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Rouleur

Please help my knowledge of lost balls

7 posts in this topic

I have a tendency to lose balls. I have tried a search, but I just want to put together my thinking and get a quick confirmation. Each scenario is starting from new hole, and is as I now see the rules.

Water

1) Ball lost into water from the tee - 1 for the stroke getting the ball in the water, 1 penalty for lost ball, drop at point of crossing not closer to the hole. Shot from the drop is the 3rd shot.

2) Have teed off and now playing from the fairway, 2nd shot enters the water - 1 stroke for teeing off, 1 stroke getting the ball in the water, 1 penalty for lost ball, drop at point of crossing border of hazard not closer to the hole. Shot from the drop is the 4th shot.

Lost OB (say very thick bush OB)

1) Ball lost OB from the tee - 1 for the stroke into OB, 1 penalty for lost ball, hit from the tee again (stroke and distance). The Re-shot from the tee is the 3rd shot.

2) Have teed off and now playing from the fairway, 2nd shot enters OB and is lost - 1 stroke for teeing off, 1 stroke getting the ball in the OB, 1 penalty for lost ball, drop at point of hitting from the fairway. Shot from the drop is the 4th shot.

I have basically been keeping record of my score for any strokes I keep in play, and then adding 2 if I lost a ball.

But I have been re-teeing or hitting from the point of the last shot, if that last shot goes in the water, and I think that I should be walking up and taking a drop.

Thanks for your help!

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Your understanding under the "Lost OB" section is correct. (Although I should point out that "lost" is different than "OB", even though the same rule applies when dealing with either.)

The "Water" section is essentially correct, with some exceptions/additions:

1) Technically the penalty for dropping a ball after it has gone into a hazard is not for a "lost ball" - after all, you might actually find your ball in the hazard (if it's near the waterline, or in a dry part of the hazard) but still choose not to play it from there. Technically the penalty is just a "one stroke penalty" for dropping a ball after one has gone into a hazard (just as it's a "one stroke penalty" for a ball lost or OB). The term "lost ball" is reserved for balls lost that are known to be *not* in a hazard, since a different rule applies in that case (essentially, your description in your "Lost OB" section would apply there.)

2) With a water hazard, you have three options:

a. Proceed under the stroke and distance provision of Rule 27-1 by playing a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played (see Rule 20-5 ). You say this is what you've been doing, which is fine, but as you surmise you're usually better off taking a drop based on where it crossed the border of the hazard, which is the second option:


b. Drop a ball behind the water hazard, keeping the point at which the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the water hazard the ball may be dropped. This, or a. above, are the only 2 options you have if the hazard is marked with YELLOW stakes. Note that you are allowed to drop anywhere, as far back as you want that is still in bounds, on a line back from the flag through the point at which it last crossed the hazard - not just at that point. (Note that by definition you cannot drop closer to the hole with this option.)


c. As additional options available only if the ball last crossed the margin of a lateral water hazard (which is denoted with RED stakes), drop a ball outside the water hazard within two club-lengths of and not nearer the hole than (i) the point where the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard or (ii) a point on the opposite margin of the water hazard equidistant from the hole. (In practice, most people who drop from lateral hazards use option (i), but option (ii) can sometimes be advantageous.)  So with this option, you can still drop on a line back from where the ball last crossed the hazard, but you are also allowed to drop to the side, up to 2 club lengths away from the point on the hazard line that the ball last crossed, as long as it is no closer to the hole.

And of course, you could play a ball that's in a hazard as it lies with no penalty - you just can't ground your club.

Hope that's clear. You can see the actual rules (which I've copied and pasted much of) here:

http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Rule-26/

http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Rule-27/

http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/ is a good resource for you if you have other rules questions.

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The definition of 'Lost Ball' may well be worth reading also.

