Certainty and the nearest point of relief

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2 questions.

First - how certain do you have to be that an event has occurred? Our course has electrical wires over three holes, if you hit these wires then you MUST replay your shot and discard the first ball, my understanding is you can apply this even if your ball hits the wires whilst heading OOB.
In each of the last two rounds a situation has come up however when we haven't been certain if the ball has struck the wire. Today i played a five iron which was heading towards a ditch which was 180 yards away, i lost track of the flight and didn't see it land so assumed I'd landed in the ditch. I then played a provisional as OOB is behind the ditch and it could easily have gone out.
As i was heading towards the general direction of my shot down the right a PP shouted over that my ball was down the left 100 yards short of the green directly below the wires. We both agreed that it MUST have hit the wires, but couldn't be certain, we then agreed that the provisional I'd hit would now be my ball in play, with no penalty. Was this correct? How certain do i have to be? Theres no other logical explanation of how my ball get there.
Also, is there any issue with me using the provisional even though it was declared a provisional for a different purpose?

2nd question regarding NPR.
Funnily enough on the same hole but a different day a PP landed on a cart path, he then established the NPR no nearer the hole from where the ball had finished he proceeded to then mark it out and drop. No issue, however can he drop nearer the hole than the NPR, but not nearer than where the ball landed on the cart path?
 

pogle

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2 questions.

First - how certain do you have to be that an event has occurred? Our course has electrical wires over three holes, if you hit these wires then you MUST replay your shot and discard the first ball, my understanding is you can apply this even if your ball hits the wires whilst heading OOB.
In each of the last two rounds a situation has come up however when we haven't been certain if the ball has struck the wire. Today i played a five iron which was heading towards a ditch which was 180 yards away, i lost track of the flight and didn't see it land so assumed I'd landed in the ditch. I then played a provisional as OOB is behind the ditch and it could easily have gone out.
As i was heading towards the general direction of my shot down the right a PP shouted over that my ball was down the left 100 yards short of the green directly below the wires. We both agreed that it MUST have hit the wires, but couldn't be certain, we then agreed that the provisional I'd hit would now be my ball in play, with no penalty. Was this correct? How certain do i have to be? Theres no other logical explanation of how my ball get there.
Also, is there any issue with me using the provisional even though it was declared a provisional for a different purpose?

2nd question regarding NPR.
Funnily enough on the same hole but a different day a PP landed on a cart path, he then established the NPR no nearer the hole from where the ball had finished he proceeded to then mark it out and drop. No issue, however can he drop nearer the hole than the NPR, but not nearer than where the ball landed on the cart path?
You need to have "knowledge or virtual certainty". It sounds from your description that the only thing that could have caused the ball to finish where it did was by hitting the wires. However, you do not have the option of using your provisional. The prov only comes into play when your original ball is lost or OOB. You should have returned to where you last played.


In your second situation, the NPR is used as your reference point for taking a drop so you are not allowed to drop the ball closer to the hole than that spot. Also, you must redrop if it rolls closer to the hole than the NPR.
 
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Thank you both, the second question was just for future reference, as he would have had a much better lie if he had been able too. As it turns out he still chipped it to 1 foot.

In regards to the provisional, i played it from the original spot, but for the reason of going OOB. Does this mean that if you declare a provisional for one reason, you cant then use it for a different reason. Can I only hit a ball for hitting the wires once I've established that it has hit the wires? Or could i hit a prov because i think it may have hit them? Hope that makes sense, and thank you for clarifying the certainty point.
 

pogle

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You can only play a provisional if you believe your ball may be lost outside a water hazard or may be out of bounds.

If you play a "provisional" in other circumstances it immediately becomes the ball in play under penalty of stroke and distance.

So no, you can't play a provisional because you believe your original ball may have hit the wires.
 

rulefan

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In your case it sounds as if it was ok to play the provisional because initially you say you thought the original may have gone OOB.
If you subsequently determined that it hadn't then the provisional became 'dead'.

If you were certain the original hit the wire then you must play another ball.

If you did not find the original and were not sure that it had hit the wire the provisional becomes the ball in play.
 

HawkeyeMS

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In your case it sounds as if it was ok to play the provisional because initially you say you thought the original may have gone OOB.
If you subsequently determined that it hadn't then the provisional became 'dead'.

If you were certain the original hit the wire then you must play another ball.

If you did not find the original and were not sure that it had hit the wire the provisional becomes the ball in play.
Given that the OP thought his ball was either in a ditch or oob, can he still play a provisional?
 

duncan mackie

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Given that the OP thought his ball was either in a ditch or oob, can he still play a provisional?
Yes. If it's in the ditch then the provisional is no longer in play.

Generally, if you believe it's either in a water hazard or OOB you are going to have a hard job to establish the necessary virtual certainty that it's in the ditch to play under any rule 26 options. This will usually be either finding the ball in the hazard or new evidence from a 3rd party who saw it go in.
 
