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Par + Handicap for Holes Not Played under the Principles of the RoG

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

Once again, straight from the FAQ for the handicap section on the USGA website:

How can you dispute this?  It's stated as clearly as possible, par plus handicap.  It doesn't say unless he has started the hole and is already in danger of reaching his ESC.  It says he MUST record par plus - no quibbling.

Because rules can be disputed. I believe this thread is to discuss or dispute the validity of that rule. I know what the rule says, I am not sure it is correct, or the USGA made a correct decision in making the rule "Par + Handicap"

If this was a simple thread were someone asked, "Hey how do I handle this situation". Then yes your response here would be more inline. This is more of a philosophical debate.

And I've explained the logic behind the rule as it is, but nobody seems interested in buying that logic.  I don't see it as being any different in philosophy from breaching a rule in a tournament.  If a player dropped a ball 200 yards up the hole near where he went out of bounds, added two strokes and played on to finish the hole, either using that score or "estimating" his most probable score from that point, it couldn't possibly fly, yet you want to let a player do essentially the same thing for handicap.  The difference is that in the tournament he must correct his mistake or face disqualification, whereas for handicap in a casual round, the process simply ensures against allowing him to get any possible handicap advantage from breaching a rule.

It's not that every time every player would gain an advantage, but that the system must ensure that no player has the opportunity to manage his handicap by selectively breaching rules.

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How can you dispute this?  It's stated as clearly as possible, par plus handicap.  It doesn't say unless he has started the hole and is already in danger of reaching his ESC.  It says he MUST record par plus - no quibbling.

Because what you see as a hole not played under the principles I see as a hole begun but not finished. If a player, just playing a casual round for handicap purposes, begins play on a hole, loses two balls or hits two balls OB, but is supposed to take a 4 based on par+handicap, then that makes no sense. He began play on the hole and has earnestly played it, but by his own actions under the Rules of Golf exceeded what he would score… What would you have him do? Be forced to go back to the tee just to return his ESC score legitimately? Is he supposed to pick up when he meets ESC, or does that mean he didn't play under the principles as well?

That's all unrealistic as heck.

And I've explained the logic behind the rule as it is, but nobody seems interested in buying that logic.

I don't see it as a hole not played under the principles, I see it as an unfinished hole. I'm not "buying" that logic because I think it's the wrong logic.

If you play a hole and pick the ball up and throw it out of the bunker onto the green and putt out, sure, as a sort of penalty or something, by all means take par+handicap. But if you take six strokes on a hole and still aren't in, your ESC is 7, you pick up to speed up play… it's an unfinished hole, not one that's not played under the principles.

I don't see it as being any different in philosophy from breaching a rule in a tournament. If a player dropped a ball 200 yards up the hole near where he went out of bounds, added two strokes and played on to finish the hole, either using that score or "estimating" his most probable score from that point, it couldn't possibly fly, yet you want to let a player do essentially the same thing for handicap. The difference is that in the tournament he must correct his mistake or face disqualification, whereas for handicap in a casual round, the process simply ensures against allowing him to get any possible handicap advantage from breaching a rule.

It's not that every time every player would gain an advantage, but that the system must ensure that no player has the opportunity to manage his handicap by selectively breaching rules.

The handicap system specifically allows you to write down the score you'd most likely have made if you are conceded a stroke or just decide to pick up yourself.

If you hit two balls OB, are hitting 5 on the tee of a par four you've never birdied let alone played in -1 strokes, writing par down for that if you're SG or writing down a 5 when the hole is 200 yards longer than your longest drive if you're a BG makes no sense.

It's an unfinished hole, which the handicapping manual says you write down your most likely score.

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Because what you see as a hole not played under the principles I see as a hole begun but not finished. If a player, just playing a casual round for handicap purposes, begins play on a hole, loses two balls or hits two balls OB, but is supposed to take a 4 based on par+handicap, then that makes no sense. He began play on the hole and has earnestly played it, but by his own actions under the Rules of Golf exceeded what he would score… What would you have him do? Be forced to go back to the tee just to return his ESC score legitimately? Is he supposed to pick up when he meets ESC, or does that mean he didn't play under the principles as well?

