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Lost Ball Rule is Stupid


Duff McGee
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I just don't understand what most people do when they hit a ball and they think it should be just fine only to drive or walk up and not be able to locate the ball. Why isn't there a rule that addresses this in a realistic way? No way in hell is it acceptable for someone to walk all the way back to where they hit the shot on a crowded course after walking all the way to the green. People will say "hit a provisional" but what about situations like today hitting to an elevated green and I BARELY missed the green to the left but I didn't know that it was such a steep slope (first time there) and that I careened off into the thick woods. We had people right behind us waiting. I wasn't about to go drive all the way back and hit another ball right next to them. Do the rules ever address this in a more practical way? It would seem even a two stroke drop penalty would be more sensible like an assumed unplayable.
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I just don't understand what most people do when they hit a ball and they think it should be just fine only to drive or walk up and not be able to locate the ball. Why isn't there a rule that addresses this in a realistic way? No way in hell is it acceptable for someone to walk all the way back to where they hit the shot on a crowded course after walking all the way to the green.

People will say "hit a provisional" but what about situations like today hitting to an elevated green and I BARELY missed the green to the left but I didn't know that it was such a steep slope (first time there) and that I careened off into the thick woods. We had people right behind us waiting. I wasn't about to go drive all the way back and hit another ball right next to them.

Do the rules ever address this in a more practical way? It would seem even a two stroke drop penalty would be more sensible like an assumed unplayable.

First, why do you need the rules to address this in a practical way?  If you're playing a casual round, just drop wherever you want and assess yourself whatever penalty you want.  It's not like a rules official is going to jump out of the bushes and hit you with a cattle prod if you "just take a drop."

Simply adjust your score correctly before turning in your scorecard for handicap purposes.

As to changing the rule though, how would you change it?  "Drop where you think the ball was lost?"  By definition, since you've looked there, the ball is not where you thought it was.  What now?  Pick a random place?

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As Wadesworld says, there is no other way to address it from a rules viewpoint.  The practical option in a casual round is to estimate the best spot and drop, giving yourself a 2 stroke penalty to simulate stroke and distance.  But that is up to you.

In a competition, you go back to the previous spot and play another ball.  Most anyone who has ever played much proper competition has had to do this at one time or another.  Just part of the game.

Rick

"He who has the fastest cart will never have a bad lie."

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As Wadesworld says, there is no other way to address it from a rules viewpoint.  The practical option in a casual round is to estimate the best spot and drop, giving yourself a 2 stroke penalty to simulate stroke and distance.  But that is up to you.


Then take par+handicap ;)

Practical option is to hold up the course and go back to the tee box :-P

To me it depends on the situation. I've had few of my golf balls stolen by a group on another hole before. Just no other explanation when the course has very low rough, sparse trees, no cart path to take a weird hop, no holes or borrows, the nearest OB is 80-100 yards away from your landing spot, the ground isn't overly soft to get the ball embedded. If I am playing a casual round I am dropping with no penalty. I know the course and there is no reason besides an outside agency for that ball to go missing.

If I hit it near some OB, and thought it was in from the tee. If I hit it into some thicker rough or trees. I will typically drop and take a 2 stroke penalty to not hold up the course if it is packed.

99% of the time I am good about just hitting a provisional if there is a chance the ball will end up in an area where I might lose it.

"A good conversation is not designed to win the argument. It is designed to enjoy the exchange."

Matt "Dough", P.E.
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First, why do you need the rules to address this in a practical way?  If you're playing a casual round, just drop wherever you want and assess yourself whatever penalty you want.  It's not like a rules official is going to jump out of the bushes and hit you with a cattle prod if you "just take a drop." Simply adjust your score correctly before turning in your scorecard for handicap purposes. As to changing the rule though, how would you change it?  "Drop where you think the ball was lost?"  By definition, since you've looked there, the ball is not where you thought it was.  What now?  Pick a random place?

You don't pick a random place when you hit your ball into a blind hazard- you make your best guess as to where it might have entered and drop there. Sometimes, you will be pretty close to where it actually entered, but depending on the shape of the hazard, your familiarity with the course, your eye-sight, memory, etc. you might actually be quite a ways off the spot it actually crossed, yet you take your penalty and life goes on. You addressed what to do in a casual round, but haven't offered a solution to how to handle this in a competitive round without holding up the golf course (especially if you are walking). Tell us how to do this under the current rules. [quote name="Fourputt" url="/t/83618/lost-ball-rule-is-stupid#post_1178782"]As Wadesworld says, there is no other way to address it from a rules viewpoint.  The practical option in a casual round is to estimate the best spot and drop, giving yourself a 2 stroke penalty to simulate stroke and distance.  But that is up to you.   In a competition, you go back to the previous spot and play another ball.  Most anyone who has ever played much proper competition has had to do this at one time or another. Just part of the game . [/quote] I think this is one (of many) reasons why competitions often take longer to play than casual rounds and makes some courses reluctant to hold competitions (especially for limited fields where they might have casual players behind. Also, not all competitions are necessarily club sanctioned- suppose I am having a friendly match with an acquaintance. Wouldn't it be nice to have a set of rules that allowed us to handle this situation in a practical way?

