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Unexpected Lost Ball - No Provisional - What Do You Do?

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  1. 1. Unexpected Lost Ball - No Provisional - What Do You Do?

    • Run back and play your shot again
      24
    • Take a drop with a stroke penalty
      39
    • Take a free drop (someone must have picked it up, right?)
      10

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221 posts in this topic

My friends and I like to play golf by the rules. No mulligans, no 4ft gimmes, no foot wedges.

Something we don’t do however is take a distance penalty when we have an unexpected lost ball. You know the one – what appears to be safely in play is nowhere to be found when you get up there.

We just take a drop where we think the ball must have went into the rough. Note – not on the fairway, but not in the deep stuff either!

Obviously this aint exactly R&A; rules but no one wants to run back 200 yards to retake their shot.

I suspect that this must be the most common rule breach amongst guys who otherwise play by the rules. Interested to see what the poll says..

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At least one more option needed "Skip the hole".

Depends of course what type of game I am playing. If it is stroke play, or maybe a match, then walk back. If it is casual round, I mark -, as I play Stableford anyway. I might drop a ball and finish the hole, but I still mark -.

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Friendly game I just take a drop and add penalty shots. had this happen on our round yesterday.

I hit the ball down right hand side of fairway, its a little blind as its a slight dogleg right. When I got there it must of took a bad bounce and went in the bushes.

So I dropped from where we thought it might of went in. And made the next shot my 4th instead of my 2nd. Seems the most sensible way in my opinion for a non-competitive game between friends.

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I try to avoid this by ALWAYS taking a provisional when in doubt but you still get the occasional "stolen by coyotes" ball, especially when you play evening golf on a lighted course. On those occasions I will take a drop and add 2 strokes, one for the lost ball and one for the distance. I know it's not strictly catholic but it happens so rarely (because I always take the provisional when in doubt) and I don't keep at handicap anyway...so...whatever. Lol. This thread should probably be combined with the breakfast ball shitstorm...uh...I mean thread. :-P Edit* I didn't vote because their was no option for "take a drop with stroke AND DISTANCE penalty". I guess it's a moot point because you are already technically cheating but I feel better with the 2 stroke penalty.
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Competitive stroke play, go back 100% of the time.  There is no other option.......ever.

Match play, If I have any chance of pushing the hole, I'll replay.  If not, I'll concede the hole, post my ESC max (double) for handicapping and move on.

Stableford, unless there's a chance for a bogey, simply take "0", mark ESC double for handicap, and move on.

FWIW, we play a 4-ball match play 99% of the time in our happy little group.  We'll play a Stableford if the group is large on any given day.

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Depends on if there are people behind me. If the course is not crowded I will go back to the tee. If there are people on the green on the prior hole or on the tee already I will just drop one and add a stroke.

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Depends on if there are people behind me. If the course is not crowded I will go back to the tee. If there are people on the green on the prior hole or on the tee already I will just drop one and add a stroke.

The penalty for a lost ball is stroke and distance.  Not only is the procedure incorrect for any number of reasons, but you're also failing to add another stroke to account for the distance portion of the penalty.

As EJ said above, a closer estimation would be to drop and add 2 strokes.  Still wrong, but somewhat closer to reality for a casual round.

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Obviously, if you're in a real competition there's no choice.

If I'm playing against friends, we'll usually agree to a drop plus 2 stroke penalty (stroke and distance).  If I am playing against no one, but posting the score....it depends.  If I'm riding and driving back won't hold up someone else, I'll do it right.  But I usually walk and just take a drop +2.

The biggest thing is to take a drop if you think there's any chance that you won't find it.

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In a friendly round, I will typically drop a ball and add 2 strokes- depending on my mood and the nature of the game I will usually drop in the area I think I lost the ball...I think the last unexpected lost ball I had was on a really wet course in June when I hit towards the middle of the fairway, so that is where my drop was- I parred the hole without the lost ball, so double was my score.