I had this scenario tonight. Well until I found out that the left side of the hole is Lateral hazard due to creek versus the right as OB. I hit a ball left. Then hit another ball just OB. I finally got one in play. I thought, I could just break the rules, turn this into a practice hole and write down par + handicap and save my handicap in the process. Again my ESC would be double, and it was the #1 handicap hole. So I was saving 1 stroke?

I get, for a higher handicap player, par + handicap could be 2-3 strokes less than the ESC. How many times are the jacking a ball OB 3 times or something. I would say it does not occur enough to warrant par + handicap. Over all the rounds played how much of a stroke reduction are we talking about here in handicap?

I say let the handicap system take care of it with ESC.

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Scenario 1: Drop in the area, take one stroke. SG scores 5 and BG, 6. This is how I usually play the situation, and I don't drop in an advantageous place, either. Just simply drop where I expected to find my ball. It seems like it might be too lenient, but I'm still hitting my third shot from out of the woods or in the deep rough or something, not a better line on the fairway. I'm also giving up the chance to hit an actual provisional ball that might end up in excellent position.

Scenario 2: ESC.

Scenario 3: Score plus the penalty, so SG 5 and BG 6. I don't really agree with the drop, though. Unless the drop on the line is impossible, I'd still drop there. Not having a good enough lie/line is a poor excuse to cheat some more :-) .

I'm not a rules expert, though. This is just how I see it logically, with other factors in consideration.

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In all three scenarios, I think the recorded score for handicap purposes should be the ESC.

Once you have a ball lost or out of bounds, it's the rules of golf which say you are then hitting 3 from the tee. You could argue that this rule is too punitive, but that is the rule.  For either a bogey golfer or scratch golfer, once you are hitting the third shot from the tee, your likely score is pretty much already ESC. Likewise the unplayable ball rule. You can argue there should be a rule that lets you measure the drop from the condition itself (say from the edge of the bush) rather than from the ball location, but that's not the rule. Just because the rule seems excessively punitive in some cases, that doesn't mean it's sandbagging to follow the rule. If the best option that leaves you is to re-hit from the tee, then your likely score is ESC.

As for the handicap rules, I think they are too ambiguous here and ought to be clarified. All of the examples given in the manual of a hole not played under the principles of the rules of golf involve situations where this was the case from the start of the hole (such as playing multiple balls). But all of the cases where holes were not played "strictly in accordance with the rules of golf", but which are still considered "in accordance with the principles of the rules of golf" seem to involve slightly lesser violations, such as using preferred lies, or using a distance measuring device when not authorized by a local rule. The decisions so far have not drawn a clear enough line.

But to interpret the handicapping rules as requiring a hole to be recorded at par + handicap, in all cases in which there is a serious breach of the rules, would lead to obvious inequities. A player could have taken 8 strokes already, and be not yet on the green, before breaching a rule, and then be required by this formula to record a 5 or 6.  A vanity capper, any time he is having a bad hole, could simply break a rule in frustration, and prevent his handicap from rising due to his poor play.

It seems to me that once the player has begun playing a hole with the intention of playing it in accordance with the principles of the rules of golf, the sensible thing would be to treat it as an unfinished hole, and record the most likely score, if he abandons that intention midway. Most importantly, it doesn't make sense to me that a hole should ever be recorded at less than the number of strokes that have already made while playing the hole according to the rules (at least until you reach the ESC maximum).

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In one continually plays out holes with modified Rules and follows the handicap system of par + handicap strokes for posting, one's handicap will be artificially low. If it is more important to be able to tell people "I am a 7 handicap" than it is to play net matches competitively, then the handicap system works well for that person. My preference is to have a handicap that reflects my play, atrocious holes and all.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wadesworld

No, you add 1 penalty stroke.

So:

1)  Original stroke

2)  Penalty stroke for lost ball

3)  Stroke at provisional ball

So when you play your next stroke with the provisional, it will be your 4th stroke.

