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bkuehn1952

5 Minute Search

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Who takes a watch out and notes the time whenever a "lost ball" search is commenced? If one does not do it every time, how does one know they are within the 5 minute limit?

[okay, those who only play on very busy courses probably know when two minutes has elapsed because that is when the group behind starts teeing off.  This is intended for everyone else.  ;) ]

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I don't. If I get to where I think the ball should be, and it ain't there,  I just say :poo: , and  follow the rule book, if the round is of some importance to me and/or others.

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Heck no. If it's gone, it's likely gone. I've already hit a provisional 99% of the time. We're also playing match play 99% of the time so I'll move on pretty quickly. It's only one hole....

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Who takes a watch out and notes the time whenever a "lost ball" search is commenced? If one does not do it every time, how does one know they are within the 5 minute limit?

[okay, those who only play on very busy courses probably know when two minutes has elapsed because that is when the group behind starts teeing off.  This is intended for everyone else.  ;) ]


I watch the time on my phone, and when 5 minutes have expired use the provisional.

If it's really deep into crap, just use the provisional. . .

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I never get anywhere near the 5 minutes. 1 or 2 is more than enough for me.

Yeah, rarely does it go anywhere near 5 minutes.  The only time I worry about it is when we have a protracted wait that allows time to make a full search.  then I try to remember to note the time I started looking, or at least make a reasonable estimate if I forget to check my watch.

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The only time I can be certain I'll find my ball is if I duckhooked it into some real nasty foot long tall grass or some thick brush, and my provisional is dead center in the fairway from a monster drive.

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The only time I can be certain I'll find my ball is if I duckhooked it into some real nasty foot long tall grass or some thick brush, and my provisional is dead center in the fairway from a monster drive.

You know you are not obligated to search for your first ball, right?

(emphasis added)

27-2b/1

Continuation of Play with Provisional Ball Without Searching for Original Ball

Q. At a par-3 hole, a player hits his tee shot into dense woods. He then hits a provisional ball which comes to rest near the hole . In view of the position of the provisional ball, the player does not wish to find his original ball. He does not search for it and walks directly towards his provisional ball to continue play with it. His opponent (or fellow-competitor) believes it would be beneficial to him if the original ball were found. May the opponent (or fellow-competitor) search for the player's ball?

A. Yes. In equity (Rule 1-4), he may search for five minutes provided that in the meantime the player does not play a stroke with the provisional ball, it being nearer the hole than the place where the original ball is likely to be. The player is entitled to play such a stroke. If he does, the original ball is then lost under Rule 27-2b and further search for it would serve no purpose. In match play, if the player so proceeds and his provisional ball is closer to the hole than his opponent's ball, his opponent may recall the stroke (Rule 10-1c). However, recalling the stroke would not change the status of the original ball, which was lost when the provisional ball was played out of turn. See also Decision 27-2c/2 .

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And just to add some more info to prevent a complete rehash of other threads:

1. Your opponent (or anyone else) may search for the ball for 5 minutes.

2. If it is found you must identify it and if it is your ball the provisional is abandoned.

That means that if your ball is found in a water hazard, out of bounds, or you deem it unplayable and you wish to proceed under the penalty of stroke and distance you must go back and play another ball from the original spot. You cannot elect to use the provisional ball.

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And just to add some more info to prevent a complete rehash of other threads:

1. Your opponent (or anyone else) may search for the ball for 5 minutes.

2. If it is found you must identify it and if it is your ball the provisional is abandoned.

That means that if your ball is found in a water hazard, out of bounds, or you deem it unplayable and you wish to proceed under the penalty of stroke and distance you must go back and play another ball from the original spot. You cannot elect to use the provisional ball.

One slight extension of the rehash ... can you not just continue to play said provisional?  If it's a par 3 like the decisions example, certainly you could get to it and tap it in before 5 minutes is up ... what happens if he finds it before 5 minutes but after you finished the hole with the other ball?

P.S.  Either way, your opponent is a dick. :-P

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One slight extension of the rehash ... can you not just continue to play said provisional?  If it's a par 3 like the decisions example, certainly you could get to it and tap it in before 5 minutes is up ... what happens if he finds it before 5 minutes but after you finished the hole with the other ball? P.S.  Either way, your opponent is a dick. :-P

Read the quoted decision above.

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And just to add some more info to prevent a complete rehash of other threads:

1. Your opponent (or anyone else) may search for the ball for 5 minutes.

2. If it is found you must identify it and if it is your ball the provisional is abandoned.

That means that if your ball is found in a water hazard, out of bounds, or you deem it unplayable and you wish to proceed under the penalty of stroke and distance you must go back and play another ball from the original spot. You cannot elect to use the provisional ball.


Careful!  If your ball is out of bounds you do indeed continue the hole with your provisional ball.

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Careful!  If your ball is out of bounds you do indeed continue the hole with your provisional ball.

Yes, you are right. should have actually looked up the rule instead of going from memory " If a ball may be lost outside a water hazard or may be out of bounds "...

@Golfingdad , you are in good company :doh:

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It's the search once you actually start looking where you think it may be that starts the 5 minutes; not 5 minutes from after you hit a provisional, right?

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It's the search once you actually start looking where you think it may be that starts the 5 minutes; not 5 minutes from after you hit a provisional, right?

The time starts when you reach the area where the ball is thought to be and start to search.  The time is continuous from that moment, even if the player ceases to actively search.  For instance:  You go forward and search for 3 minutes, then quit looking.  You watch your fellow competitors play, then 2½ minutes later you start walking forward to continue play with your provisional ball.  At this point you find your original ball, but now it is lost under the rules and your provisional ball is the ball in play, despite the fact that you didn't actively search for the full 5 minutes.

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The time starts when you reach the area where the ball is thought to be and start to search.  The time is continuous from that moment, even if the player ceases to actively search.  For instance:  You go forward and search for 3 minutes, then quit looking.  You watch your fellow competitors play, then 2½ minutes later you start walking forward to continue play with your provisional ball.  At this point you find your original ball, but now it is lost under the rules and your provisional ball is the ball in play, despite the fact that you didn't actively search for the full 5 minutes.

Not always.  We might want to mention time playing a wrong ball which does not count in search time.   Say a player finds a ball after 3 minutes of searching, plays it and finishes the hole.  He then discovers it was not his original ball. He is allowed to go back to the area where he lost his ball and search for another 2 minutes before the original ball is deemed to be lost.

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And you might add that you can stop the clock on your search if you have waved the game behind through and and for safety  have to move away from the search area while they play.

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