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Two Strokes for OB Instead of Stroke/Distance

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OB Question  

65 members have voted

  1. 1. (In tournament play) if an alternative for stroke and distance allowed you to play from a spot near where my original ball was lost or went OB for two (2) penalty strokes, I would be…

    • Very likely to use it.
      13
    • Somewhat likely to use it.
      22
    • Unlikely to use it.
      20
    • Very unlikely to use it.
      10


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I am just using the language from the USGA question, and posting it here for discussion. I added the "In tournament play" precursor, though, because it's like the USGA/R&A don't consider what virtually everyone already does this in casual/recreational play.

So… answer as if you're playing in your club championship or something, not about what you'd do in casual play.

This is the type of rules change that could still make it into the 2019 Rules of Golf. So, let's discuss it.

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I voted as you can see above. Most of the time, OB is in a bad area, and I'd rather take my chances hitting a second drive to get into a better spot than to drop in amongst some trees or really close to the margin of OB.

To put it another way, I just hit a bad shot…  I think I have a good chance of hitting a better shot and lying three than playing from where my bad shot is lying three.

Of course, that's in tournament play. In casual play, where I'm not even really keeping score, I just drop a ball and play on.

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I voted Unlikely to Use it. I can think of a few occurrences where a ball just isn't where the golfer thinks it should be. It might not even been close to OB. By a large margin, I would re-hit the tee shot. Typically OB is not a good place to be even if the golfer finds their golf ball. 

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I voted somewhat likely to use it, depends on the OB in relation to the hole. At Springfield most of the OB is not a good place to hit from but I might if it benefited me in some way.

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I voted somewhat likely to use it (the same as I answered on the USGA survey).  (Edit:  I changed my vote to Very Likely to use it, see below)

It depends on the situation.  If I hit my tee shot to within 80% of a good distance for me and I have a clear shot and good lie to advance the ball it's a no brainer, I'm going to drop and take the two stroke penalty.  This eliminates the possibility of screwing up another tee shot when taking stroke and distance.

My likelihood of using the drop and take two would diminish as I move away from within 80% of a good distance and/or having a clear shot and good lie to advance the ball.

Edit: As I reread the question I changed my answer to be very likely to use it.  The wording of the question doesn't ask how frequently I'd use it, it's asking how likely it would be for me to ever use it.  It's pretty much a certainty that I would find situations where it was more beneficial for me to drop and take 2 than to use stroke and distance.

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I voted "unlikely". I'd say that in 80% or more of the times I lose a ball or hit OB, I'd be better off teeing off again. It's rare to hit a solid shot with above-average distance and lose it or have it go OB.

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Voted somewhat likely, because typically if I'm hitting tee shots OB I'm having enough trouble that I'm probably just as likely to follow up with another OB tee shot. I'm sure that will change as I improve, but right now that's just the sad truth about my game.

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I'm in the "unlikely" camp.  I'd hate to give up the yardage, and be hitting from the edge of the course, when I have the potential to be hitting from the middle of the fairway.

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I voted in the "somewhat" likely, and like others stated, it would depend on the hole.  I played in a tourney last year at the course I play a lot and there is a hole that I am never confident on and even when I setup to not hit it OB I do more than I would like, a re-tee often results in hitting to a terrible location with no clear shot.

But that is me at a 14HC level.   I could see why a low HC would say not likely.

I would rather the rule be changed to match a lateral hazard.  Why is OB treated differently, it's the same think conceptually, you hit it where it should not be and either cannot get to it or cannot get a club on it. 

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I voted Somewhat likely.

It would depend on how I felt about my swing during the tournament or on how tough of a hole it occurred. I've had too many double OB's from the tee not to consider it.

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I voted "Unlikely" because I don't feel that the 2 conditions should be grouped together.  I could live with that penalty for out of bounds while not especially liking it, but I do NOT like it for a lost ball.  

For out of bounds there is a possible reference point on the boundary marker for making one's drop, establishing a relatively small area for dropping.  I could make myself accept that with a 2 stroke penalty.  

With  a lost ball there is no such point.  It's a pure guess, and most players will fudge in their favor.  It may not be a deliberately favorable "estimate", but it's just human nature to err in one's own favor.  Even when trying one's best to make a honest estimate, it's still an impossible task.  