There is a caveat of course that you can keep playing your provisional up until you reach the point where your original ball is likely to be.  So, if you hit a bad provisional and it takes you 2 more strokes to get to the spot where your original is likely to be, when your ball is officially lost, you would be playing your 6th shot (original ball, penalty stroke, provisional off tee, 2 strokes to reach spot where original likely to be).

Huh?  So you save a stroke simply by hitting a provisional?  Assuming your provisional drive wasn't terrible of course.  That seems a little odd.

Good to know though.

Saved a stroke compared to what?

a) Ball was lost but you hit a provisional:  So when you make your next stroke at what WAS the provisional, but which is now the ball in play, you are hitting your 4th shot.

b) Ball is lost and you did not hit a provisional;  Go back and re-tee, which is now your third shot.  When you make your next stroke at the ball after hitting your re-teed ball you will be hitting your fourth shot.

Where did you save a stroke by hitting the provisional?  All a provisional does is allow you to contingently hit your "go back and re-tee" shot in advance.  In each case the penalty is stroke and distance.

Where strokes get "saved" is when people do not hit a provisional and instead of going back and re-hitting they drop a ball and add a penalty stroke.  So when they hit their next shot they claim they are hitting their third.

Whereas if they had hit a provisional to the spot at which they dropped they would then be hitting their fourth.  Or if they went back and re-teed and hit to the spot where they dropped they would also be hitting their fourth.

So the person who drops and adds one penalty stroke is gifting themselves a stroke as compared to what their score would be if they had followed one of the actual options in the rules but ended up where they dropped.  That is because they ignored the "and distance" part of the "stroke and distance" consequence for hitting OB or losing the ball.

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The dropped ball is definitely in play and you are correct about the 3 penalty strokes.  He also committed a serious breech, but as it was in casual play, there's nobody there to enforce that, so it begs the question again, how to score the hole?

Why don't we email the USGA and ask?  I'll be happy to do it if nobody else has already.

I've done it. I have a synopsis of my back-and-forth with them here: http://thesandtrap.com/t/68856/stroke-and-distance-vs-pace-of-play/36#post_882167

In summary, their stock answer was that they "recommend" using par+strokes, and not most likely score, even if you've already jacked a couple OB. However they did not explain *why* that is the recommended method, whether “recommended” means the same as “required”, or whether the procedure is the same if the 2nd or 3rd shots (as opposed to the tee shot) were lost or OB.

You should email them too though - would be interesting to see if the answer is still the same.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wadesworld

The dropped ball is definitely in play and you are correct about the 3 penalty strokes.  He also committed a serious breech, but as it was in casual play, there's nobody there to enforce that, so it begs the question again, how to score the hole?

Why don't we email the USGA and ask?  I'll be happy to do it if nobody else has already.

I've done it. I have a synopsis of my back-and-forth with them here: http://thesandtrap.com/t/68856/stroke-and-distance-vs-pace-of-play/36#post_882167

In summary, their stock answer was that they "recommend" using par+strokes, and not most likely score, even if you've already jacked a couple OB. However they did not explain *why* that is the recommended method, whether “recommended” means the same as “required”, or whether the procedure is the same if the 2nd or 3rd shots (as opposed to the tee shot) were lost or OB.

You should email them too though - would be interesting to see if the answer is still the same.

I believe that I did a fairly good job of explaining the reasoning earlier in this thread.  Just as the penalty for breaking a rule is scaled to be sufficient to prevent a player from gaining an advantage by his mistake, so too is the handicap system secured from a player using a breach of the rules to artificially inflate his handicap.  If a player plays out a hole properly and makes a 7, that is acceptable to post for any handicap over 9.  If he plays a poor tee shot (or the ball becomes mysteriously lost) and doesn't bother with a provisional ball, proper use of the system prevents him from simply "assuming" that he would have made a 7.

