, a player may announce and take a provisional shot when for example there is doubt as to whether a ball is lost, OB, or un-playable, but has not been clearly identified as having landed in a water hazard.
  • If the original shot is confirmed to be in a water hazard a player that  has taken a provisional must proceed under rule 26-1 and abandon their provisional.
  • Debate may arise as to the certainty of a shot having landed in a water hazard - and upon reaching a resolution the player proceeds either under 26-1 or 27-1 and continues play from their provisional.

Quick Scenario
In one competition I elected to deem my ball unplayable (consulting with my marker) as I had teed off and the ball travelled about 1m so I decided that to re-tee the ball would be better than playing it from where it laid. After declaring the ball "unplayable" and as the original spot I took the stroke was the teeing area I proceeded under 27-1 (penalty of stroke and distance) and under rule 20-5 (the ball may be re-teed on the teeing ground) and basically had another crack hitting my third shot of the tee.

Some questions:

  1. Would the above be considered a "practice stroke" carrying a two stroke penalty if carding a score for a USGA handicap?
  2. Was the above determination within the rules?
  3. If a ball lands in a Lateral Water Hazard is that the same as a Water Hazard?
  4. If a ball lands in a non-water hazard can the player who has taken a provisional proceed under 27-1 from his/her provisional?


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