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Lost Ball Rule is Stupid


Duff McGee
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Ok thanks. Yes I am very new to formal golf and if I am not being crazy person by going back and hitting another ball then that is what I will do, along with hitting many more provisionals. Thanks everyone. Btw- I think someone changed my title and added the "stupid" part. Not sure why...
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I find this rule extremely hard to follow in certain situations.  However, as many others have said there is really no other way to handle it.  The ball is lost, thus there is no way to drop and proceed in the general area "you think" that the ball is lost.

With that being said, I will admit that I very rarely go back and re-hit after a lost ball.  However, I also use the appropriate handicap scoring for that hole and have to unfortunately no longer consider that round for any sort of personal best.  The only time I will go back and play the ball from the last spot it was hit from is if the course is empty or if i am playing tournaments (hopefully I had already played a provisional ball).

I had a situation a few weeks ago when a group of four very poor and very slow golfers were playing in front of me and did not let me play through despite the course being open in front of them.  On one hole I was sitting on the tee box they were hitting from (that's how much I had caught up to them) and watched as two of the golfers sprayed their balls into the weeds on the right.  No provisionals were played.  After an excessive search for these balls (that were clearly gone) I heard one of the golfers shout "Do you want to go back to the tee and hit again?."  While I know that this is technically the way to proceed, I couldn't help but become extremely irritated thinking that this group that was already backing up the entire course was going to come back to the tee and hit again.  Thankfully they just dropped and played on.

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You should hire a forecaddie and have him available for every round you play. It will cut down on lost balls greatly.

LOL, they do cut down on the number of balls you lose but at $40 a round you'd have to be losing 10 Pro V1's a round to break even.

Joe Paradiso

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LOL, they do cut down on the number of balls you lose but at $40 a round you'd have to be losing 10 Pro V1's a round to break even.

But how much is the walk of shame back to the tee worth?

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But how much is the walk of shame back to the tee worth?

I have only done it once and it was a drive back, so not as bad as a walk I'm sure.  Fortunately it was during a club championship and everyone was understanding

Joe Paradiso

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Some courses are just not very well taken care of, but they're usually budget friendly.

If I think it's a fault of the grass being too high in the fairway, I would drop (well behind playing partners) and not take a penalty on the first instance. If there are bumpy hills, gulleys, ditches, water and etc., forget wishful thinking and take the medicine.

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Some courses are just not very well taken care of, but they're usually budget friendly.

If I think it's a fault of the grass being too high in the fairway, I would drop (well behind playing partners) and not take a penalty on the first instance. If there are bumpy hills, gulleys, ditches, water and etc., forget wishful thinking and take the medicine.

Wait.  If you think that the fairway grass is too long and you lose a ball that you think is in the fairway you are going to drop with no penalty?  How can you justify that?  I have played some pretty unkept courses and I have never seen a fairway with grass long enough that you couldn't find a ball on it.

I've had many instances where I and/or playing partners have thought that we lost a ball that should be in the fairway and every single time the answer is that the ball did not end up in the fairway.  Just this month I hit a very long drive that was headed right for the middle of the fairway.  I walked the middle of the fairway expecting to find my ball but once I got into the area of the drive being around 300 yards I realized that my ball was not in the fairway.  Turns out that my ball had traveled about 5 yards into the right rough.  I would have had no idea where that ball was if my friend hadn't hit his tee shot into the right rough as well.  Depending on fairway slopes and the spin on your ball there is always a possibility that a shot that looks to be in the fairway will end up in the rough.

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Wait.  If you think that the fairway grass is too long and you lose a ball that you think is in the fairway you are going to drop with no penalty?  How can you justify that?  I have played some pretty unkept courses and I have never seen a fairway with grass long enough that you couldn't find a ball on it.

I've had many instances where I and/or playing partners have thought that we lost a ball that should be in the fairway and every single time the answer is that the ball did not end up in the fairway.  Just this month I hit a very long drive that was headed right for the middle of the fairway.  I walked the middle of the fairway expecting to find my ball but once I got into the area of the drive being around 300 yards I realized that my ball was not in the fairway.  Turns out that my ball had traveled about 5 yards into the right rough.  I would have had no idea where that ball was if my friend hadn't hit his tee shot into the right rough as well.  Depending on fairway slopes and the spin on your ball there is always a possibility that a shot that looks to be in the fairway will end up in the rough.