We have all played holes where it appeared off the tee that we were taking dead aim at our ESC max, then the miracle happened.  Playing the downhill 556 yard par 5 9th hole on the Ridge 9 at Pole  Creek in Colorado, I pulled my tee shot about 20 yards into the woods on the left.  After a search, I was just about to drop and play it for fun the rest of the way when my brother found my ball.  I hit a tree on my first attempt to escape and only advanced the ball about 20 yards, still well in the woods.  On my third shot I hit a 3 wood through a 5 foot gap in the trees to 10 yards in front of the green, then chipped in for what was probably the best birdie I ever made.  If I had proceeded with my "most likely score" after the second shot I'd have said bogey at best, and more likely double.  I'd have been guilty of sandbagging, at least in my mind.

This is why the USGA system doesn't recommend using most likely score from that far out.  There are too many variables to really make such an "estimate" anything more than a pure guess.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sacm3bill

Quote:

Originally Posted by wadesworld

The dropped ball is definitely in play and you are correct about the 3 penalty strokes.  He also committed a serious breech, but as it was in casual play, there's nobody there to enforce that, so it begs the question again, how to score the hole?

Why don't we email the USGA and ask?  I'll be happy to do it if nobody else has already.

I've done it. I have a synopsis of my back-and-forth with them here: http://thesandtrap.com/t/68856/stroke-and-distance-vs-pace-of-play/36#post_882167

In summary, their stock answer was that they "recommend" using par+strokes, and not most likely score, even if you've already jacked a couple OB. However they did not explain *why* that is the recommended method, whether “recommended” means the same as “required”, or whether the procedure is the same if the 2nd or 3rd shots (as opposed to the tee shot) were lost or OB.

You should email them too though - would be interesting to see if the answer is still the same.

I believe that I did a fairly good job of explaining the reasoning earlier in this thread.  Just as the penalty for breaking a rule is scaled to be sufficient to prevent a player from gaining an advantage by his mistake, so too is the handicap system secured from a player using a breach of the rules to artificially inflate his handicap.  If a player plays out a hole properly and makes a 7, that is acceptable to post for any handicap over 9.  If he plays a poor tee shot (or the ball becomes mysteriously lost) and doesn't bother with a provisional ball, proper use of the system prevents him from simply "assuming" that he would have made a 7.

If anyone wanted to artificially inflate their handicap, there are plenty of ways to do it.  The only point in having handicap rules and guidelines is for people who aren't looking to game the system.

This is why the USGA system doesn't recommend using most likely score from that far out.  There are too many variables to really make such an "estimate" anything more than a pure guess.

Any estimate or guess that takes into account strokes already played is going to be far more accurate than completely ignoring those strokes, which is what using Par Plus does.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

Quote:

Originally Posted by sacm3bill

Quote:

Originally Posted by wadesworld

The dropped ball is definitely in play and you are correct about the 3 penalty strokes.  He also committed a serious breech, but as it was in casual play, there's nobody there to enforce that, so it begs the question again, how to score the hole?

Why don't we email the USGA and ask?  I'll be happy to do it if nobody else has already.

I've done it. I have a synopsis of my back-and-forth with them here: http://thesandtrap.com/t/68856/stroke-and-distance-vs-pace-of-play/36#post_882167

In summary, their stock answer was that they "recommend" using par+strokes, and not most likely score, even if you've already jacked a couple OB. However they did not explain *why* that is the recommended method, whether “recommended” means the same as “required”, or whether the procedure is the same if the 2nd or 3rd shots (as opposed to the tee shot) were lost or OB.

You should email them too though - would be interesting to see if the answer is still the same.

I believe that I did a fairly good job of explaining the reasoning earlier in this thread.  Just as the penalty for breaking a rule is scaled to be sufficient to prevent a player from gaining an advantage by his mistake, so too is the handicap system secured from a player using a breach of the rules to artificially inflate his handicap.  If a player plays out a hole properly and makes a 7, that is acceptable to post for any handicap over 9.  If he plays a poor tee shot (or the ball becomes mysteriously lost) and doesn't bother with a provisional ball, proper use of the system prevents him from simply "assuming" that he would have made a 7.

