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Ruling? Lost ball found but unplayable....

 4x4GGG ·  
4x4GGG4x4GGG Members  167WRX Points: 92Handicap: 15Posts: 167 Fairways
Joined:  in Rules of Golf and Etiquette #1

What's the smart play?

Really short par 3 I hosel po my PW into a tree line. I hit a provisional, also right, but playable. I swing by the tree line and find my first. No OB, no stakes at all, zero line to the green. I would actually have to go backwards then forwards.


I wound up picking up and playing my provisional. Wedged up and dropped for a DB 5. Was this the right play? Attached is a screen shot of the hole and my walking path. I hit from left to right, if that isn't clear and you can see where I walked to pick up my ball.


Posted:
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Comments

  • Mr. BeanMr. Bean Members  5257WRX Points: 543Handicap: 3,8Posts: 5,257 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Aug 10, 2020 11:59pm #2

    Well, once you found your original ball in bounds your provisional ball turned into a wrong ball. Thus when you picked up your original ball you earned one penalty stroke for moving your ball in play and 2 more for playing your provisional / wrong ball. So you would have had to abandon your wrong ball, return to the spot where you lifted your original ball, replace that ball and play on hitting your 5th stroke.

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  • 4x4GGG4x4GGG Members  167WRX Points: 92Handicap: 15Posts: 167 Fairways
    Joined:  edited Aug 11, 2020 12:08am #3

    So stomp it into the ground and keep walking? I was wondering if I was obligated to play my first ball and that answered my question. Where would I drop my unplayable lie? You can see from the path where I picked up my ball, in the trees. It's was at the apex of my path.

    Posted:
  • SNIPERBBBSNIPERBBB Hit Ball Hard SE OhioMembers  3539WRX Points: 942Handicap: 2.9Posts: 3,539 Titanium Tees
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    if you dont want the shot where the original would be, you dont even look for it. Find it, you play it. Or take the unplayable. Taking the unplayable, you go on line from the hole through the ball and go backwards from there or take two club lengths from the ball. Or retee.

    Posted:
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  • 4x4GGG4x4GGG Members  167WRX Points: 92Handicap: 15Posts: 167 Fairways
    Joined:  edited Aug 11, 2020 12:19am #5

    So let me ask this as a serious question now that I'm thinking about it... I can go back in line with my shot and drop anywhere? Like, the T box on this 130 yard hole? Drop 2, hit three? Isn't that kinda what I did, just out of order? Or is it straight line to the Pin and not the Tee?

    Posted:
  • Mr. BeanMr. Bean Members  5257WRX Points: 543Handicap: 3,8Posts: 5,257 Titanium Tees
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    Back on the line relief means you back on the line you draw between the hole and your ball (where it was declared unplayable).

    What you did was incorrect as you must abandon your provisional the moment your original ball is found in bounds.

    Posted:
  • SNIPERBBBSNIPERBBB Hit Ball Hard SE OhioMembers  3539WRX Points: 942Handicap: 2.9Posts: 3,539 Titanium Tees
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    You can go back to the tee and retee to play 3, or you can drop on the line below in the below pic


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  • SchulzmcSchulzmc Members  102WRX Points: 75Posts: 102 Fairways
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    I know being critical of the rules is dangerous, but this is an example of something that makes no sense to me. You hit a provisional. But found your original ball. You can abandon that ball (declaring it unplayable), and you MUST abandon the provisional (because you found your first ball) and go back to the tee and hit again. Which is exactly what your provisional was... a second ball hit from the tee. What you did makes all the sense in the world. But it was incorrect as has been pointed out, under the rules of golf.

    Maybe someone can tell me what I am missing.

    Posted:
  • sui generissui generis Members  4573WRX Points: 880Posts: 4,573 Titanium Tees
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    So, in your world the player may hit two balls off every tee and take the one he or she likes the best?

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  • SawgrassSawgrass Members  16093WRX Points: 1,257Posts: 16,093 Titanium Tees
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    The rules (and I) don’t think you should get to choose between the tough situation you find your ball in and the already-known condition of your provisional. So they make you hit again, and deal with whatever as yet unknown result you end up with.

    It really makes sense.

    Posted:
  • SchulzmcSchulzmc Members  102WRX Points: 75Posts: 102 Fairways
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    Thanks - I get it. The provisional is a known result (it could be 2 feet from the pin) while the new shot is an unknown. Declaring your original ball unplayable is a choice you should make not knowing how that next shot will turn out. It does make sense.

    Posted:
  • Mr. BeanMr. Bean Members  5257WRX Points: 543Handicap: 3,8Posts: 5,257 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Aug 11, 2020 12:50am #12

    I'm with Sui and Sawgrass. You should not be allowed to choose between two balls in play.