Gratuitous information highlighted in bold. ;-)

You are, of course, absolutely right, and I might add to your illustration the common occurrence in autumn (= fall) when a ball is easily lost on the fairway not in long grass but under a pile of leaves.  Very annoying, especially when you consider that because you hit your drive (200 yards in my ageing game!) down the middle, you didn't play a provisional.

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Wait.  If you think that the fairway grass is too long and you lose a ball that you think is in the fairway you are going to drop with no penalty?  How can you justify that?  I have played some pretty unkept courses and I have never seen a fairway with grass long enough that you couldn't find a ball on it.

You have not seen every fairway have you?

I'm talking about casual golf, which I mostly play with my mother and father. Golf now leads us to the pits sometimes, and we play fairly amongst ourselves, though not always by the book.

When I'm shooting in the mid-low 70s someday, I might join a league and/or look for tournament play after getting an official handicap. Obviously forgiveness from lousy fairways won't be an option, though I don't know how many places host tournaments that don't bother to cut the grass.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by trackster

Wait.  If you think that the fairway grass is too long and you lose a ball that you think is in the fairway you are going to drop with no penalty?  How can you justify that?  I have played some pretty unkept courses and I have never seen a fairway with grass long enough that you couldn't find a ball on it.

You have not seen every fairway have you?

I'm talking about casual golf, which I mostly play with my mother and father. Golf now leads us to the pits sometimes, and we play fairly amongst ourselves, though not always by the book.

When I'm shooting in the mid-low 70s someday, I might join a league and/or look for tournament play after getting an official handicap. Obviously forgiveness from lousy fairways won't be an option, though I don't know how many places host tournaments that don't bother to cut the grass.

I'll be honest, I don't know of a course that calls itself a golf course where they don't cut the grass.  Even 40 years ago when the local 9 hole course I play at now had sand greens and buffalo grass fairways they still mowed the fairway.  I have never in my 40 odd years of playing golf seen a fairway that I could lose a ball in because of the depth of the grass.  If I did I wouldn't call it a fairway, I'd call it rough.   I'd simply say that the course didn't have fairways.

Rick

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

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I'll be honest, I don't know of a course that calls itself a golf course where they don't cut the grass.  Even 40 years ago when the local 9 hole course I play at now had sand greens and buffalo grass fairways they still mowed the fairway.  I have never in my 40 odd years of playing golf seen a fairway that I could lose a ball in because of the depth of the grass.  If I did I wouldn't call it a fairway, I'd call it rough.   I'd simply say that the course didn't have fairways.

I think it was 2 years ago. A course I played had a very very wet spring. Being one of three municipal courses they tend to mow slightly less often than a typical course. I think they tend to mow each course on different days to use less labor.

That spring it was so wet, they couldn't keep up with mowing them. This course holds water very well, and a few fairways you just couldn't mow because you'd leave tire tracks in the fairway and ruin the fairway. A few times we played the fairway was about halfway between the normal height and the typical rough height.

Another issue was the ground was so soft that you could get a good part of the ball embedded. With the grass being much higher the whole ball would be covered. I had one that if I didn't happen to look straight down at the right time I would't have noticed the nickle size part of the ball I could see.

"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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:titleist: 917h3 ,  Hybrid:  :titleist: 915 2-Hybrid,  Irons: :srixon: (4-PW)
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

I'll be honest, I don't know of a course that calls itself a golf course where they don't cut the grass.  Even 40 years ago when the local 9 hole course I play at now had sand greens and buffalo grass fairways they still mowed the fairway.  I have never in my 40 odd years of playing golf seen a fairway that I could lose a ball in because of the depth of the grass.  If I did I wouldn't call it a fairway, I'd call it rough.   I'd simply say that the course didn't have fairways.

I think it was 2 years ago. A course I played had a very very wet spring. Being one of three municipal courses they tend to mow slightly less often than a typical course. I think they tend to mow each course on different days to use less labor.

That spring it was so wet, they couldn't keep up with mowing them. This course holds water very well, and a few fairways you just couldn't mow because you'd leave tire tracks in the fairway and ruin the fairway. A few times we played the fairway was about halfway between the normal height and the typical rough height.

Another issue was the ground was so soft that you could get a good part of the ball embedded. With the grass being much higher the whole ball would be covered. I had one that if I didn't happen to look straight down at the right time I would't have noticed the nickle size part of the ball I could see.

That at least answers the question in my mind.  They weren't just not mowing, but they were unable to mow properly because of the conditions, and part of the difficulty in finding the ball was that it was embedding in soft turf.  That's a lot different from a course just not bothering to mow.

