Lost Ball

Sam

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I only started playing last autumn but am really sliced on the game. I've read the rules on lost ball and out of bounds and appreciate and understand the reasoning behind stroke and distance for OOB and for lost ball where you can tell, say, from the tee that you ball has landed in an area full of fallen leaves. Take a provisional ball from the tee. What I have never seen anyone do is go back to the tee having searched for but lost a ball following a tee shot which appeared to be OK - say clearing the trees of a dog-leg fairway or a crested fairway on a course that's new to you.
Enforcing in such circumstances would certainly slow up play
 

billyg

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I only started playing last autumn but am really sliced on the game. I've read the rules on lost ball and out of bounds and appreciate and understand the reasoning behind stroke and distance for OOB and for lost ball where you can tell, say, from the tee that you ball has landed in an area full of fallen leaves. Take a provisional ball from the tee. What I have never seen anyone do is go back to the tee having searched for but lost a ball following a tee shot which appeared to be OK - say clearing the trees of a dog-leg fairway or a crested fairway on a course that's new to you.
Enforcing in such circumstances would certainly slow up play

Sam , you've struck on something that has confused me for a long time too. It seems a bit of a loophole in the rules to me. For example I whack one into the thick rough giving it all ive got. Then I turn to my partner and say i'm sure that i'll find it so won't play a provisional. Surprise surprise I cannot find it and drop a ball favourably having only taken one stroke penalty but having gained god knows how many hundreds of yards. Seems a bit of a con.

I must point out that I don't deliberately do this but it clearly does happen with some of the people I play with and I can't see that they are doing anything wrong.....but it feels wrong.
 

Leftie

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Enforcing in such circumstances would certainly slow up play

Yes it does and this is one of the many reasons why competition days can be so slow. We usually have a starter on the 1st tee for competitions who always reminds us to a) mark and declare our balls, b) exchange cards and c) if there is any doubt - play a provisional.

In friendlies, if we haven't played a provisional and can't then find the ball then we may drop one where we thought the ball should be under penalty of one shot and then play it out from there. Not quite strict rules of golf but it helps keep the speed of play going.
 

Dave3498

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It shouldn't realy slow-up play too much. If you are looking for a ball, and there are players behind waiting to play, then you should call them through. While they are playing through you can continue searching, and usually the 5 minutes is up by then. The player of the lost ball can then go back to where he last played the shot from, under penalty of one stroke. The groups of players simply swap positions in the field.
 

Tommo21

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If in doubt, hit a provisional all the time. Nothing worse that letting the lot behind through to then go back, stand on the tee, or wherever you played the last shot, to hit another ball…usually with the next group looking on. A provisional is less pressure.

Remember, you only hit a provisional if you think you ball may be lost OUTSIDE a WATER HAZARD. In other words, say you play a links course and you hit a ball onto the beach, you cannot hit a provisional……………even if you loose it in there.
 

USER1999

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Billyg - You can't just throw a ball down in the rough under penalty of one stroke if you have lost your ball, you have to go back to the tee, or whereever you last played it from, under penalty of one shot.
The only time someone does not do this is when they are playing with their mates, and not really scoring, when they will probably accept they loose the hole, and throw a ball down anyway to complete the hole. At all other times it is cheating
 

billyg

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Remember, you only hit a provisional if you think you ball may be lost OUTSIDE a WATER HAZARD. In other words, say you play a links course and you hit a ball onto the beach, you cannot hit a provisional……………even if you loose it in there.

Not sure I quite understand this one to be honest. If I play one of the tee and it's clearly gone deep into the shrubs then i'll play a provisional as my third shot off the tee. I'm not sure ,if by your definition ,i'm in breach of the rules doing this?
 

Up_Point_1

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Not sure I quite understand this one to be honest. If I play one of the tee and it's clearly gone deep into the shrubs then i'll play a provisional as my third shot off the tee. I'm not sure ,if by your definition ,i'm in breach of the rules doing this?

You are perfectly entitled to do this as it ultimately saves time. If when you get up to the shrubs you find your original ball then your provisional ball becomes irrelevant and you pick it up. You continue playing the hole with your original ball without any penalties incurred. If you can't find your original ball within 5 minutes you have to declare it lost and finish the hole with your provisional ball (assuming you find it). That now becomes the one in play and you finish the hole with that it having incurred a 1 shot penalty.

Hope this is clear.

As for the question re hitting the ball onto the beach from the tee surely if it's OOB you have to hit another ball from the tee, and not where it went onto the beach. Only if it was marked as a Water Hazard woud you surely drop at point of entry.

DHM.
 

Tommo21

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Duck, on most links courses, that I know, the beach is marked one way or another. Most beach areas are a water hazard and even if you hit your ball in there and know it, you cannot play a provisional, it's covered by another rule and other options. Thats providing you know it went in there in the first place. This is where the rules get a little complicated………lets say you hit a ball over a blind crest, you pull it left and there is heavy rough then the beach/water hazard. You think the ball may be lost “outside the water hazard”….in the rough. You hit a provisional, with good reason, right down the middle. You then find you’re ball in the hazard on some rocks. You can’t use the provisional, even if the ball on the rocks is unplayable; it has to be played under a different rule.

I’m back to the original rule “ if you think your ball may be lost outside a water hazard……..the key point being “outside”. Just a point.
 

Up_Point_1

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TOMO21,

Cheers for the detailed response. Having never played a links course I was a little unsure as to what ruling would apply to a beach whether it be classed as a Water Hazard, or as OOB. Thankfully you've now enlightened me.

DHM.
 

billyg

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If you can't find your original ball within 5 minutes you have to declare it lost and finish the hole with your provisional ball (assuming you find it). That now becomes the one in play and you finish the hole with that it having incurred a 1 shot penalty.

Hope this is clear.

Thanks for that DHM. Just to clarify my second stroke with the provisional would then be my third stroke?(Drive + 1 shot penalty incurred)in the scenario above?

or as ive been playing it provisional played off tee counts as third stroke (first lost drive+ 1 stroke penalty=2 so second tee shot with provisional is 3rd stroke).. in which case my second (fairway) stroke with the provisional becomes my fourth stroke?

If ive got this wrong then ive been erroniously punishing myself with about 5 or six extra shots per round and nominate myself for prize of chief doughnut head 2008!

Ive used the same reasoning if ive lost a ball off the fairway e.g. drive aok(1 stroke) , second shot duck hooked into the boonies(1 stroke), 1 stroke penalty (1 stroke) drop and hit provisional( 1 stoke)= fourth stroke rather than second stroke if all had gone well.

:D
 

Up_Point_1

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Thanks for that DHM. Just to clarify my second stroke with the provisional would then be my third stroke?(Drive + 1 shot penalty incurred)in the scenario above?

Err......no not quite. Your second shot with your provisional ball would be your 4th shot, not your 3rd.

You're original tee shot counts as 1 shot, you're second tee shot i.e your provisional is then in fact your third shot. If you hit both your original and your provisional into the crap then there is nothing to stop you hitting another provisional off the tee for safe measure. That would then be your fifth, and so on.

Incidentally played a medal round a couple of years ago and my playing partner was having one of those days. Took him 4 attempts off the tee to get a ball in play that he could actually find. I did chuckle ;)

DHM.
 
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