:mizuno: MP-52 5-PW, :cobra: King Snake 4 i 
:tmade: R11 Driver, 3 W & 5 W, :vokey: 52, 56 & 60 wedges
:seemore: putter

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First, why do you need the rules to address this in a practical way?  If you're playing a casual round, just drop wherever you want and assess yourself whatever penalty you want.  It's not like a rules official is going to jump out of the bushes and hit you with a cattle prod if you "just take a drop."

Simply adjust your score correctly before turning in your scorecard for handicap purposes.

As to changing the rule though, how would you change it?  "Drop where you think the ball was lost?"  By definition, since you've looked there, the ball is not where you thought it was.  What now?  Pick a random place?

If you do this and you keep a handicap "the rules" say your score is a net par for the hole because you didn't proceed as the rules require.  But if you don't keep a handicap, no big deal as long as your buddies don't object.

Butch

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First, why do you need the rules to address this in a practical way?  If you're playing a casual round, just drop wherever you want and assess yourself whatever penalty you want.  It's not like a rules official is going to jump out of the bushes and hit you with a cattle prod if you "just take a drop."

Simply adjust your score correctly before turning in your scorecard for handicap purposes.

As to changing the rule though, how would you change it?  "Drop where you think the ball was lost?"  By definition, since you've looked there, the ball is not where you thought it was.  What now?  Pick a random place?

We must play 2 different courses!

I have been hit with the prod soo many times they wore out the battery.

The good news Is I now know all their hiding spots!

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Driver-Taylormade 10.5 Woods- Taylomade 3 wood, taylormade 4 Hybrid
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Also, not all competitions are necessarily club sanctioned- suppose I am having a friendly match with an acquaintance. Wouldn't it be nice to have a set of rules that allowed us to handle this situation in a practical way?

If you were playing someone in a friendly match (match play), just concede the hole and move on.  There is no need for a Rule in that instance.  If you are playing the other person on a stroke play basis, decide at the start how you will handle an unexpected "lost ball". If you can't agree on how to handle it, then default to the actual Rule.

Brian Kuehn

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I've gotten in the habit of hitting a provisional if I think there's any chance that I won't find my ball or that it may have found it's way OB... Even so, there is still the odd occasion that a ball will disappear on me when I would have thought it was definitely safe.

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KICK THE FLIP!!

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If you were playing someone in a friendly match (match play), just concede the hole and move on.  There is no need for a Rule in that instance.  If you are playing the other person on a stroke play basis, decide at the start how you will handle an unexpected "lost ball". If you can't agree on how to handle it, then default to the actual Rule.

What if he lies 5+ and I lost my 2nd shot similar to the OP? Don't you think the rules would be stronger if the official bodies came up with a practical way to handle this situation rather than have each group come up with their own rules? Remember, it is against the rules to agree to waive a rule, so obviously the official bodies like to be in control of things. If you do agree on your own set of rules on the 1st tee, should you post the score for handicap purposes?

:mizuno: MP-52 5-PW, :cobra: King Snake 4 i 
:tmade: R11 Driver, 3 W & 5 W, :vokey: 52, 56 & 60 wedges
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Problem is, on the tour, there are cameras and hundreds of spectators...so "lost balls" are rare in comparison. On the course, I can hit a decent drive just barely off the fairway, and not be able to find it. Nature of the beast...I have no answers.

Ryan M
 
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It's called a medicine ball. I had one and swallowed it last night as posted in lost ball thread. My golf club, I hit it it, I re teed and added penalty. The difference between 38 and 40 for 9. Happens.
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It's called a medicine ball. I had one and swallowed it last night as posted in lost ball thread. My golf club, I hit it it, I re teed and added penalty. The difference between 38 and 40 for 9. Happens.

Were you walking or riding? Was there anybody playing behind you? If so, how did they feel about you going back to the tee. What about the guys you were playing with? Did they commend you for following the rules?

:mizuno: MP-52 5-PW, :cobra: King Snake 4 i 
:tmade: R11 Driver, 3 W & 5 W, :vokey: 52, 56 & 60 wedges
:seemore: putter

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

As Wadesworld says, there is no other way to address it from a rules viewpoint.  The practical option in a casual round is to estimate the best spot and drop, giving yourself a 2 stroke penalty to simulate stroke and distance.  But that is up to you.

In a competition, you go back to the previous spot and play another ball.  Most anyone who has ever played much proper competition has had to do this at one time or another.  Just part of the game.

I think this is one (of many) reasons why competitions often take longer to play than casual rounds and makes some courses reluctant to hold competitions (especially for limited fields where they might have casual players behind.

