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Lost ball rule


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I admit I don't really know the rules when it comes to lost balls or balls going in hazards. I've only ever played recreationally so I never really learned how/where to actually drop with a lost ball. The way I and playing friends have always done it is ball is lost, drop near where it went out, 1 stroke penalty, play on. But I'm not sure this is even accurate. Next year I want to get an actual handicap and play in my work league, so I will need to know what to do in these situations. 

 

So today I was playing by myself. Hit driver, had 110yd to the hole, was on a big up slope. Hit my GW and it went sailing, over the green, down the hill behind the green, into a waste area (circled). It is just weeds and tree branches and brush there. I spent a few minutes looking, then just dropped a ball right at the edge of the grass in front of this waste area, took a 1 stroke penalty, and played on. Was this appropriate

I'm sure most of you can't believe a person doesn't even know what to do in these situations, but it's true. And I've Googled these things but when I read I stuff like drop near where the point it crossed the margin keeping the hole between you and blah blah blah, I have no idea what it's talking about. 

Screenshot_20181018-161851.jpg

Edited by paulballs
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You can't do that in league play.

If you hit into junk like that and think your ball may be lost in a league play.... say "I'm hitting a provisional", then drop another ball at the spot where you played the ball you just hit. Hit that. If that goes onto the green, you still have to look for your first ball for 3 minutes. If you find it, you have to play it. If not, take a two stroke penalty, and putt out your provisional ball.

OR if the junk is really bad nasty stuff you absolutely don't want to hit from. You can invoke Rule 27 and declare the ball lost. Take a stoke and distance penalty, drop another ball at the point where you just hit, and play that one. Caveat: You may not under any circumstances play your first ball even if it turns out that it is in great shape. However, you can pick it up and put it back in your bag.

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1 hour ago, DrvFrShow said:

If that goes onto the green, you still have to look for your first ball for 3 minutes. If you find it, you have to play it. If not, take a two stroke penalty, and putt out your provisional ball.

You aren't required to search for your original ball, and the time limit is five minutes (until 2019).

The penalty is one stroke, too, plus the "distance" of having to re-hit. So:

  1. Drive
  2. Second shot (lost?)
  3. Penalty
  4. Provisional
  5. Putt
  6. Putt
1 hour ago, DrvFrShow said:

OR if the junk is really bad nasty stuff you absolutely don't want to hit from. You can invoke Rule 27 and declare the ball lost.

You can't "declare" a ball lost. A ball can be deemed lost (not by saying anything, but by actions you take, like not looking for it and playing the provisional from closer to the hole, not finding it in five minutes, putting a ball into play without declaring it a provisional, etc.

This link will break in 2019, but here you go @paulballshttp://www.usga.org/rules/rules-and-decisions.html#!rule-27.

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15 hours ago, paulballs said:

I'm sure most of you can't believe a person doesn't even know what to do in these situations, but it's true. And I've Googled these things but when I read I stuff like drop near where the point it crossed the margin keeping the hole between you and blah blah blah, I have no idea what it's talking about. 

Never feel bad about asking a rules question, that's how every one of us learned, and are still learning.  You might go here:

http://www.rcga.org/_uploads/documents/EasyGuide-ENG.pdf

For a really brief explanation of some of the most commonly encountered rules.

10 hours ago, DrvFrShow said:

Eric, didn't we have a discussion at one time on a provisional where your competitor can look for your ball and if they find it, you can be required to play it?

If you play a provisional, anyone is allowed to look for your original ball.  You are required to identify it if its yours, and your provisional is then out of play.  On the other hand, if you know your ball is gone, or just prefer not to even look for it, and you hit a second shot without declaring that it's a provisional, the original ball is immediately out of play, even if someone else finds it.  As Erik outlines, there are a number of other actions that will put the original ball out of play, and make a provisional the "ball in play."

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14 hours ago, DrvFrShow said:

Eric, didn't we have a discussion at one time on a provisional where your competitor can look for your ball and if they find it, you can be required to play it?

@DaveP043 answered it.

You can also ask, having hit your provisional, for the person playing with you not to look for your ball. If it's in a match play situation… they may be less inclined. In stroke play, they may be more inclined. Etiquette tends to say they should abide by your wishes, but it's a grey area.

But yeah, if you take an action that puts the original ball out of commission (like hitting your provisional from closer to the hole than your original ball is likely to be) - i.e. you go hit your putt, or you look for the ball for one second and then turn away and let the five minutes elapse - then the provisional is in play.

But yeah, if someone finds your ball inside of five minutes, you're required to identify it, and if it's yours, that ball is in play and your provisional is a movable obstruction.

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Note: This thread is 827 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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