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krupa

Stroke and distance only option?

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In this situation, is stroke-and-distance the only option?  I think yes, but wanted to check.

I was hitting over the pond (center) from the black dot, and overshot the green.  My ball came to rest in a ditch on the other side of the green (grey arrow).

I wasn't keeping score, so at the time I got my ball out of the muck and moved on to the next hole.  But then I started thinking about it later.  I don't remember if the ditch was marked with red or yellow stakes but either way, I couldn't drop on the far side of the ditch because of trees and there was nowhere within two club lengths to drop that was not nearer the hole.

So I assume in this case, I would have to go back and hit from my black dot again.  Yes?

Would it be legal if, when I hit the first ball and thought it may have made it to the ditch, to play a second ball right away and then look for my first ball and play it if possible?  I don't think anyone would care during a casual round but I'm wondering what the official rule would be.

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From the diagram and the way you describe it, you are probably right.  Without being there I can't really be any more definite than that.

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I'd say you had other options, but quite possibly "stroke and distance for an unplayable lie" was the best one.

From the way you've described it, you did have the option of dropping in the trees, but it was probably not a desirable option.  Similarly, dropping within two club lengths may not have gotten you relief, so it wasn't a desirable option either.  That leaves the option of replaying the original shot, the "stroke and distance" option.

As for playing a provisional, that would have been fine, but once you found your first ball, playable or not, the provisional was out of play.  If you then chose the stroke and distance option for the unplayable lie, you would have had to go back and hit again.

You could have decided immediately after hitting your shot that it was unplayable, and hit your next shot from the original point, with a stroke penalty.  Then, even if you found your ball in a playable location, it was out of play.

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You say your original ball went into the ditch.  Whether marked or not, a ditch is a water hazard and if you are certain your ball is in it, you cannot play a provisional ball.  Your second ball became the ball in play and you must continue with it.  If you played the original as it lay, you played a wrong ball. If you dropped it or another ball  under the water hazard rule ( Rule 26 ) that ball is then in play as  a substituted ball for your second, not your original ball.   If you drop and play under 26 -1b, you play from a wrong place and cop 2 penalty strokes..  If you opt for stroke and distance,   the substitution is proper but it is for your second ball  It's all a bit costly.

Judging by the trees etc where the ditch is, the chances are you couldn't be certain your ball was in the ditch and if there were a possibility that your ball could be lost outside it, you could declare and play a provisional.  If you did not find your ball you would continue with the provisional.  If you found your original ball in the ditch and relief under 26-1b wasn't realistic, then stroke and distance is all that is left for you.  But the important point is that is stroke and distance in relation to your original ball and therefore less costly.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ColinL

You say your original ball went into the ditch.  Whether marked or not, a ditch is a water hazard and if you are certain your ball is in it, you cannot play a provisional ball.  Your second ball became the ball in play and you must continue with it.  If you played the original as it lay, you played a wrong ball. If you dropped it or another ball  under the water hazard rule ( Rule 26 ) that ball is then in play as  a substituted ball for your second, not your original ball.   If you drop and play under 26 -1b, you play from a wrong place and cop 2 penalty strokes..  If you opt for stroke and distance,   the substitution is proper but it is for your second ball  It's all a bit costly.

Judging by the trees etc where the ditch is, the chances are you couldn't be certain your ball was in the ditch and if there were a possibility that your ball could be lost outside it, you could declare and play a provisional.  If you did not find your ball you would continue with the provisional.  If you found your original ball in the ditch and relief under 26-1b wasn't realistic, then stroke and distance is all that is left for you.  But the important point is that is stroke and distance in relation to your original ball and therefore less costly.

The ball bounced off the fringe on the back/side part of the green so it was reasonable* to assume it didn't make it over the ditch and into the trees.

My thought about playing a second ball right away was based on knowing that if it was in the [3' deep] ditch, I wouldn't be able to drop for a playable lie and would have to play from my original position.

