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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
      40
    • Take a free drop (someone must have picked it up, right?)
      10


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hmmm....i might have dropped 2 and hit 3 on, 2 putt for a 5.  almost like its an unplayable.  youre virtually certain it stayed up in the tree?  i know thats not correct, but prolly what i wouldve done.

Pretty sure, yeah, but since it was 260 yards away, none of us actually saw it, or should I say "didn't see it" come out, if that makes sense.  I think if it was a shorter shot and everything around the tree was easily visible so it was really clear it never came out, then I'd have probably just said "I know it's up there, so I'm calling it unplayable, and hitting 3."  (And, yes, I recognize that neither of those courses of action is technically correct.)

Either way, it really doesn't matter much because the resulting 86 is currently my 19th best out of my last 20, and would still by my 19th best if I posted an 85.

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This happened to me yesterday. I hit my drive OB right, then teed it back up and pulled towards a small group of trees on the left. Couldn't find my ball within the allotted time and didn't hit a provisional. I conceded the hole and took ESC 8 for my score. It would have been highly improbable for me to score lower than that anyway.

Generally speaking, with people waiting on the tee box and already being over 200 yards away, I'll just drop in the general area where I expected my ball to be and take a stroke.

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This happened to me yesterday. I hit my drive OB right, then teed it back up and pulled towards a small group of trees on the left. Couldn't find my ball within the allotted time and didn't hit a provisional. I conceded the hole and took ESC 8 for my score. It would have been highly improbable for me to score lower than that anyway.

Generally speaking, with people waiting on the tee box and already being over 200 yards away, I'll just drop in the general area where I expected my ball to be and take a stroke.

I've been moving on to the next hole if I lose 2 balls on any hole and just marking ESC. It keeps from having to go back and it also reduces the chances that I'll get super frustrated. It helps me reset by just moving on.

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Hard to vote without more details on the overall scenario.  If it's a casual round, the course is packed and people are already on the tee box, I'm not going back and re-teeing it.  No way.  I'll take a stroke, drop a ball and move on.  If the course is relatively empty and it's not going to impact pace of play, I'd go back and tee it up again.  Of course if it's a tournament round there's no question.

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I've been moving on to the next hole if I lose 2 balls on any hole and just marking ESC. It keeps from having to go back and it also reduces the chances that I'll get super frustrated. It helps me reset by just moving on.

And saves money. :beer: I'm already in my own head at this point - what purpose does it serve to keep lobbing up shiny white balls into the bushes? :-P

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I can't even answer the poll, since it doesn't include the only option that might come close to a correct score, and even then it assumes that you played an imaginary provisional ball and that it was playable.  Option one is the tournament choice - no decision to make.  Option two and three simply don't consider what you would be hitting if you were continuing play with a successful provisional.

On the relatively rare circumstance that this happens to me when the course is too busy to take the walk (or ride) of shame, I look at it 3 ways.  First, to finish the hole and have a score of some sort to write down, I take 2 penalty strokes with the drop.  Second, since I'm no longer playing the hole by the rules, for handicap I mark par plus any allowed handicap stroke.   Third, in my own mind I don't really have a score for the hole because it was not finished per the rules.  The groups I play with usually accept my first option, but that doesn't make it any more correct.

Yesterday, I played 3 provisional balls.  One time I found and played the original ball, even though I had to declare it unplayable and take a penalty drop.  The other 2 times I played out the hole with the provisional ball.

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I've been moving on to the next hole if I lose 2 balls on any hole and just marking ESC. It keeps from having to go back and it also reduces the chances that I'll get super frustrated. It helps me reset by just moving on.

And saves money.   I'm already in my own head at this point - what purpose does it serve to keep lobbing up shiny white balls into the bushes?

Haha, I should have done Monday.

Did I?

Nope.

Hit 3 balls.  Found the third one, but when you're approach shot to the green is your 6th shot, there's a good shot you're going to hit your ESC anyway (which I did).

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Hard to vote without more details on the overall scenario.  If it's a casual round, the course is packed and people are already on the tee box, I'm not going back and re-teeing it.  No way.  I'll take a stroke, drop a ball and move on.  If the course is relatively empty and it's not going to impact pace of play, I'd go back and tee it up again.  Of course if it's a tournament round there's no question.

You should be adding 2 strokes when you drop, not one, if you are trying to approximate what should have happened.  If you are counting hitting the dropped ball as your third stroke you have gifted yourself a stroke compared to where you would be, scorewise, if you had hit a provisional to the spot you dropped your ball.

@Golfingdad and @colin007 -- you guys are fortunate this got revived in this forum, not the Rules Forum, or we would have to beat you with a stick for your transgressions. :whistle:

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Is there a vote for thinking the stroke + distance penalty is a stupid rule?  I always hit a provisional if I think it has a chance of being OB, but I'd love to see the rule changed so everything plays as a lateral hazard.

