Two Points of Discussion - 'Virtually Certain' and Stroke & Distance

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That putting into the bunker example is always used (maybe by you..) and is why I always remember the rule from this forum, haha. I can just imagine the brass neck of actually doing that though when nobody else in your group knows the rule - just staring at you in disbelief.
I have no doubt that I regaled you with my S&D bunker example when we played at Camberley Heath.
 
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Unless someone has witnessed it go in, I think it's almost impossible to be virtually certain that a ball has entered a penalty area which is not visible, especially when there is so much ground outside the penalty area where the ball could be.

To the second point, stroke-and-distance is always an option, no matter where the ball is found (or not found).
On S&D … my doubt came about as normally there is a double penalty…a penalty stroke plus the distance back to where you had played from. That reduces to what seems a single penalty - the penalty stroke - when you put the ball back to a position closer to the hole. But I am reassured bu ColinLs post.
 

chrisd

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We have a stream running down the right of our 6th that swallows up many tee shots but you'll hardly ever find any ball in the murky water that runs along it. You cant ever see a splash from the tee and the grass near to it is like a 2nd cut . I personally doubt that anyone hits a provisional if their tee shot goes right off that tee and is clearly heading for the stream. A cursory look on the line of the tee shot is the norm (from what I've seen) then a drop under penalty.

I'd not be over happy telling the players that it's a provisional, or the dreaded "walk of shame" when we get there! But I'd think, hand on heart, that it'd be questionable whether the decision to drop a ball is really 95% correct given the discussions on here
 
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The first one people were discussion is what I'll sum up as the 'virtually certain' rule. Our 8th tee off the whites has a pond in play in the right hand rough. Everyone knows where it is and knows full well when they're heading towards it, but from the tee you cannot physically see the pond itself.
My thoughts on "virtually certain" are that if there is even a remote possibility that the ball could be hiding somewhere outside the PA, then you can't be virtually certain it's in the PA.

As you know, I am very familiar with the course and during the 10 years I was a member there can recall having this argument many times with other members. My opinion is that unless someone coming up the 7th sees the ball go in the pond, you can't assume it's in and therefore have to take S&D.
 
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We have a stream running down the right of our 6th that swallows up many tee shots but you'll hardly ever find any ball in the murky water that runs along it. You cant ever see a splash from the tee and the grass near to it is like a 2nd cut . I personally doubt that anyone hits a provisional if their tee shot goes right off that tee and is clearly heading for the stream. A cursory look on the line of the tee shot is the norm (from what I've seen) then a drop under penalty.

I'd not be over happy telling the players that it's a provisional, or the dreaded "walk of shame" when we get there! But I'd think, hand on heart, that it'd be questionable whether the decision to drop a ball is really 95% correct given the discussions on here
Perhaps being pedantic here, but I like to refer to virtually certain as "the information available in this case says that the decision to drop under penalty area relief will be correct 19 times out of 20". That's a very high standard to achieve.
 
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I was thinking on the forum, but maybe! It's the same example I always use now when I'm explaining the concept to somebody else. 😆 Pretty sure I did to the guy on Sunday!
Indeed I have mentioned it on the forum. It’s a goodie. When I explain it to folk at my place I refer to a specific hole and a specific flag position, where it is quite easy to miss a 3ft putt and end up 20yds away at the bottom of a steep slope, sitting perfectly in the fairway with no constraints on hitting it…other than the damn difficult and risky shot back up. Do I try and play cute to leave ball beneath the hole with an uphill putt, but risking finding ball back at my feet…alternatively do I play it safe and long and be faced with a different but similar difficult downhill putt. Or do I just put it back on the green from whence I had putted it - 3ft from the hole now knowing much better the line and weight of putt. Think I know what I would do.
 

Voyager EMH

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"I am more than 95% certain that my ball is lost in the penalty area" and then proceed accordingly.

"I have more than 5% doubt that my ball is lost in the penalty area" and then proceed accordingly.

If anyone disagrees with my choice of statement, I am not influenced by them. The decision is mine to make and I must make it.

I cannot be "proved" wrong unless the ball is found. Even if that is done after I play my next shot, I will still have a case that I acted correctly.
Anyone witnessing my decision and procedure can take it up with the committee, but arguing with me on the course at the time is no use.

Imagine this.
Player hits his ball way right and all see it disappear into bushes, scrub etc marked by red posts. All are happy with more than 95% certain that it has dived in and is lost.
Player drops a ball in the appropriate place and plays third shot. Further up the hole the original ball is found. It must have rattled around in the penalty area and popped out further up.
The player has done nothing "wrong". He was "right" to have more than 95% certainty that the ball was lost in the penalty area and proceeded correctly.
He is unfortunate that he is now in a place for 3 where he might have been better for two.

The decision is yours (the player) to make. "I do not understand what 95% certainty means" is not an allowable decision and the rules do not cater for it other than the - play two balls and seek clarification before submitting score - procedure.

Look again at the first two statements in this post. You must choose one and act accordingly in those circumstances.
Have a clear view on why you are making the decision and be positive about it.
 
