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MEfree

Provisional Ball Allowed?

23 posts in this topic

I know that you are not allowed to take a provisional drop for a hazard, but what about hitting a provisional ball from the original spot that you will play if you do not find your original ball?

i.e. You hit your tee ball on line with some water directly in front of the tee that you may or may not carry.  If you carry the water, there is a 99.9% chance you will find your ball.  If it didn't carry the hazard, it is likely lost in the hazard although there is a small chance that you might find it. Can you hit a provisional from the tee (that you must play if you can't find the first one and can't play if you find the first one)?

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Originally Posted by MEfree

I know that you are not allowed to take a provisional drop for a hazard, but what about hitting a provisional ball from the original spot that you will play if you do not find your original ball?

i.e. You hit your tee ball on line with some water directly in front of the tee that you may or may not carry.  If you carry the water, there is a 99.9% chance you will find your ball.  If it didn't carry the hazard, it is likely lost in the hazard although there is a small chance that you might find it. Can you hit a provisional from the tee (that you must play if you can't find the first one and can't play if you find the first one)?

Only if the local rule allowing the play of a provisional ball is in effect.  If it is virtually certain that the ball will be found if it is not in the hazard, then you are only allowed to play a provisional ball if the local rule has been enacted for that hole.  If that is the case, then it applies as you stated it.  If the original ball is not found in play either in or out of the hazard, then you must play the provisional ball.  You relinquish any other options under Rule 26-1.

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I see this done a lot, and it's wrong.  A person plays a provisional, not because he thinks it's might be lost outside the hazard, but plays a provisional to save time in case it did go into in the hazard and the player knows that his only option in that case would be to replay the stroke.  He does this to save time.....walking to the other side of the hazard, seeing the ball is in the hazard, and then having to walk back to where he played his last stroke.

You can not play a provisional for this type of situation unless a local rule specifically authorizing it.  As Fourputt said, if you do without a local rule, your second ball becomes the ball in play as soon as you make a stroke at it.

As far as the local rule, I've never seen it on a club's scorecard, but I guess it's out there.  Maybe it shows up more in tournaments.

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Originally Posted by Dormie1360

I see this done a lot, and it's wrong.  A person plays a provisional, not because he thinks it's might be lost outside the hazard, but plays a provisional to save time in case it did go into in the hazard and the player knows that his only option in that case would be to replay the stroke.  He does this to save time.....walking to the other side of the hazard, seeing the ball is in the hazard, and then having to walk back to where he played his last stroke.

You can not play a provisional for this type of situation unless a local rule specifically authorizing it.  As Fourputt said, if you do without a local rule, your second ball becomes the ball in play as soon as you make a stroke at it.

As far as the local rule, I've never seen it on a club's scorecard, but I guess it's out there.  Maybe it shows up more in tournaments.

Ok, I have a question.  If this wasn't a tee shot, and you incorrectly dropped a "provisional", could you correct under R20-6 or is it in play as soon as it was dropped?

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Originally Posted by Dormie1360

I see this done a lot, and it's wrong.  A person plays a provisional, not because he thinks it's might be lost outside the hazard, but plays a provisional to save time in case it did go into in the hazard and the player knows that his only option in that case would be to replay the stroke.  He does this to save time.....walking to the other side of the hazard, seeing the ball is in the hazard, and then having to walk back to where he played his last stroke.

You can not play a provisional for this type of situation unless a local rule specifically authorizing it.  As Fourputt said, if you do without a local rule, your second ball becomes the ball in play as soon as you make a stroke at it.

As far as the local rule, I've never seen it on a club's scorecard, but I guess it's out there.  Maybe it shows up more in tournaments.

