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    • iacas

      Introducing TST "Clubs!"   08/28/2017

      No, we're not getting into the equipment business, but we do have "clubs" here on TST now. Groups. Check them out here:


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  1. Lost ball rule and pace of play

    Then again, we could play this wonderful game by the following rules https://www.amazon.com/Official-Exceptions-Rules-Golf/dp/0679741232 You may hopefully never take the game seriously again! Unless you are a touring pro!
  2. Lost ball rule and pace of play

    Guess I'm not going to win this argument, so can't see the rules changing anytime soon. Hopefully the new 3 minute searching rule and maximum score on a hole will speed things up, as I guess that's one of the main reasons for changing them? Agree that ideally, we should have the same rules as the pros, but they do have advantages when it comes to looking for balls, in the form of a travelling army of spectators and marshals. Anybody who has followed a wild hitting group round in the British Open will know what I mean.
  3. Lost ball rule and pace of play

    Granted, but as I said, this group did spend a fair bit of time looking for lost balls. They did hit a few provisionals, but you could see them looking for balls in the distance and then drop a ball from shoulder height into the fairway, so like many golfers they made up their own rules. If everyone did follow the rules to the letter, just think how much slower rounds would be! I like to play with new people regularly, and often the discussion on the first tee is 'what do we do about the lost ball rule?' Outside serious competition the 'walk of shame' rule is universally ignored, so why the pretense that it's a good rule? Like a lot of the other dumb rules that are being dumped in 2019, the governing bodies should have dumped this as well, if only in amateur golf! Andy
  4. Lost ball rule and pace of play

    To answer your question, I would regard the area beyond the fairway where one feels the ball is lost to be a ‘lateral hazard’ and then drop the ball according to the current hazard rules. Namely, drop within two club-lengths of, and not nearer the hole than, the point where the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard (In the case of a lost ball, the margin would be the fairway edge) . Not always easy to determine where the ball crossed the margin, but then hooking a shot 200 yds away into a lateral water hazard that runs the length of the fairway poses the same problem at the moment. However, unlike the lateral hazard rule, add 2 penalty shots not one. So in your scenario, the golfer who hit his shot behind a tree would lie 2, and the golfer who lost a ball would lie 3 Another option would be to adopt Speedgolf rules, but adding 2 penalty shots. See below Andy
  5. Lost ball rule and pace of play

    I've seen it a few times in the past, but granted probably not a key reason for slow play. Still a tiresome rule though. The original searching is a key reason though, especially if not done in sync. Hate slow play though, no excuse for nearly 5 hours even for a 4 ball. As a guest on another course, followed a 4 ball the other day, mid handicappers I think. Took 2.5 hrs for 9 holes, but which time my partner and I had enough and went home. There was no group in front of them either. Main reasons for slow play with them was Lost ball searching time, although no coming back to replay. Doing their club selection and pre-shot routines in sequence after each player had hit. No attempt at ready golf One guy kept answering his mobile on the course and the rest of the group stopped until he had finished. Their body language suggested they couldn't care less Acting on the greens like it was the final hole in the Masters Andy
  6. Lost ball rule and pace of play

    Thanks for your replies. I understand the points about provisional balls, and yes, if it is thought the ball is lost or OB, then hit again. But there is always the issue of the ball that is hit well and yet is still lost. Not an issue usually for the wide open parkland courses were you can see every ball land, but take other courses such as UK links courses with lots of blind carries and running fast in summer with lots of wind. A different matter completely and not a rare problem. If a golfer hits a good solid straight drive up over a rising fairway to where it flattens out, they are not going to see it land. The wrong bounce, some wind and the ball’s in the rough out of sight from the tee. Are they really going to hit again? And again if that’s another straight drive? At a course I play regularly it’s like this with about 10 or so blind shots and the other day we’d booked a tee time only to turn up and find 4 groups still waiting on the first tee. Turned out there was a competition ahead and some of the groups had experienced ‘lost ball issues’ according to the starter. Welcome to the 5 hour round! I understand that changing the rule would be difficult, and it’s unfortunate that the governing bodies couldn’t come up with something around this to reduce the curse of slow play when they did their rules review. But hopefully some of the new rules, such as the ‘maximum score’ on each hole, will help. However, some clubs have introduced some local rules. One club in my area have a ‘no going back’ rule that applies to all play other than the most serious competitions. Encourages more use of provisional balls, but also uses the lateral hazard type rule I spoke of before.
  7. I think one of the key reasons for slow play is the time spent looking for lost balls and maybe then taking the walk of shame. One recent example was when we arrived at the tee on a par 4 hole where a 3 ball had just started looking for a lost ball in the left rough about 200 yds from the tee. After searching for what seemed like the full 5 minutes, they found the ball and played it, but then all 3 walked across the fairway to the right hand rough and commenced another search for another of the group's balls! They didn't find it and the elderly gent then came back to the tee and played again. He apologised to the groups that were backed up on the tee on the grounds that it was a competition match, but in total it was a near 20 min wait on the tee Lots of lessons learnt, for sure, such as not playing provisionals, not splitting up to search for both balls concurrently, not waving groups through, but these do not disguise what is basically a rather stupid rule that needs revision. Maybe just for the amateur game. Ironically the reduction in ball searching time to apply in 2019 from 5 to 3 minutes may increase the walks of shame. It's easy to say 'hit a provisional' and of course this should be done where it is thought the ball would be lost or OOB. However, this is not always practical, especially on courses with lots of blind shots, raised greens with run offs, etc, where often good shots can kick into rough out of site of the golfer playing the shot. Plus autumn leaves, playing into the sun, etc, Surely it is time for a change to this rule? Such as treating OOB and areas where the ball is lost like a lateral hazard, except that there is a 2 shot penalty rather than 1 for a designated staked lateral hazard. This could be a further option in addition to playing the shot again from it's original spot. For example a golfer hits a drive over a fairway hump and can't find it as it has probably kicked left into the rough. So a ball is dropped where it is thought the ball left the fairway and the golfer is then playing his 4th shot Andy England