Lost Ball

A ball is deemed “ lost ” if:

a. It is not found or identified as his by the player within five minutes after the player’s side or his or their caddies have begun to search for it; or

b. The player has made a stroke at a provisional ball from the place where the original ball is likely to be or from a point nearer the hole than that place (see Rule 27-2b ); or

c. The player has put another ball into play under penalty of stroke and distance under Rule 26-1a , 27-1 or 28a ; or

d. The player has put another ball into play because it is known or virtually certain that the ball, which has not been found, has been moved by an outside agency (see Rule 18-1 ), is in an obstruction (see Rule 24-3 ), is in an abnormal ground condition (see Rule 25-1c ) or is in a water hazard (see Rule 26-1b or c ); or

e. The player has made a stroke at a substituted ball .

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Originally Posted by Rouleur

I have a tendency to lose balls. I have tried a search, but I just want to put together my thinking and get a quick confirmation. Each scenario is starting from new hole, and is as I now see the rules.

Water

1) Ball lost into water from the tee - 1 for the stroke getting the ball in the water, 1 penalty for lost ball, drop at point of crossing not closer to the hole. Shot from the drop is the 3rd shot.

2) Have teed off and now playing from the fairway, 2nd shot enters the water - 1 stroke for teeing off, 1 stroke getting the ball in the water, 1 penalty for lost ball, drop at point of crossing border of hazard not closer to the hole. Shot from the drop is the 4th shot.

Thanks for your help!

You are a little off on where to drop when your ball goes into a water hazard.  You have to keep the point where the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard between you and the flagstick and can then go back as far as you want.  As an alternative you can replay the shot that went onto the water at a one stroke penalty (plus the stroke that hit into the water).

So say on a par 3 you hit you tee shot into a water hazard.  You can either take a drop, keeping the point where it last crossed the margin of the hazard between your drop and the flagstick, OR you can re-tee from the teeing area and re-hit, playing your third shot.  Usually you take the drop, but sometimes you are better off re-teeing.

Sometimes, when your shot into the water is pretty crooked your drop will be nowhere near where the ball crossed the margin of the hazard.  Lets say the water hazard is off to the left and your ball just goes in at the right edge of the hazard.  Your drop may end up being way to the left of where the ball crossed the margin of the hazard.

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Originally Posted by turtleback

You are a little off on where to drop when your ball goes into a water hazard.  You have to keep the point where the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard between you and the flagstick and can then go back as far as you want.  As an alternative you can replay the shot that went onto the water at a one stroke penalty (plus the stroke that hit into the water).

So say on a par 3 you hit you tee shot into a water hazard.  You can either take a drop, keeping the point where it last crossed the margin of the hazard between your drop and the flagstick, OR you can re-tee from the teeing area and re-hit, playing your third shot.  Usually you take the drop, but sometimes you are better off re-teeing.

Sometimes, when your shot into the water is pretty crooked your drop will be nowhere near where the ball crossed the margin of the hazard.  Lets say the water hazard is off to the left and your ball just goes in at the right edge of the hazard.  Your drop may end up being way to the left of where the ball crossed the margin of the hazard.

Thanks guys for the awesome responses.

I just want to clarify on certain aspect. If I hit into a water hazard, drop in the right place behind it, is there a penalty stroke?

Hit into water hazard on 2nd shot, no penalty, drop and take 3rd shot from there?

Reading your responses I'm not sure there is an additional penalty added when you take a drop, as you only mentioned a penalty when you retook the shot??

Thanks!

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Originally Posted by Rouleur

Thanks guys for the awesome responses.

I just want to clarify on certain aspect. If I hit into a water hazard, drop in the right place behind it, is there a penalty stroke?

Hit into water hazard on 2nd shot, no penalty, drop and take 3rd shot from there?

Reading your responses I'm not sure there is an additional penalty added when you take a drop, as you only mentioned a penalty when you retook the shot??

Thanks!

If you drop from a water hazard there is always a penalty for the privilege.

From Rule 26-1

If a ball is found in a water hazard or if it is known or virtually certain that a ball that has not been found is in the water hazard (whether the ball lies in water or not), the player may under penalty of one stroke :

link to rule

http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Rule-26/

There is no penalty if the ball is in the WH and is played from where it lies. But note, the club may not be grounded.

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Thank you! The rules website is very thorough, and I over read that...

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