*  I play this course a lot so it was reasonable for me to make the assumption because I know how much space is between the green and trees.  For someone new to the course, it wouldn't be clear.

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My thought about playing a second ball right away was based on knowing that if it was in the [3' deep] ditch, I wouldn't be able to drop for a playable lie and would have to play from my original position.

Here's the thing....you can't play a provisional for the possibility of an unplayable lie, even though you're aware that replaying the shot is the only viable option if your ball is indeed in the ditch.  You can only play a provisional ball for the possibility that your original ball is either lost or out of bounds.

In informal play, I've certainly played provisionals at times when I wasn't sure a ball was in a hazard or not, or might be unplayable, similar to your situation, but that's not legitimate under the rules.  It can save time and/or steps, but its not within the rules.  Given what you described, if you had hit another ball from the fairway, that second ball would have been in play, no matter where you found your original ball

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Here's the thing....you can't play a provisional for the possibility of an unplayable lie, even though you're aware that replaying the shot is the only viable option if your ball is indeed in the ditch.  You can only play a provisional ball for the possibility that your original ball is either lost or out of bounds.

In informal play, I've certainly played provisionals at times when I wasn't sure a ball was in a hazard or not, or might be unplayable, similar to your situation, but that's not legitimate under the rules.  It can save time and/or steps, but its not within the rules.  Given what you described, if you had hit another ball from the fairway, that second ball would have been in play, no matter where you found your original ball


What is the rationale behind that rule about provisionals?

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Here's the thing....you can't play a provisional for the possibility of an unplayable lie, even though you're aware that replaying the shot is the only viable option if your ball is indeed in the ditch.  You can only play a provisional ball for the possibility that your original ball is either lost or out of bounds.   In informal play, I've certainly played provisionals at times when I wasn't sure a ball was in a hazard or not, or might be unplayable, similar to your situation, but that's not legitimate under the rules.  It can save time and/or steps, but its not within the rules.  Given what you described, if you had hit another ball from the fairway, that second ball would have been in play, no matter where you found your original ball

I fully agree with both your posts, except the last sentence- I don't think the OP gave enough info to conclude that it was impossible for the ball to be lost outside the hazard. If the only way for him to lose the ball would be with virtually certainty that it was in the hazard, then you are correct he couldn't play a provisional. However, if he thought there might be a chance it could be lost outside the hazard, then a provisional is permissible.

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What is the rationale behind that rule about provisionals?

Not having two balls in play at the same time and having the choice of which one to play.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by krupa

My thought about playing a second ball right away was based on knowing that if it was in the [3' deep] ditch, I wouldn't be able to drop for a playable lie and would have to play from my original position.

Here's the thing....you can't play a provisional for the possibility of an unplayable lie, even though you're aware that replaying the shot is the only viable option if your ball is indeed in the ditch.  You can only play a provisional ball for the possibility that your original ball is either lost or out of bounds.

In informal play, I've certainly played provisionals at times when I wasn't sure a ball was in a hazard or not, or might be unplayable, similar to your situation, but that's not legitimate under the rules.  It can save time and/or steps, but its not within the rules.  Given what you described, if you had hit another ball from the fairway, that second ball would have been in play, no matter where you found your original ball

That's what I thought about provisional balls but wasn't entirely sure.

Originally Posted by pstvev

Quote:

Originally Posted by DaveP043

Here's the thing....you can't play a provisional for the possibility of an unplayable lie, even though you're aware that replaying the shot is the only viable option if your ball is indeed in the ditch.  You can only play a provisional ball for the possibility that your original ball is either lost or out of bounds.

In informal play, I've certainly played provisionals at times when I wasn't sure a ball was in a hazard or not, or might be unplayable, similar to your situation, but that's not legitimate under the rules.  It can save time and/or steps, but its not within the rules.  Given what you described, if you had hit another ball from the fairway, that second ball would have been in play, no matter where you found your original ball

What is the rationale behind that rule about provisionals?