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  • goaliedad30goaliedad30 Members  110WRX Points: 126Handicap: 4Posts: 110 Fairways
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    Adding on, a question for the rules experts. I believe in stroke play, once you have played a stroke with the provisional ball, the first ball is DEEMED lost. So, if you hit your provisional to a foot, you can quickly go to the green, tap it in for the 4, and you're good, as long as you tap it in before someone else finds your original, since there's no penalty in stroke play for playing out of turn.

    However, what if you HOLE the provisional, but someone else in the group finds the original ball within 3 minutes? Do you have the option as the player to say "I'm not looking - I'm taking the 3 with the provisional " and have it stand?

    Posted:
  • SNIPERBBBSNIPERBBB Hit Ball Hard SE OhioMembers  3539WRX Points: 942Handicap: 2.9Posts: 3,539 Titanium Tees
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    Playing a stroke with the provisional doesn't always make the original lost.

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  • Mr. BeanMr. Bean Members  5257WRX Points: 543Handicap: 3,8Posts: 5,257 Titanium Tees
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    'However, what if you HOLE the provisional, but someone else in the group finds the original ball within 3 minutes? Do you have the option as the player to say "I'm not looking - I'm taking the 3 with the provisional " and have it stand?'

    The only possibility is to pick up the provisional from the hole before you original is found. But if your ball is found within 3 minutes and you have not picked up your holed PB you have to abandon it and continue with the OB.

    Posted:
  • AugsterAugster Members  4771WRX Points: 638Posts: 4,771 Titanium Tees
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    No.

    Once you have played another stroke at the provisional ball where the provisional ball lies closer to the hole than where the original is “most likely to be”. Then the provisional ball becomes the ball in play and the OG is deemed lost. Example. You hit your drive 300 but it hits a tree at the end and you declare a provisional. You duff the 1st, shank the second and duff the 3rd shot. So far you’ve advanced the ball about 100 yards. Two more swipes and you advance the provisional ball, finally, past the point the OG was ML2B. You find your original lying in the fairway off the tree. It is now the ball in play, lying 1, hitting 2.

    2nd part...

    If you hole the provisional ball you have to run to the hole and pull it out. FC’s and opponents have the right to look for your ball for the 3 minutes, or until you pull the ball out of the cup. Same as if you hit it to a foot. Run up there and putt out. You can ask your FC’s and opponents not to look for your OG ball, but it doesn’t mean they will. Maybe they are in carts and your ball caromed onto the cart path and they “find” it well before you can get to the hole and pull the ball out. Completely accidental finding.

    The ruling bodies still resist a player’s option to deem a ball lost. It opens too big a can of worms of he said/he said and at what time what exactly was said. There are some real PITA situations than can be imagined if a player were allowed to declare his ball lost. Taking away that option gets rid of all of that.

    Posted:
  • MudguardMudguard Members  1538WRX Points: 232Posts: 1,538 Platinum Tees
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    Yeah I was under the impression you could play up to where your lost ball may be. So if you hit one 300m and possibly OB, then hit something safer 200m up the middle, you can hit it on your way to your first ball to save walking back.

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  • cxxcxx Members  3304WRX Points: 262Posts: 3,304 Titanium Tees
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    I thought that playing the provisional from a spot closer to the hole than the presumed position of the lost ball made the provisional the ball in play.

    Posted:
  • SawgrassSawgrass Members  16093WRX Points: 1,257Posts: 16,093 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  #19

    It does, and I don’t think anyone above said it didn’t.

    Posted:
  • 4x4GGG4x4GGG Members  167WRX Points: 92Handicap: 15Posts: 167 Fairways
    Joined:  #20

    This is the best answer for me. I was under the impression that I had 2 options... draw a line backwards of the 1st shot or walk back and tee up a third ball. I didn't realize I could only drop in line with the flag.

    Posted:
  • Mr. BeanMr. Bean Members  5257WRX Points: 543Handicap: 3,8Posts: 5,257 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Aug 11, 2020 2:43am #21

    You do have two options, just as Sniper explained.

    1) Retee

    2) drop behind the ball on the straight line in the picture

    Actually you have also a third option and that is 2 club lengths in any direction from the spot of the unplayable ball but not closer to the hole.

    Posted:
  • nsxguynsxguy Just anudder user FloridaMembers  7452WRX Points: 1,520Handicap: 3.9-9.3-7.7 (Health issue)Posts: 7,452 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  #22

    You are both correct.