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Yes. If it's in the ditch then the provisional is no longer in play.
played with a guy once who had a different idea of this. Ball may be lost or in hazard so play provisional. Find ball in hazard he claimed provisional must be 3 off the tee as you can't play provisional for ball lost in hazard so it couldn't have been a provisional could it? had to laugh.
 

Kellfire

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played with a guy once who had a different idea of this. Ball may be lost or in hazard so play provisional. Find ball in hazard he claimed provisional must be 3 off the tee as you can't play provisional for ball lost in hazard so it couldn't have been a provisional could it? had to laugh.
If he finds the ball in the hazard he ignores the provisional and his next shot will either be his third if he takes a drop from the hazard or his second if he plays from within the hazard.
 

chrisd

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played with a guy once who had a different idea of this. Ball may be lost or in hazard so play provisional. Find ball in hazard he claimed provisional must be 3 off the tee as you can't play provisional for ball lost in hazard so it couldn't have been a provisional could it? had to laugh.
I played with someone who thought exactly the same and even when I mailed him the decision on the rule he still said I was Wrong!
 

atticusfinch

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If the tee shot hits the wires and the wire rule is in effect the situation is resolved the instant the ball hit the wires. (This is a question of fact that must be resolved before anything else.) Nothing else matters, you proceed according to the wire rule. If you proceed according to some other rule then you are risking penalties.
 

rulefan

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If the tee shot hits the wires and the wire rule is in effect the situation is resolved the instant the ball hit the wires. (This is a question of fact that must be resolved before anything else.) Nothing else matters, you proceed according to the wire rule. If you proceed according to some other rule then you are risking penalties.
What rule would apply if the player didn't know it had hit the wire, proceeded to his ball and after playing was informed by reliable witnesses that it had in fact hit the wire? Wrong place?
 

mikejohnchapman

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What rule would apply if the player didn't know it had hit the wire, proceeded to his ball and after playing was informed by reliable witnesses that it had in fact hit the wire? Wrong place?
In equity, because he wasn't virtually certain he had hit the wire, he would play the ball as it lay without penalty. If the reliable witness informed him before he played the shot he would have to go back and replay the previous shot.
 

rulefan

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In equity, because he wasn't virtually certain he had hit the wire, he would play the ball as it lay without penalty. If the reliable witness informed him before he played the shot he would have to go back and replay the previous shot.
And if he played it unknowingly, is it now the ball in play regardless of whether he discovers it hit the wire?

On what analogous situation are you basing the equity ruling?
 

mikejohnchapman

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And if he played it unknowingly, is it now the ball in play regardless of whether he discovers it hit the wire?

On what analogous situation are you basing the equity ruling?
Combination of fairness and practicality in light of the fact the player didn't know his ball had hit the wire so it was unreasonable for him to assume it had. If it were referred to the committee I think 34 3/9 would apply.

I've certainly seen the reverse where a player claimed his ball had hit a wire and his playing partners were not convinced. The player replayed the shot and that was up held when he took it to the committee.
 
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In equity, because he wasn't virtually certain he had hit the wire, he would play the ball as it lay without penalty. If the reliable witness informed him before he played the shot he would have to go back and replay the previous shot.
No witness seen the ball hit the wire, he just found the ball in a spot where it could only have got to by hitting the wire. Would this provide the necessary certainty?

The local rule that covers this situation also states that you MUST play a different ball so in the situation of playing from where it lies, would I just need to replace the ball?

I think in this situation I have definitely proceeded under the wrong ruling, although not being able to play a replacement ball until I am certain it has hit the wires does seem counter intuitive to pace of play. I have emailed the club this morning to see what there views are as my understanding is that this is a local rule. So could there feasibly be a LR allowing a provisional to be played? Or is the provisional rule not amendable under LRs?
 

mikejohnchapman

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No witness seen the ball hit the wire, he just found the ball in a spot where it could only have got to by hitting the wire. Would this provide the necessary certainty?

The local rule that covers this situation also states that you MUST play a different ball so in the situation of playing from where it lies, would I just need to replace the ball?

I think in this situation I have definitely proceeded under the wrong ruling, although not being able to play a replacement ball until I am certain it has hit the wires does seem counter intuitive to pace of play. I have emailed the club this morning to see what there views are as my understanding is that this is a local rule. So could there feasibly be a LR allowing a provisional to be played? Or is the provisional rule not amendable under LRs?
So what you are saying is you judge it virtually certain the ball hit the wire? It couldn't have hit anything else and it couldn't have been moved by a third party? There is a good definition of "known or virtually certain" in the rules but at the end of the day it's the players call.

If so then you must replay the shot.

In a comp I would play 2 balls in this circumstance and get advice afterwards.

Not sure a provisional ball applies in the circumstances you have described.
 
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