In stroke play competition, it is back to the tee, except for one event I remember as a junior where I was playing terrible and decided to drop one on the fairway (again, where I expected to find my ball) and no card instead of walk back to the tee.

I didn't vote in the poll as I didn't see the add 2 option.

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I replied take a drop w/ a stroke penalty, but that depends...

1. If, for instance, it's autumn and I saw the ball land in the fairway, but can't find it under the leaves, I'll take a drop around where I saw it land without penalty.

2. Otherwise, if the next group is far enough behind (empty course), I'll walk back and re-tee -- S&D;

3. Otherwise, drop & penalty.

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In a casual round, which is what I play, I drop and take 2 penalty strokes.  But I try to play a provisional if it looks iffy finding the ball.  This is one reason I hate blind holes with a passion.  I like to see the ball land.

As an aside, just dropping and tacking on 2 strokes can be a harsher penalty than stroke & distance.  A provisional might be (and often is) in the middle of the fairway while the drop often leaves you with a poor shot.  Of course, you don't have to worry about losing additional balls.

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The penalty for a lost ball is stroke and distance.  Not only is the procedure incorrect for any number of reasons, but you're also failing to add another stroke to account for the distance portion of the penalty.

As EJ said above, a closer estimation would be to drop and add 2 strokes.  Still wrong, but somewhat closer to reality for a casual round.

Right, I drop it and I am hitting 4 from the rough where I dropped it. So its as if my provisional tee shot landed in that spot and I am playing from there

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I call it a "local rule" ....ob is lateral. I see no issue with that as long as its agreed upon at the start of the round and everybody plays by the same rules. Playing a provisional or going back to the tee takes too much time. If I ever make the tour I'll just have to adjust.
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My friends and I like to play golf by the rules. No mulligans, no 4ft gimmes, no foot wedges.

Something we don’t do however is take a distance penalty when we have an unexpected lost ball. You know the one – what appears to be safely in play is nowhere to be found when you get up there.

We just take a drop where we think the ball must have went into the rough. Note – not on the fairway, but not in the deep stuff either!

Obviously this aint exactly R&A; rules but no one wants to run back 200 yards to retake their shot.

I suspect that this must be the most common rule breach amongst guys who otherwise play by the rules. Interested to see what the poll says..

It depends.  In a club tournament or match, I go back.  In a casual round played for handicap, I follow the USGA handicap manual rules, and play out the hole with a drop plus 2 penalty strokes (for whatever wager may be involved), but mark the card as par plus any handicap strokes I should receive on that hole (that is the proper procedure for any hole not played under the Rules of Golf).  That is the score which I return to be recorded.

However, I almost never lose a ball unexpectedly.  I usually know when to play a provisional ball (which, by the way Mr. Whacker, takes no more than a few seconds). :doh:

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I don't see the option for "throw club and immediately enter 'RAGE MODE' and then talk about what I would have scored had I not had a fluke lost ball for the rest of the round."

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Just a quick question that relates to lost balls.  The other day I bladed a wedge from about 60 yards out and it flew over the green and into the woods behind - I dropped right next to my divot in the fairway, and hit 4 instead of 3.  It was just a friendly round, but it sounds like I did this correctly?

Anyway - I am really not that good a golfer, so I will always just take a drop nearest the point I think I lost it and take the necessary strokes.  I like to play in the morning when courses are busiest, so there is always someone up my butt and simply driving back to the tee to re-hit is not an option when they're walking off the green from the last hole.  I play by the rules as best I can otherwise.  I am not one of the lucky ones who always magically finds his ball, lol.  Though I have played with those people before.

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I think everyone has it covered:

- Hit more provisionals so this doesn't happen as often

- If it still happens, go back if no one is behind you

- If someone is behind, put it where you thought it left the course and take 2 strokes, one for the stroke and one for the distance.  As previously stated, it isn't real rules, but it is the closest you can get at this point.  You might have hit a second brilliantly 300yds down the middle, sure.  But you also might have hit another OB.

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