For some lost balls the approximate location is identifiable, for others it is not.  Many times the spot cannot be narrowed down closer than 30 or 40 yards, and sometimes you can't even get that close.  How can you possibly isolate a spot after hearing the ball smack a tree and then not be found near that tree?  All you know is where it isn't, but you can't possibly have a logical guess as to where it might actually be.  It is well and truly lost.

The only recourse for a lost ball that makes any equitable sense is stroke and distance, or in the very least case, distance without the penalty stroke.  I could more easily live with rehitting from the previous spot with no penalty stroke than I could with an imaginary "dropping area" arrived at purely by guesswork.

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In the USGA surgery, I answered "somewhat likely", but I meant it for a lost ball, not for an OB as I would always (or near always) use a provisional ball for an OB situation, as you can see those developing from the tee, usually.  An "unexpected" lost ball is a little different.

Just yesterday, I played on a course that was really saturated and used an iron for a layup on my second shot at a par five, straight in the middle of the damped fairway (not mowed in ages, due to amounts of rain of deluge proportions), with the proper distance; I didn't hear the ball hit anything (like a sprinkler, etc...) and I never found it.  I realize this is an extreme case and I didn't post the round anyway as the conditions were so bad on many holes for it to be completely meaningless.

But, in a tournament situation, with normal/decent conditions, and a ball just disappears? Yes, I would use a 2 shots penalty from an estimated area (the question is of course which estimated area!)... The goal should be to eliminate the trip backwards in nearly all cases. Because you are in a tournament does not mean that people behind you, and behind the tournament are not affected. True, if it happens very rarely and people try to catch up afterwards, it's not a big deal. But more than that, and it can and does have an effect on the overall course pace of play, IMHO.

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I voted "unlikely."

Our club actually has used a similar "rule" in our tournaments.  If a player goes forward without playing a provisional and subsequently he finds his ball O.B. or can't find his ball, he MUST drop within 2 clubs of the O.B. line or the area in which his ball was most likely lost (edge of terrain where rough turns into native grassland or forest. There is no going back for a re-hit within our club of partially senile old farts, even if the "drop" option sucks.

I have never used the "rule" and always hit a provisional. The only time I think taking the 2 strokes and a drop helps is when one has hit a long drive and one is virtually assured of a clear 2nd shot to the green.  If you can drop within 2 clubs of the forest or grassland line AND have a clear shot, that is probably better than the result of the 2nd tee shot 

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I'm in the camp of most likely not using the 2 stroke penalty.  Usually the OB is way off the line you want anyhow with trees most likely blocking the next shot.  I'd rather take my chances on re-teeing to give myself a better opportunity.

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26 minutes ago, Fourputt said:

The only recourse for a lost ball that makes any equitable sense is stroke and distance, or in the very least case, distance without the penalty stroke.  I could more easily live with rehitting from the previous spot with no penalty stroke than I could with an imaginary "dropping area" arrived at purely by guesswork.

I never thought of it this way, but I couldn't agree more.

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I voted Somewhat likely, but it really depends on the hole. Some of the holes I play would intimidate me if I went OOB. I would fear a repeat. 

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Unlikely.

If I'm so far offline that I'm OB, it's likely that the ball wasn't advanced very far down the hole.  While there's always a possibility of pumping a second ball out when I re-tee and compounding the mistake, I'm generally going to take that chance for the opportunity to advance the ball further under stroke and distance.  There may be the rare occasion that wouldn't apply.

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I voted very unlikely pretty much as why Erik's reason stated. However, what I've always thought was a bit much was stroke AND distance. I guess I see it as hitting a ball OOB sucks. But to me golf is all about advancing the ball FORWARD (closer to the hole) as best as possible. Having to take your next shot from the exact same spot with ZERO yardage gained seems like a penalty in itself. I too have had the unfortunate outcome where you hit a beautiful shot down the middle of the fairway, even watch it down, then arrive to find your ball has disappeared to the Bermuda Triangle or lumineferous ether never to be found. Really sucks to take a stroke for that.

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We use this rule in our regular group play, mostly to speed up play (and mostly for lost balls, not OB cuz in that situation you'd hit a provisional).  Only happened to me once and it was pretty penal.  Woulda rather hit another tee ball.

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Note: This thread is 855 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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