My Men's Club had the local rule in effect for our competitions.  The 6th hole has an unusual water hazard.  It's a lake, paralleled by an irrigation ditch, and between the two is what was once a maintenance track for the ditch back when the land was all farmland.  The hazard includes all of the area from about 5 feet right of the ditch to the course boundary on the left side of the lake.  It was not uncommon for a ball to land on the track between the ditch and the lake, but it was often hard to tell if the ball stayed up or rolled out of play.  The blue tees were behind the hazard, so that most tee shots crossed the margin about 10 feet in front of the tee.  For that reason we added the local rule to our hard card, but with the cautionary warning that if the ball is not found, there was no option to drop under the 2 clublength option for a lateral water hazard.  That way, we would have the option of the local rule if ball entered the hazard close to the tee, but we would not play the provisional if it meant sacrificing too much distance.  From the blue tees that required a hard hook to swing out over the fairway then draw back into the hazard.  From the white tees a straight pull is the only way to cross in soon enough to make the local rule meaningful.  I saw the rule work effectively from the blue tees several times over the years.

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My Men's Club had the local rule in effect for our competitions.  The 6th hole has an unusual water hazard.  It's a lake, paralleled by an irrigation ditch, and between the two is what was once a maintenance track for the ditch back when the land was all farmland.  The hazard includes all of the area from about 5 feet right of the ditch to the course boundary on the left side of the lake.  It was not uncommon for a ball to land on the track between the ditch and the lake, but it was often hard to tell if the ball stayed up or rolled out of play.  The blue tees were behind the hazard, so that most tee shots crossed the margin about 10 feet in front of the tee.  For that reason we added the local rule to our hard card, but with the cautionary warning that if the ball is not found, there was no option to drop under the 2 clublength option for a lateral water hazard.  That way, we would have the option of the local rule if ball entered the hazard close to the tee, but we would not play the provisional if it meant sacrificing too much distance.  From the blue tees that required a hard hook to swing out over the fairway then draw back into the hazard.  From the white tees a straight pull is the only way to cross in soon enough to make the local rule meaningful.  I saw the rule work effectively from the blue tees several times over the years.

If it didn't match the specimen local rule in the appendix it was an unauthorised local rule.

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Ok, I have a question.  If this wasn't a tee shot, and you incorrectly dropped a "provisional", could you correct under R20-6 or is it in play as soon as it was dropped?

Yes. But it would also apply to a tee shot.

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

If it is virtually certain that the ball will be found if it is not in the hazard, then you are only allowed to play a provisional ball if the local rule has been enacted for that hole.  If that is the case, then it applies as you stated it.  If the original ball is not found in play either in or out of the hazard, then you must play the provisional ball.  You relinquish any other options under Rule 26-1.

What about if it was only 90 or 95% certain that you would find your original if it was outside the hazard, could you then play a provisional?

Assuming that this is ok to do, what happens if you go up and find your ball within the hazard?  Do you then have to abandon your provisional and then go back and hit another?

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Originally Posted by Rulesman

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

My Men's Club had the local rule in effect for our competitions.  The 6th hole has an unusual water hazard.  It's a lake, paralleled by an irrigation ditch, and between the two is what was once a maintenance track for the ditch back when the land was all farmland.  The hazard includes all of the area from about 5 feet right of the ditch to the course boundary on the left side of the lake.  It was not uncommon for a ball to land on the track between the ditch and the lake, but it was often hard to tell if the ball stayed up or rolled out of play.  The blue tees were behind the hazard, so that most tee shots crossed the margin about 10 feet in front of the tee.  For that reason we added the local rule to our hard card, but with the cautionary warning that if the ball is not found, there was no option to drop under the 2 clublength option for a lateral water hazard.  That way, we would have the option of the local rule if ball entered the hazard close to the tee, but we would not play the provisional if it meant sacrificing too much distance.  From the blue tees that required a hard hook to swing out over the fairway then draw back into the hazard.  From the white tees a straight pull is the only way to cross in soon enough to make the local rule meaningful.  I saw the rule work effectively from the blue tees several times over the years.

If it didn't match the specimen local rule in the appendix it was an unauthorised local rule.

It was copied word for word.  Believe me, that club is 100% on the Rules of Golf.  Two of us had been to several USGA/PGA Workshops, and several committee members had attended the one day workshops at the Denver Golf Expo.  We ran every competition by the rules.  Even our opening season warm-up scramble was played by the rules as far it can be done with a scramble.