Also, not all competitions are necessarily club sanctioned- suppose I am having a friendly match with an acquaintance. Wouldn't it be nice to have a set of rules that allowed us to handle this situation in a practical way?

You are so good at making leading statements like this, but never any good at offering any viable solutions.  In this case there is none.  You can't "drop where the ball is lost" because if you knew that it wouldn't be lost.  There is no margin to use as a reference point.  There is simply no reasonable alternative that doesn't bypass the basic principles of the game.

Too many players won't play a provisional ball even when it's unlikely that they will find the ball, then use the excuse of a "busy course" to just drop and play on.  The times when a ball is truly lost unexpectedly really aren't all that common, and when they do happen the handicap rules allow for the par plus or most likely score estimate to keep the game moving..  Too often players just don't play those provisional balls when they know that they really should.

Rick

"He who has the fastest cart will never have a bad lie."

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I think this is one (of many) reasons why competitions often take longer to play than casual rounds and makes some courses reluctant to hold competitions (especially for limited fields where they might have casual players behind.

What's the difference between holding a golf outing versus holding a tournament? Some golf outings can take up to 5 hours to finish a round.

I think it's more that you have more golf outings than you do tournaments.

Also, not all competitions are necessarily club sanctioned- suppose I am having a friendly match with an acquaintance. Wouldn't it be nice to have a set of rules that allowed us to handle this situation in a practical way?

We do, it's called "The Rules of Golf"

Too many players won't play a provisional ball even when it's unlikely that they will find the ball, then use the excuse of a "busy course" to just drop and play on.  The times when a ball is truly lost unexpectedly really aren't all that common..  Too often players just don't play those provisional balls when they know that they really should.

Exactly this. If your ball is heading towards the OB then hit a provisional. It is very rare you end up with a ball just lost when it shouldn't be. I'd say if your ball is looking to end up flying with in 20 yards of OB hit a provisional.

"A good conversation is not designed to win the argument. It is designed to enjoy the exchange."

Matt "Dough", P.E.
My Game Golf Profile -
Click Here! (It's not a trap) fasdfa dfdsaf 

What's in My Bag
Driver: :callaway: GBB Epic,  3-Wood: 
:titleist: 917h3 ,  Hybrid:  :titleist: 915 2-Hybrid,  Irons: :srixon: (4-PW)
Wedges:
:edel: Trapper (52, 56, 60),  Putter: :edel:,  Ball: :snell: MTB,  Shoe: :true_linkswear:,  Rangfinder: :bushnell: Tour V2

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Oh boy a rules conversation! Actually I now hit a provisional more than I did in the past ... if do find myself in a lost ball situation I now drop and take 2 (I NEVER go back for pace of play).. before when I thought it was lost I would drop where I thought it went out and take 1 ... After seeing this conversation over and over again, and reading from the sidelines I changed my thought process. Like it or not @Fourputt and many others on this site make the most compelling argument on why the rule is there The comment that stung the most, but if I was honest was was true, I just did not like the number on the card ... Believe me, I am the biggest proponent for recreational rules here ...

Ken Proud member of the iSuk Golf Association ... Sponsored by roofing companies across the US, Canada, and the UK

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I probably average a couple of provisional balls each round, and I know I've hit as many as 6 in a single round.  There is no shame in playing a provisional ball - it's not an automatic surrender, and it doesn't reflect back on one's manhood.

Provisional balls are not just for out of bounds.  Most courses I play have very little OB that's in regular play, but there is plenty of deep rough and the like to lose a ball in.  If the area where the ball disappears looks to be even a little bit evil, I'll play the provisional ball.  I probably find the original ball more than half the time, but at least I'm covered when I don't.

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Rick

"He who has the fastest cart will never have a bad lie."

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I probably average a couple of provisional balls each round, and I know I've hit as many as 6 in a single round.  There is no shame in playing a provisional ball - it's not an automatic surrender, and it doesn't reflect back on one's manhood.

Provisional balls are not just for out of bounds.  Most courses I play have very little OB that's in regular play, but there is plenty of deep rough and the like to lose a ball in.  If the area where the ball disappears looks to be even a little bit evil, I'll play the provisional ball.  I probably find the original ball more than half the time, but at least I'm covered when I don't.

Exactly, unless the ball is OB, I tend to find the ball about 1/2 the time when I hit a provisional. It's more about being prepared for the possibility of not finding your ball. It takes very little time to hit a provisional, so it's not like doing so is inconveniencing anyone. Now, if you hit 2 in a row OB or most likely lost, write down ESC and move on.

KICK THE FLIP!!

In the bag:
:srixon: Z355

:callaway: XR16 3 Wood
:tmade: Aeroburner 19* 3 hybrid
:ping: I e1 irons 4-PW
:vokey: SM5 50, 60
:wilsonstaff: Harmonized Sole Grind 56 and Windy City Putter

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