Provisionals

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Matty

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Was playing a practice round by myself the other day and this situation arose, I'm wondering what should happen under competition rule conditions.

Tee up the ball and top a truly awful shot low and left about 30 yards heading for a hedge row. Might have finished short or maybe not. So, play a provisional and this one comes out of the centre of the face and finds the middle of the fairway.

Now, dilemma. Do I need to look for the first ball if I'm happy to take the penalty and continue with the second ball? If I look and find the first ball am I under any obligation to continue with that ball?
 

fundy

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You don't have to look for the ball no, but in a competition or a match an opponent/playing partner may look for the ball even if you don't. In reality unless its matchplay if you don't go to look for it then few playing partners will, even though they do have the right to.

If the first ball is found then that ball is automatically in play and the provisional is picked up. If you then declare it unplayable you can't choose the provisional you would have to go back to the tee and hit again (or take relief of 2 clubs or line of sight)
 
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Matty

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Thanks fundy.

Of course if I don't declare a provisional then the second ball becomes the ball in play, right?

But then you take the chance that the second could end up even worse than the first!
 

chrisd

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You can also continue to play the provisional all the while it hasn't passed where your original ball should be
 

One Planer

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Did you declare the second ball a provisional before you hit it?

In competition, what would happen in this instance if you didn't declare the second ball as a provisional and just played it?
 

bobmac

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You tee off and the ball finishes up in the trees at position 1.
cb22.jpg
You have a choice
1. I'll hit a provisional...or
2. I'll hit another (or something similar)
If you say "I'll hit another" your first ball is then lost and the second ball is in play.
However, if you say "I'll hit a provisional" then you have another choice. You can either look for your first ball or not.
You can hit your provisional ball as many times as you like (eg pos 2 and 3) until you reach pos 4.(beyond the area you think your first ball is).
If either you or your opponent find your first ball BEFORE you hit a shot from pos 4, the first ball is still in play and the provisional must be picked up.
So if you have a quick look at pos 1 and think sod that and you can hit your ball from pos 4 before your opponent finds it you're ok
 

Colin L

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A couple of points to be aware of.

1) If you are intent on not looking for your original ball and putting a provisional ball into play and a ball is spotted, you must identify whether it is yours or not.

2) The provisional ball is not just in play if you play it from nearer the hole but also if you play it from where the original is likely to be:

The player may play a provisional ball until he reaches the place where the original ball is likely to be. If he makes a stroke with the provisional ball from the place where the original ball is likely to be or from a point nearer the hole than that place, the original ball is lost and the provisional ball the ball in play (Rule 27-2b)
 
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bobmac

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2) The provisional ball is not just in play if you play it from nearer the hole but also if you play it from where the original is likely to be:
As it is often qute tricky to tell where a ball is "lost", I always err on the generous side...so neare the hole
 

JezzE

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If you then declare it unplayable you can't choose the provisional you would have to go back to the tee and hit again (or take relief of 2 clubs or line of sight)
All good answers here - only minor thing to be aware of is that 'line of sight' and dropping back on a line are two very different things, with the former only really used via Local Rule at big events where things like TV towers or grandstands might come into play
 
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Worth bearing in mind the significance of the phrase "where the original ball is likely to be". This is quite strictly interpreted so if you play your provisional for a second time from beyond where the original was likely to be, then walk foward and find the original is actually much further on, too bad!

27-2b/4 Provisional Ball Played from Beyond Where Original Ball Likely to Be But Not Beyond Where Original Ball Found

Q. A player, believing his tee shot might be lost or in a road defined as out of bounds, played a provisional ball. He searched for his original ball but did not find it. He went forward and played his provisional ball. Then he went farther forward and found his original ball in bounds. The original ball must have bounced down the road and then come back into bounds, because it was found much farther from the tee than anticipated. Was the original ball still the ball in play?

A. No. The player played a stroke with the provisional ball from a point nearer the hole than the place where the original ball was likely to be. When he did so, the provisional ball became the ball in play and the original ball was lost (Rule 27-2b). The place where the original ball in fact lay was irrelevant."



Must say I was surprised to discover that.
 

bladeplayer

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Worth bearing in mind the significance of the phrase "where the original ball is likely to be". This is quite strictly interpreted so if you play your provisional for a second time from beyond where the original was likely to be, then walk foward and find the original is actually much further on, too bad!

27-2b/4 Provisional Ball Played from Beyond Where Original Ball Likely to Be But Not Beyond Where Original Ball Found

Q. A player, believing his tee shot might be lost or in a road defined as out of bounds, played a provisional ball. He searched for his original ball but did not find it. He went forward and played his provisional ball. Then he went farther forward and found his original ball in bounds. The original ball must have bounced down the road and then come back into bounds, because it was found much farther from the tee than anticipated. Was the original ball still the ball in play?

A. No. The player played a stroke with the provisional ball from a point nearer the hole than the place where the original ball was likely to be. When he did so, the provisional ball became the ball in play and the original ball was lost (Rule 27-2b). The place where the original ball in fact lay was irrelevant."



Must say I was surprised to discover that.
Nice one Mashie , crikey id have goten that wrong if it had happened in my group , id say alot would have,
only way id would have goten it right is , we were searching for the origional , when we gave up the search the 2nd was then in play .. if it had been within the 5min it would be an aquward call to tell him it was "technicaly lost or out of play" tho .. nice to know , good luck with calling someone on it tho ha ha
 
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Colin L

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All good answers here - only minor thing to be aware of is that 'line of sight' and dropping back on a line are two very different things, with the former only really used via Local Rule at big events where things like TV towers or grandstands might come into play
Just to clarify for those who might not know, Jezz is referring to relief from a Temporary Immovable Obstruction (TIO). These are obstructions as he says like TV towers etc where a local rule may in place to define them as TIOs. Relief from a TIO includes interference with the player's line of play whereas through the green relief from an immovable obstruction does not include interference with line of play.

The point about the unplayable lie is that the option of going back along a line is that the line is from where your ball was and the hole.
 
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