Rick

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

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That at least answers the question in my mind.  They weren't just not mowing, but they were unable to mow properly because of the conditions, and part of the difficulty in finding the ball was that it was embedding in soft turf.  That's a lot different from a course just not bothering to mow.

True. I've never been on a course that just didn't mow because they were cheap. Mowing is probably the least costly action a course has to do to maintain it.

One of the other municipal courses has very large bladed non-dense rough. When they get a lot of rain the rough can get 3-4 inches in height. The ball just falls to the bottom and gets covered. I remembered one evening where you'd see 4 people with their heads down looking for golf balls that might have ended up 5-10 yards in the rough.

It was absurd really. I think most courses should cut their rough low enough to make sure that the balls are not difficult to find.

I know a course I play recently posted they decided to keep the rough lower this year to help speed up play.

"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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I think it was 2 years ago. A course I played had a very very wet spring. Being one of three municipal courses they tend to mow slightly less often than a typical course. I think they tend to mow each course on different days to use less labor.

That spring it was so wet, they couldn't keep up with mowing them. This course holds water very well, and a few fairways you just couldn't mow because you'd leave tire tracks in the fairway and ruin the fairway. A few times we played the fairway was about halfway between the normal height and the typical rough height.

Another issue was the ground was so soft that you could get a good part of the ball embedded. With the grass being much higher the whole ball would be covered. I had one that if I didn't happen to look straight down at the right time I would't have noticed the nickle size part of the ball I could see.

I understand Muni courses. I play muni courses 90% more often than any other type of course.
Sometimes Muni Golf can be a different experience.


My home course is a muni course that uses park employees to mow. And that is usually once a week. Along with thick rough there are low lying wet spots which can cause balls to plug and disappear.

Another issue is that being a muni course they dont always fix or keep the fair way well maintained. I know in one fairway they have what was either a well or a sink hole. They simply resolved the obstruction by laying a concrete slab over of the hole.

The point in all of this is that at any time your tee shot can either be in the fairway or lost in the fairway.

I have seen 4 guys standing in a fairway where the ball should be and alas no ball.

So sometime you dont even think to hit a provisional because your ball was in the fairway only to not be in the fairway.

but that is the game!

I will also mention that for some of us it is a further walk back to the tee than for others!

In my Grom:

Driver-Taylormade 10.5 Woods- Taylomade 3 wood, taylormade 4 Hybrid
Irons- Callaway Big Berthas 5i - GW Wedges- Titles Volkey  Putter- Odyssey protype #9
Ball- Bridgestone E6
All grips Golf Pride

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Lost balls not hit into hazards or OB are somewhat rare in my experience. Maybe a once twice a year type of occurrence if that for most. For me three scenarios come to mind. Fall golf when leaves are everywhere, overly long rough due to conservation efforts during excessively dry periods and playing alone losing sight of the entire ball flight due to sun or unusual light.

For any other situation like ball hit into deep, scrubby native areas or where trouble is obvious hit a provisional.

Dave :-)

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White clover + uncut grass = easy to lose a ball you clearly saw land in the fairway. Experience contrary to that has not been mine and everyone I have played with.

This is an amiable philosophy for casual play, and a preference for rounds at less than reputable courses. The caliber of which some here are clearly unaware of.

It's still cheating, but I'd rather do it and keep the mood upbeat than piss off a bunch of people on a hot day that tend to lose their patience for the 5 minute rule.

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Now for argument sake, lets say you are playing by the rule. Walk all the way back and the group on the tee does not let you tee off, which is something I have experienced.

How does the rule apply now, since you are incapable of hitting a provisional? Play from the lost ball and 2 stroke penalty and handicap?

you could allow the group behind you to play through so you could hit a provisional but that gets messy espesically when it is busy.

But what determines your inability to go back and hit a provisional? Simply the course being busy or can some lazier players add "it is too far to the tee"?

Just for clarity sake, I think you are confusing the situation of going back to the tee to re-hit, and hitting a provisional.  They aren't the same and you seem to be describing the former but calling it the latter.

To some new people, @MEfree has been such an extraordinary pain on Rules issues that he was asked to read (and even offered a free copy) of the $3 Principles booklet before he could participate in further Rules of Golf discussions. It's for reasons such as the above - red herrings, straw men, misleading statements, word games, etc. It's always the same and it's been the same for years. Many of us are tired of batting away the same old stuff time and time again.

There are those of us who appreciate your tenacity.

But then again, what the hell do I know?

Rich - in name only

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