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Golfer2223

Ball likely in casual water but uncertain

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Many years ago I played a team match format on an odd day. The bunkers were full of casual water, sometimes six inches or so deep. We were only told to re tee if we could not rake it out or certain it was in. A playing compeitior teed off and it clearly went in, he could not rake it out but was entitled relief. I hit next and since it was hazy I could not see my ball land, one competitor thought he saw it hit the bunker. It was possible my ball went into the casual water, but it may have bounced out of the bunker, or landed just beyond the bunker, and into tall grass. We could not find the ball in grass, so I believed it was also in the water. Due to the weather I did not put up much of a fight and ran back to re tee and made a nice round ruining 8. Perhaps I should've called for an official but in the cold and pouring rain I decided to just get on with it. I believe the competitor was right in any case. 

I think if I am certain it is in the casual water, and my competitor disagrees, it goes to any other competitor or spectator, and then the committee must rule. Now that I see Justin Rose having to re tee because he cannot climb a tree to identify his ball, I am wondering if you must also find a ball when in casual water, bunker or otherwise. 

Edited by Golfer2223

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Sounds to me like you did not have known or virtual certainty that the ball was in casual water so you would have to proceed under the lost ball rule.

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Why don't you have to find it in the water to declare unplayable? I think the next rule adjustment will be if you are certain it is in the tree. It is unfair to expect a player to find either.

Edited by Golfer2223

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You need to be virtually certain your ball is in the bunker (and the casual water). Then if so, your choices are below. If not, it's a lost ball.

(ii)

In a Bunker: If the ball is in a bunker, the player must lift the ball and drop it either: 

(a)

Without penalty, in accordance with Clause (i) above, except that the nearest point of relief must be in the bunker and the ball must be dropped in the bunker or, if complete relief is impossible, as near as possible to the spot where the ball lay, but not nearer the hole, on a part of the course in the bunker that affords maximum available relief from the condition; or 

(b)

Under penalty of one stroke, outside the bunker keeping the point where the ball lay directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the bunker the ball may be dropped.

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2 hours ago, Golfer2223 said:

Why don't you have to find it in the water to declare unplayable? I think the next rule adjustment will be if you are certain it is in the tree. It is unfair to expect a player to find either.

I think we are talking about a couple of different things.  First, I don't really understand the "local rule" you were given in your tournament with regards to the flooded bunkers.  When you say re tee, did they tell you to play your stroke over with no penalty.  Can't do that.

As far as declaring a ball unplayable, this is different than taking relief for Casual Water.  You may in fact declare a ball unplayable without finding it, but in this case, you must play your next stroke from the spot where you played your last.  (Stroke and Distance)  If you think about it, its the same procedure as if you were to lose your ball.  Under the ball unplayable rule there is a one stroke penalty.

Iacas gave you the rule for taking relief from casual water in a bunker.  In order to do this, it must be known or virtually certain the ball is in the casual water.

 

Edited by Dormie1360

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You're exactly right. At first I meant we were told to re tee if we could not find it, meaning unplayable stroke and distance, same as a lost ball but obviously you must call the correct penalty. But that makes no sense because it would just be a free drop if certain the ball was in. But what ACTUALLY occured was because of the cold and forecast of pouring rain (which happened) they made an odd rule where we could re tee without penalty if we saw the ball go in. So I did not do the free re tee, which someone in the group did a few holes before, beause we were not sure, AND we didn't rake it out, so it was declared a lost ball. But the other kid who did not do a re tee because he thought he saw his ball clear the sand, took a free drop without finding it, all within the rules. The bunker was on the right side of the fairway so my line was further and to the right of the kid who took the drop, who hit it straight and short. All i can vividly remember is us standing in the pouring rain and cold, dragging rakes through a bunker full of deep water, and finding every other golf ball! Crazy! 

I think you got to the real oddity where an unidentified unplayable is the same penalty as a lost ball, but called something different. Unless there is some difference? I guess if it is found before you hit the next shot you would not be able to play it where it lies in the unplayable scenario, granted you did not declare the lost ball lost yet (then no penalty). Is there any other difference? I guess both you can tee it up after the penalty, and you still can't go more than 2 clubs behind the tee markers in the unplayable scenario I believe. Wonder if there are any other differences between lost ball and unplayable but unidentified.