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Is there a vote for thinking the stroke + distance penalty is a stupid rule?  I always hit a provisional if I think it has a chance of being OB, but I'd love to see the rule changed so everything plays as a lateral hazard.

There have been threads on that sort of thing, and the main answer you'll get from the rules guys is that there is really no equitable way to fairly drop for a lost ball.  It's lost, so by definition, you don't know where it is ... so where do you drop?

I'm not one of those rules guys and I think there is always a way to figure things out, but that, I believe, is the main argument against that type of rule change.

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There have been threads on that sort of thing, and the main answer you'll get from the rules guys is that there is really no equitable way to fairly drop for a lost ball.  It's lost, so by definition, you don't know where it is ... so where do you drop?

I'm not one of those rules guys and I think there is always a way to figure things out, but that, I believe, is the main argument against that type of rule change.


I totally get that.  I'm talking more about holes where one or both sides are marked with white stakes.  You can see the line the ball was on, just as well as you could if it was marked with red stakes.  One hole in particular at my course has white stakes right, red stakes left.  Why in the hell should I have to re-tee if I block it, but but get to drop if I hook it?

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I totally get that.  I'm talking more about holes where one or both sides are marked with white stakes.  You can see the line the ball was on, just as well as you could if it was marked with red stakes.  One hole in particular at my course has white stakes right, red stakes left.  Why in the hell should I have to re-tee if I block it, but but get to drop if I hook it?

Because one is still on the course and the other is no longer on the course. *unless it's one of those super stupid inside the course obs... I hate those*

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Well, I never said my opinion wasn't arbitrary as well...lol.  So this hole I'm thinking of, right side is the range (white stakes), left side is a environmental, trees, bushes, etc. (red stakes).  The hazard part is between the 5th and 7th hole.  So what you're saying is range is no longer on the course so it's OB, while the environmental is still "on the course", hence hazard?

Because one is still on the course and the other is no longer on the course. *unless it's one of those super stupid inside the course obs... I hate those*

Well, I never said my opinion wasn't arbitrary as well...lol.  So this hole I'm thinking of, right side is the range (white stakes), left side is a environmental, trees, bushes, etc. (red stakes).  The hazard part is between the 5th and 7th hole.  So what you're saying is range is no longer on the course so it's OB, while the environmental is still "on the course", hence hazard?

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Well, I never said my opinion wasn't arbitrary as well...lol.  So this hole I'm thinking of, right side is the range (white stakes), left side is a environmental, trees, bushes, etc. (red stakes).  The hazard part is between the 5th and 7th hole.  So what you're saying is range is no longer on the course so it's OB, while the environmental is still "on the course", hence hazard?

Yep

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Well, I never said my opinion wasn't arbitrary as well...lol.  So this hole I'm thinking of, right side is the range (white stakes), left side is a environmental, trees, bushes, etc. (red stakes).  The hazard part is between the 5th and 7th hole.  So what you're saying is range is no longer on the course so it's OB, while the environmental is still "on the course", hence hazard? Well, I never said my opinion wasn't arbitrary as well...lol.  So this hole I'm thinking of, right side is the range (white stakes), left side is a environmental, trees, bushes, etc. (red stakes).  The hazard part is between the 5th and 7th hole.  So what you're saying is range is no longer on the course so it's OB, while the environmental is still "on the course", hence hazard?

You should do a site search for those threads ... You'll find some arguments of mine similar to yours. We're on the same page here I think. :)

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Like take the first hole at one of my local courses, please. The guys have it a little easier, but if I hit anything longer than a 5 iron which will stop dead center of the fairway I mightas well forget finding the ball. 1) The driving range is dead left of it. And 2) it's OB on the right. I've put the ball dead straight ahead and had it land on the fairway about 200 yds out bounce straight ahead. Now there's about a 40 yd buffer between the OB and where the ball landed assuming it continued on its straight path - and it's uphill slightly. Rough should also slow down the ball. But for some stupid reason when i get there the ball is gone. Always. I might as well just enter X and move onto hole 2.

I know where the ball went. It did not go OB because I'd see it on the street. It's in the Bermuda Triangle somewhere.

So I end up hitting a 6 iron off the tee and hope I can hit the green with another 6 iron just so I can find the frackin' ball. It's the only hole on the course that's like this. Sometimes due to the background you lose your ball in it and can't see it. You made solid contact. Where did it go? Mulligan time.

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This thread surely had legs. I don't remember what my answer was but my comment, whatever it was, assumed the group knew what the rules said and the questions was really do you follow the rules or do something outside the rules. But the rule are clear on this and the only answer is to go back to the original position, add one penalty shot, and hit again. That's not what most golfers do in my experience, but it is the only option the rules allow if your ball is lost and you did not hit a provisional.

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