Originally Posted by MEfree

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

If it is virtually certain that the ball will be found if it is not in the hazard, then you are only allowed to play a provisional ball if the local rule has been enacted for that hole.  If that is the case, then it applies as you stated it.  If the original ball is not found in play either in or out of the hazard, then you must play the provisional ball.  You relinquish any other options under Rule 26-1.

What about if it was only 90 or 95% certain that you would find your original if it was outside the hazard, could you then play a provisional?

Assuming that this is ok to do, what happens if you go up and find your ball within the hazard?  Do you then have to abandon your provisional and then go back and hit another?

Yes, if none of the other options under 26-1 are applicable, then returning to the tee is the only play.

Percentages are irrelevant.  If there is a reasonable chance for the ball to be lost outside of the hazard, or if the ball goes out of sight and there is no way to know if the ball may be lost outside of the hazard, then a provisional ball is allowed.  If it is discovered upon arriving at the site that there is no possible place for the original ball to be lost other than in the hazard, then the provisional ball is abandoned and you would proceed under Rule 26-1.  If the original ball is not found, but the possibility exists that it may be lost outside of the hazard, then the provisional ball becomes the ball in play.

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Originally Posted by Rulesman

Yes. But it would also apply to a tee shot.

Thanks Rulesman.  Just to be sure what you are saying "yes" to, I understand a ball on a tee is not in play. (provided a stroke has not been made).  A ball dropped when a provisional is not allowed may be lifted without penalty because the ball was incorrectly dropped....dropped under an inapplicable rule?

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

Yes, if none of the other options under 26-1 are applicable, then returning to the tee is the only play.

Percentages are irrelevant.  If there is a reasonable chance for the ball to be lost outside of the hazard, or if the ball goes out of sight and there is no way to know if the ball may be lost outside of the hazard, then a provisional ball is allowed.  If it is discovered upon arriving at the site that there is no possible place for the original ball to be lost other than in the hazard, then the provisional ball is abandoned and you would proceed under Rule 26-1.  If the original ball is not found, but the possibility exists that it may be lost outside of the hazard, then the provisional ball becomes the ball in play.

Does the act of hitting a provisional count as evidence against their being virtual certainty that a ball is lost in a hazard?

i.e. I am playing an unfamiliar course and decide to hit a provisional because I hit a ball way off line, not knowing the exact location/size/shape of a hazard.  Upon arriving near where I think I hit the ball, I realize that my ball is obviously lost in the hazard.  Do I then abandon the provisional and proceed under rule 26-1?  Is the answer different if the player is familiar with the course?

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Originally Posted by MEfree

Does the act of hitting a provisional count as evidence against their being virtual certainty that a ball is lost in a hazard?

i.e. I am playing an unfamiliar course and decide to hit a provisional because I hit a ball way off line, not knowing the exact location/size/shape of a hazard.  Upon arriving near where I think I hit the ball, I realize that my ball is obviously lost in the hazard.  Do I then abandon the provisional and proceed under rule 26-1?  Is the answer different if the player is familiar with the course?

Yes abandon the provisional.   If YOU think the ball might be lost outside a hazard or is OB you may play a provisional.  The rules are based on integrity.  If you think the ball might be lost outside a hazard because you are unaware of a hazard, that's OK.

27-2a/2.5

Player Plays Provisional Ball in Belief Original Might Be Lost Outside Water Hazard Then Discovers There Is No Possibility of Its Being Lost Outside Water Hazard

Q. A player's tee shot is struck towards an area of trees, bushes and tall grass. Believing his ball might be lost outside a water hazard, the player announces his intention to play a provisional ball and plays a ball from the tee. When he arrives at the area, he finds that the area in question is wetlands that has been defined as a lateral water hazard and that it is known or virtually certain that his ball is in it. What is the ruling?

A. As the player played the second ball from the tee in the belief that his original ball might be lost outside a water hazard, that ball was a provisional ball. The subsequent discovery that the area in question is in fact a lateral water hazard is irrelevant. Therefore, the player must abandon the provisional ball and proceed under Rule 26-1 - see Rule 27-2c .