If anyone wanted to artificially inflate their handicap, there are plenty of ways to do it.  The only point in having handicap rules and guidelines is for people who aren't looking to game the system.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

This is why the USGA system doesn't recommend using most likely score from that far out.  There are too many variables to really make such an "estimate" anything more than a pure guess.

Any estimate or guess that takes into account strokes already played is going to be far more accurate than completely ignoring those strokes, which is what using Par Plus does.

Not necessarily.  If you look at the example given for "most likely score" in the manual, it's for such things as conceded putts in a match or the like where you only have a stroke or two left on the hole, not for guessing your score after your tee shot.

Look, you asked for the rationale and that's what I gave you. Take or not, it not my problem.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sacm3bill

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

This is why the USGA system doesn't recommend using most likely score from that far out.  There are too many variables to really make such an "estimate" anything more than a pure guess.

Any estimate or guess that takes into account strokes already played is going to be far more accurate than completely ignoring those strokes, which is what using Par Plus does.

Not necessarily.  If you look at the example given for "most likely score" in the manual, it's for such things as conceded putts in a match or the like where you only have a stroke or two left on the hole, not for guessing your score after your tee shot.

Look, you asked for the rationale and that's what I gave you. Take or not, it not my problem.

I don't see how the example in the manual refutes the statement you're responding to.  Let's presume that the example in the book about estimating strokes necessarily implies that you can do so *only* when you are within "a stroke or two" of finishing the hole. (I don't agree with that, but let's say I do for the sake of discussion.)  That still has nothing to do with my stated position: That once you've picked up, any estimate of most likely score - no matter how far out from the hole - is going to be more accurate if you include the strokes you've already taken.

I appreciate you providing your rationale, I just have some hesitation with agreeing with it. No need for the "take it or leave it" attitude, I'm just trying to contribute to the conversation.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

Quote:

Originally Posted by sacm3bill

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

This is why the USGA system doesn't recommend using most likely score from that far out.  There are too many variables to really make such an "estimate" anything more than a pure guess.

Any estimate or guess that takes into account strokes already played is going to be far more accurate than completely ignoring those strokes, which is what using Par Plus does.

Not necessarily.  If you look at the example given for "most likely score" in the manual, it's for such things as conceded putts in a match or the like where you only have a stroke or two left on the hole, not for guessing your score after your tee shot.

Look, you asked for the rationale and that's what I gave you. Take or not, it not my problem.

I don't see how the example in the manual refutes the statement you're responding to.  Let's presume that the example in the book about estimating strokes necessarily implies that you can do so *only* when you are within "a stroke or two" of finishing the hole. (I don't agree with that, but let's say I do for the sake of discussion.)  That still has nothing to do with my stated position: That once you've picked up, any estimate of most likely score - no matter how far out from the hole - is going to be more accurate if you include the strokes you've already taken.

I appreciate you providing your rationale, I just have some hesitation with agreeing with it. No need for the "take it or leave it" attitude, I'm just trying to contribute to the conversation.

It's not my rationale, it's the USGA's rationale, and for me that 's good enough.

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It's not my rationale, it's the USGA's rationale, and for me that 's good enough.

So you're saying USGA answered all my questions, where I summarized my interaction with them? If so you're seeing a lot of things I'm not.

Or are you saying USGA has provided answers to my questions somewhere else? If so, link please.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

It's not my rationale, it's the USGA's rationale, and for me that 's good enough.

So you're saying USGA answered all my questions, where I summarized my interaction with them? If so you're seeing a lot of things I'm not.

Or are you saying USGA has provided answers to my questions somewhere else? If so, link please.

Sometimes you are expected to extrapolate from what is stated to what is intended.  To me it seems obvious.  I follow a logical progression from having been a proponent of the rules for 25 years and been in the handicap system for that long as well.  I've had many discussions with rules afficionados and officials who have much more experience than even I do, and most agree with the logic I've stated.  Like I said, if you don't buy that then that's your choice.  I'm not going argue in circles like always seems to happen in these discussions.