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4 hours ago, Golfer2223 said:

Why don't you have to find it in the water to declare unplayable? I think the next rule adjustment will be if you are certain it is in the tree. It is unfair to expect a player to find either.

Casual water is an abnormal ground condition (AGC).   The idea behind getting free relief from it is that it is considered “abnormal” i.e. not a normal condition you are expected to play from.   In the same way,  an obstruction being by definition an artificial obect,  is not a natural feature of a golf course and so you get free relief from interference by one. in both cases, the relief is available even if you don’t find your ball which you would think reasonable if you knew perfectly well that your ball had gone into a large patch of casual water and disappeared from sight.

  A tree, on the other hand is a natural feature of the course and you get no favours if you put your ball up against one or in it: you have to play the ball as it lies.  If it’s in the tree, you don’t have to retrieve it in order to deem it unplayable, but you do have to identify it as yours. 

Edited by ColinL

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thanks @ColinL great answer. Question: Are there any times where you can take an unplayable if you can't identify your ball, like if you can't get close enough to read the letters. I thought there were.

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46 minutes ago, Golfer2223 said:

thanks @ColinL great answer. Question: Are there any times where you can take an unplayable if you can't identify your ball, like if you can't get close enough to read the letters. I thought there were.

You use the S&D option of Rule 28 at any time you want. It doesn't matter if you can't see it, can't identify it or have it staring you in the face with your ID in dayglo pink. To use either of the other options you have to be able to identify it.

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7 hours ago, Golfer2223 said:

thanks @ColinL great answer. Question: Are there any times where you can take an unplayable if you can't identify your ball, like if you can't get close enough to read the letters. I thought there were.

Rulefan has helpfully qualified my answer.  I should have said that you must identify your ball if you are going to deem it unplayable and either drop within two club lengths or back along the  line from the  hole through where the ball lay.  If you can’t identify it, it is as said, back to where you played your previous stroke.

You can identify your ball without necessarily being able to read the make or your identification mark if other evidence is strong enough.  Back to that tree, for example: it could be that some spectators or players in another group were able to follow the flight of your ball and had it in sight when it came to rest in the tree.  At levels of golf way above mine, there can be television cameras which might be able to assist in identifying a ball.  

Edited by ColinL

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Interesting. It seems to me that if the ball is in a tree, even when camera follows it, they do not alllw a drop without shaking the ball loose or pulling a Faldo. This happened to Rose this season, they could see a ball with binoculars. They heard it go in the tree but not come out. Had to re tee.

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52 minutes ago, Golfer2223 said:

Interesting. It seems to me that if the ball is in a tree, even when camera follows it, they do not alllw a drop without shaking the ball loose or pulling a Faldo. This happened to Rose this season, they could see a ball with binoculars. They heard it go in the tree but not come out. Had to re tee.

If you can't identify your ball, it's lost.

Rory hit one into a tree at Kiawah Island. They knew it was his ball, but he couldn't find it. They helped him find it, and he took the unplayable and dropped beneath the tree. He was able to recover and identify his golf ball.

You can identify your golf ball with binoculars, or other means. You don't have to be able to see it up close to identify it.

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On 13 februari 2016 at 8:58 AM, Golfer2223 said:

thanks @ColinL great answer. Question: Are there any times where you can take an unplayable if you can't identify your ball, like if you can't get close enough to read the letters. I thought there were.

Yes, there is one. If it is virtualy certain your ball is lost in GUR (and your marker concurs). Sometimes flooded bunkers are (temporary) GUR. You and your marker see your ball splash in the bunker, but cannot find it. Take relief without penalty. Same when  you are not allowed to enter the GUR.

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3 hours ago, MacDutch said:

 

Yes, there is one. If it is virtualy certain your ball is lost in GUR (and your marker concurs). Sometimes flooded bunkers are (temporary) GUR. You and your marker see your ball splash in the bunker, but cannot find it. Take relief without penalty. Same when  you are not allowed to enter the GUR.

That is not "taking an unplayable" which is Rule 28.

It is taking relief for a ball lost in an Abnormal Ground Condition. Rule 25-1c. 

Edited by Rulesman

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