    The gist of the more recent posts was playing from behind where the original ball was most likely to be and holing out and having to take the ball out of the hole before your original was found. If your original was found within 3 minutes of beginning the search and you hadn't yet taken the ball out of the hole you must abandon the provisional & play the original.

    If you played that provisional from behind where the original was most likely to be and knocked it on the green and then ran up and made another stroke at it, holed or not, that would be the end of the original ball and the provisional is the ball in play.

    I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

    Posted:

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  • 4x4GGG4x4GGG Members  167WRX Points: 92Handicap: 15Posts: 167 Fairways
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    So retee'ing is different from playing a provisional?

    Posted:
  • Mr. BeanMr. Bean Members  5257WRX Points: 543Handicap: 3,8Posts: 5,257 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Aug 11, 2020 2:54am #24

    Yes. When you retee you play a new ball, not a provisional. In your case you already had played a provisional which you had to abandon, or should have. Reteeing in this concept means returning to the tee to play a new ball.

    Posted:
  • antipantip Members  1326WRX Points: 452Posts: 1,326 Platinum Tees
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    Yes. Re-teeing is normally stroke and distance (see rule 18.1). Provisional can only be done in specific situations - where you think your original stroke may be OOB or lost outside a penalty area (see rule 18.3).

    Posted:
  • Nels55Nels55 Members  524WRX Points: 274Handicap: 6.8Posts: 524 Golden Tee
    Joined:  #26

    Normally if I hit my first ball into a place where I know I don't want it found I simply declare my second ball in play to make sure that my group knows I am abandoning my first shot and not playing a provisional ball. That way I might be able to recover my first ball which saves me a bit of cash.

    I remember an incident on the "Big Break" show several years ago where a player on the "US" team holed a provisional shot and said that he was abandoning the first ball and the "European" team said "not so fast" and found the first ball in some jungle area and forced it to be played. Personally in a match or tournament I would not do that, I would congratulate the person who sank the shot and move on. Unless I suppose the ball was easily in plain sight in which case I would expect the other player to do the honorable thing.

    I think that this rule is written correctly and I really can't see any other way of doing it. Though now we do have the new local rule for OB / lost ball which I like to use when applicable though some of my purist friends are totally against ever using it.

    Posted:

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  • MudguardMudguard Members  1538WRX Points: 232Posts: 1,538 Platinum Tees
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    That isn't correct, you can't declare a ball lost and hit another one. You could simply not look for it in the first place, but anyone else can. I've had the exact situation in a match where I was playing someone longer than me, a grove of trees lined the left side of a par five, he pulled his tee shot into them, then absolutely monstered his provisional, it was going to be a mid iron into the green. He didn't look for his first ball, I did, found it, he had absolutely no way of hitting it or dropping it (due to the grove of trees that followed a potential drop to the flag). He had to concede the hole as he didn't want to walk back and re-tee.

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  • Mr. BeanMr. Bean Members  5257WRX Points: 543Handicap: 3,8Posts: 5,257 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Aug 11, 2020 3:51am #28

    'That isn't correct, you can't declare a ball lost and hit another one.'

    Well, in fact you can, sort of. You do not need to declare anything, you just hit another ball without saying anything and it becomes the ball in play and the first one is lost. For clarity you may say 'a new ball' but even that is not mandatory.

    It is only when you want to play a provisional ball that you need to declare that to be a provisional. Any other time you hit a new ball that ball becomes the ball in play.

    Posted:
  • Nels55Nels55 Members  524WRX Points: 274Handicap: 6.8Posts: 524 Golden Tee
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    Actually it is correct and as a matter of fact you have to declare the ball a provisional or it is in play and you have abandoned your first ball.

    Posted:

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  • MudguardMudguard Members  1538WRX Points: 232Posts: 1,538 Platinum Tees
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    That is more correct. You have to declare a provisional. But it would be a bold play, plenty of times I've seen balls go in places you'd never think to find or hit one from. Yet get down there and there's a small clearing and a lob wedge.

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  • 4x4GGG4x4GGG Members  167WRX Points: 92Handicap: 15Posts: 167 Fairways
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    And now the turn tables have turned! I declare... BANKRUPTCY!!!!! - Only funny because I'm watching The Office right now.

    This does get stranger and stranger. I get the point that we can't just pick and choose our shots, but also declaring the first ball dead from the Tee was my intention. Did I say to my friend during our casual round at a local par three that "I'm going to play a Provisional, it's a Vice Distance #3"? No. It was more like... {Shot} -"Eww... there's the shank I was waiting for", then he hits and I toss another ball down and say "Lets try this again". {Shot}.. "Not great but not in Narnia".

    Posted:
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