Rule 27-2

http://www.usga.org/rules/rules-and-decisions.html#!rule-27

(bold is mine, italics are RoG)

If a ball may be lost outside a water hazard or may be out of bounds, to save time the player may play another ball provisionally in accordance with Rule 27-1.

Quote:

Originally Posted by MEfree

I don't think the OP gave enough info to conclude that it was impossible for the ball to be lost outside the hazard. If the only way for him to lose the ball would be with virtually certainty that it was in the hazard, then you are correct he couldn't play a provisional. However, if he thought there might be a chance it could be lost outside the hazard, then a provisional is permissible.

You're right that I didn't give enough information originally.  In this case, I was almost positive that it didn't get past the ditch because of how the ball bounced near the green first and took some smaller hops in the rough.   If it was in the air the entire time then it would have been less clear from my original position.

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I fully agree with both your posts, except the last sentence- I don't think the OP gave enough info to conclude that it was impossible for the ball to be lost outside the hazard. If the only way for him to lose the ball would be with virtually certainty that it was in the hazard, then you are correct he couldn't play a provisional. However, if he thought there might be a chance it could be lost outside the hazard, then a provisional is permissible.

I agree, he just has to identify that he's hitting a provisional.  When he finds the original ball, the provisional can NOT be played.

What is the rationale behind that rule about provisionals?

If I have a number of choices, as you do for a ball unplayable or in a hazard, knowing the outcome of one of those choices (i.e. the result of the provisional) would influence me as to which of my options I would choose.  In this case, suppose he hits his "provisional" in the hole.  He finds his ball in the ditch, and can either play it as it lies, drop within two club lengths, drop behind (in the trees), or take the shot in the hole.  Its a no-brainer.  If, on the other hand, he hits the provisional in the water, he might be tempted to play it from the ditch.  When you're faced with a choice between options, you should make that choice without knowing what the outcome of any of the options.

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The ball bounced off the fringe on the back/side part of the green so it was reasonable* to assume it didn't make it over the ditch and into the trees.

My thought about playing a second ball right away was based on knowing that if it was in the [3' deep] ditch, I wouldn't be able to drop for a playable lie and would have to play from my original position.

*  I play this course a lot so it was reasonable for me to make the assumption because I know how much space is between the green and trees.  For someone new to the course, it wouldn't be clear.


I answered your question on the basis that your ball was definitely in the ditch.  Now, why would I do that?  Perhaps because of your very clear statement in your opening post;

My ball came to rest in a ditch on the other side of the green (grey arrow).

Now  you say you made a "reasonable assumptions" that it might be in the ditch.  That's not the same situation at all which means my original answer was a bit of a waste of time.

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@ColinL , I'm sorry you think your answer was a waste of time. Whether you realize it or not, you definitely answered my question. I appreciate that you took the time to reply.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by krupa

The ball bounced off the fringe on the back/side part of the green so it was reasonable* to assume it didn't make it over the ditch and into the trees.

My thought about playing a second ball right away was based on knowing that if it was in the [3' deep] ditch, I wouldn't be able to drop for a playable lie and would have to play from my original position.

*  I play this course a lot so it was reasonable for me to make the assumption because I know how much space is between the green and trees.  For someone new to the course, it wouldn't be clear.

I answered your question on the basis that your ball was definitely in the ditch.  Now, why would I do that?  Perhaps because of your very clear statement in your opening post;

My ball came to rest in a ditch on the other side of the green (grey arrow).

Now  you say you made a "reasonable assumptions" that it might be in the ditch.  That's not the same situation at all which means my original answer was a bit of a waste of time.

I read it as if the "reasonable assumption" was at the point he had hit the ball, and the "came to rest in a ditch" wasn't known until he got there and found it.

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Note: This thread is 1804 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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