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Thanks Rulesman.  Just to be sure what you are saying "yes" to, I understand a ball on a tee is not in play. (provided a stroke has not been made).  A ball dropped when a provisional is not allowed may be lifted without penalty because the ball was incorrectly dropped....dropped under an inapplicable rule?

Dormie As we are talking about a provisional then a stroke has already been made. The last statement is correct.

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It was copied word for word.  Believe me, that club is 100% on the Rules of Golf.  Two of us had been to several USGA/PGA Workshops, and several committee members had attended the one day workshops at the Denver Golf Expo.  We ran every competition by the rules.  Even our opening season warm-up scramble was played by the rules as far it can be done with a scramble.

My apologies, I should have known better than think you would have an unauthorised LR. I didn't read what you wrote carefully enough and took it that you had invented a variation. :-(

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Originally Posted by Dormie1360

I see this done a lot, and it's wrong.  A person plays a provisional, not because he thinks it's might be lost outside the hazard, but plays a provisional to save time in case it did go into in the hazard and the player knows that his only option in that case would be to replay the stroke.  He does this to save time.....walking to the other side of the hazard, seeing the ball is in the hazard, and then having to walk back to where he played his last stroke.

You can not play a provisional for this type of situation unless a local rule specifically authorizing it.  As Fourputt said, if you do without a local rule, your second ball becomes the ball in play as soon as you make a stroke at it.

As far as the local rule, I've never seen it on a club's scorecard, but I guess it's out there.  Maybe it shows up more in tournaments.

Yep.......confession time.

I understand the rule, I understand the reasoning for the rule, and I absolutely agree with both.  Yet, I admit that my group violates the rule (non-tournament rounds of course) on one particular hole at our home course in the interest of expediency.

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Originally Posted by David in FL

Yep.......confession time.

I understand the rule, I understand the reasoning for the rule, and I absolutely agree with both.  Yet, I admit that my group violates the rule (non-tournament rounds of course) on one particular hole at our home course in the interest of expediency.

We too sometimes. There is a par 5 which curves right along the lake. If you cut the corner or fade too much you end up in lake, or in grass in WH. The only place to take relief would be to drop 10-30 yards in front of tee or re-tee. May be I should propose committee to apply for local rule on this hole.

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Originally Posted by luu5

Quote:

Originally Posted by David in FL

Yep.......confession time.

I understand the rule, I understand the reasoning for the rule, and I absolutely agree with both.  Yet, I admit that my group violates the rule (non-tournament rounds of course) on one particular hole at our home course in the interest of expediency.

We too sometimes. There is a par 5 which curves right along the lake. If you cut the corner or fade too much you end up in lake, or in grass in WH. The only place to take relief would be to drop 10-30 yards in front of tee or re-tee. May be I should propose committee to apply for local rule on this hole.

That is exactly the situation which the local rule is designed for.

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

That is exactly the situation which the local rule is designed for.

I can't recall seeing a course take advantage of this local rule, but maybe I haven't played those that have.

Quote:

Originally Posted by David in FL

Yep.......confession time.

I understand the rule, I understand the reasoning for the rule, and I absolutely agree with both.  Yet, I admit that my group violates the rule (non-tournament rounds of course) on one particular hole at our home course in the interest of expediency.

I have done this myself also and have also seen a number of guys take provisional drops in front of where they hit from (i.e. closer to the edge of the hazard when they are not sure if their ball carried the water).  I agree this speeds up play and it would piss people off if I never did it, but I don't like consistently playing under different rules for non-tournament rounds as I don't want to find myself in the situation of having to walk back for the first time all season in a tournament.

When you have to walk back, there other issues can arise like your group falling behind and having to deal with trying to keep pace while playing a competitive round.  If the rules of golf are going to force me to deal with this in a tournament, then I would like to get practice dealing with it in a non-tournament round first.  Of course, insisting on walking back when guys in your group tell you it is ok to violate the rule makes you come off as a jerk, so you have to decide if it is worth it.

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