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Sometimes you are expected to extrapolate from what is stated to what is intended.  To me it seems obvious.  I follow a logical progression from having been a proponent of the rules for 25 years and been in the handicap system for that long as well.  I've had many discussions with rules afficionados and officials who have much more experience than even I do, and most agree with the logic I've stated.  Like I said, if you don't buy that then that's your choice.  I'm not going argue in circles like always seems to happen in these discussions.

I get that the basis of your position is from the rules and principles, and also supplemented by the fact that it makes sense to lean away from anything that is "sandbaggy" but I just thought of a scenario of mine from last year that applies here.

Our (I think) winter outing down here in Socal where we ended up only having a single foursome, and I hit a decent drive on one hole that turned out to be lost in some heavy grass.  It was a par 5 and I dropped near where we all thought it should have been and I played my 4th shot from that point, hit it well, and left myself with 60 yards or so for my 5th ... which I ended up holing for par.

I scored it as a 5 but I believe that your interpretation of the rules would have me mark a 6 there because I stroked.  That would seem "artificial" to me to write down a higher number there.

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I believe that I did a fairly good job of explaining the reasoning earlier in this thread. Just as the penalty for breaking a rule is scaled to be sufficient to prevent a player from gaining an advantage by his mistake, so too is the handicap system secured from a player using a breach of the rules to artificially inflate his handicap.  If a player plays out a hole properly and makes a 7, that is acceptable to post for any handicap over 9.  If he plays a poor tee shot (or the ball becomes mysteriously lost) and doesn't bother with a provisional ball, proper use of the system prevents him from simply "assuming" that he would have made a 7.

I don't believe you did a fairly good job, which is why so many still disagree with you.

As I've said, a guy who is already hitting 3 from the tee and who has never even parred the hole he's playing is basically not going to make a bogey (his par+handicap score), not hitting 3 from the tee.

There are plenty of means of gaming the handicap system, but the Principles re: "penalties" don't really apply to handicapping like you seem to want to force them to be. The person in this scenario is in no way going to legitimately get a bogey.

We have all played holes where it appeared off the tee that we were taking dead aim at our ESC max, then the miracle happened.  Playing the downhill 556 yard par 5 9th hole on the Ridge 9 at Pole  Creek in Colorado, I pulled my tee shot about 20 yards into the woods on the left.  After a search, I was just about to drop and play it for fun the rest of the way when my brother found my ball.  I hit a tree on my first attempt to escape and only advanced the ball about 20 yards, still well in the woods.  On my third shot I hit a 3 wood through a 5 foot gap in the trees to 10 yards in front of the green, then chipped in for what was probably the best birdie I ever made.  If I had proceeded with my "most likely score" after the second shot I'd have said bogey at best, and more likely double.  I'd have been guilty of sandbagging, at least in my mind.

I've never had a situation like that, and the situations are not common enough to really affect anyone's handicap. And… you found your ball . Had you been hitting 3 from the tee, you were not making birdie. The situations are not the same.

It's not my rationale, it's the USGA's rationale, and for me that 's good enough.

The USGA does not say that. You believe they do, but they do not say that. You keep saying it's a hole not played under the principles, but others (including me) say it's an unfinished hole. The USGA is fairly clear in saying that you should write down your most likely score for a hole you start but do not finish.

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The USGA does not say that. You believe they do, but they do not say that. You keep saying it's a hole not played under the principles, but others (including me) say it's an unfinished hole. The USGA is fairly clear in saying that you should write down your most likely score for a hole you start but do not finish.

I agree with that. As soon as you tee off you started a hole.

Definition for Ball In Play. To me once a ball is in play the hole has started.

A ball is "in play" as soon as the player has made a stroke on the teeing ground. It remains in play until it is holed, except when it is lost, out of bounds or lifted, or another ball has been substituted, whether or not the substitution is permitted; a ball so substituted becomes the ball in play.

To me if a golfer jacks 3 balls OB and just moves onto the next hole, then I think they should put down their most likely.

If a player proceeds to play the hole outside the rules of golf. Lets say he goes out and drops a ball in the fairway and proceeds to play in just for practice. I think then the hole should be marked as par + handicap. Though I could see the point of still writing down most likely score.

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