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My thoughts on "virtually certain" are that if there is even a remote possibility that the ball could be hiding somewhere outside the PA, then you can't be virtually certain it's in the PA.

As you know, I am very familiar with the course and during the 10 years I was a member there can recall having this argument many times with other members. My opinion is that unless someone coming up the 7th sees the ball go in the pond, you can't assume it's in and therefore have to take S&D.
I can understand you saying that, and plenty will think the same. But also, the rule gives you enough leeway that those who haven't hit a provisional will be tempted to define 'virtually certain' at around 70% so they don't have a long walk back up the hill to the tee!

I think in casual rounds with mates we'd always just agree it's gone in there and give whoever it was a drop behind the pond. In comp rounds though it would just be down to the consensus of the group I suppose, as everyone will see it differently.
 
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If anyone disagrees with my choice of statement, I am not influenced by them. The decision is mine to make and I must make it.
Minor further comment on your post, that has much to commend it. The words above could be misunderstood that you do not need to take account of input/information from others. I do not believe that is what you are suggesting, but think it worth affirming that while each of us need to decide on all the facts, the information/facts that others bring could be a critical part of the decision making.
I also suggest a player can certainly be "proved" wrong even without finding the ball if the player claims KVC is met when there is significant foot high rough bordering a penalty area and the ball was not seen to enter the penalty area. That doesn't prevent a player playing from a wrong place, but it does enable others to protect the field appropriately.
 
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Voyager EMH

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Minor further comment on your post, that has much to commend it. The words above could be misunderstood that you do not need to take account of input/information from others. I do not believe that is what you are suggesting, but think it worth affirming that while each of us need to decide on all the facts, the information/facts that others bring could be a critical part of the decision making.
I also suggest a player can certainly be "proved" wrong even without finding the ball if the player claims KVC is met when there is significant foot high rough bordering a penalty area and the ball was not seen to enter the penalty area. That doesn't prevent a player playing from a wrong place, but it does enable others to protect the field appropriately.
Yes, he can be proved wrong, but he could still have a case that he listened to all info, took due diligence and believed he made the correct decision and should suffer no reprimand or penalty.

The committee would have to adjudicate accordingly if the player, or anyone else, makes an appropriate submission. The 5% doubt versus 95% certainty is what is in question. It can not be proved that the player did not have more than 95% certainty, if he said he did have more than 95% certainty and acted accordingly. The committee ruling against him has to have grounds to state that his judgement of more than 95% certainty was in serious error and give reasons for their judgement.
This 95% business is never going to be a clearly black and white issue.
I have decided that I will not dither or shilly-shally in these circumstances, but make the decision and act accordingly. I listen to others input or info given, but I will not argue on the course at that time over the 95% issue. I declare the ball lost in the penalty area or lost in the general area and act accordingly.
The decision is mine to make, so I take responsibility and make it. If there are consequences at a later time, I will deal with them at that appropriate later time.
What I can't abide is other players dithering and a failure to make any decision at all or even asking others to take the responsibility in some way.
 
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Yes, he can be proved wrong, but he could still have a case that he listened to all info, took due diligence and believed he made the correct decision and should suffer no reprimand or penalty.

The committee would have to adjudicate accordingly if the player, or anyone else, makes an appropriate submission. The 5% doubt versus 95% certainty is what is in question. It can not be proved that the player did not have more than 95% certainty, if he said he did have more than 95% certainty and acted accordingly. The committee ruling against him has to have grounds to state that his judgement of more than 95% certainty was in serious error and give reasons for their judgement.
This 95% business is never going to be a clearly black and white issue.
I have decided that I will not dither or shilly-shally in these circumstances, but make the decision and act accordingly. I listen to others input or info given, but I will not argue on the course at that time over the 95% issue. I declare the ball lost in the penalty area or lost in the general area and act accordingly.
The decision is mine to make, so I take responsibility and make it. If there are consequences at a later time, I will deal with them at that appropriate later time.
What I can't abide is other players dithering and a failure to make any decision at all or even asking others to take the responsibility in some way.
Again, I agree with the largest part of what you are saying. I am only adding a note that the facts on the ground matter. It is not only about what the player believes, important though that is. I also agree that the player should decide and get on with it. But if the player is off with the fairies on a claim of KVC, there certainly can be factual information recorded (other than finding the ball) that proves the player was incorrect in claiming KVC. If the issue goes for a ruling in a timely way, the Committee doesn't need to say anything if it disagrees KVC existed (but it would make sense to do so), it can simply amend the player's score in a not serious breach world or DQ if it considers the wrong place was a serious breach.
 
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I will make a bold postulation, an unproved theory, not necessarily what I believe to be true, as it is yet to be proved.

A. Player states he has more than 5% doubt that his ball is lost in the penalty area an proceeds accordingly.
B. Player states that he is more than 95% certain that his ball is lost in the penalty area and proceeds accordingly.

Postulation: A is factually incorrect more often than B.

Reason: A general perception that a 4% doubt is far greater than it is in reality.
 
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I will make a bold postulation, an unproved theory, not necessarily what I believe to be true, as it is yet to be proved.

A. Player states he has more than 5% doubt that his ball is lost in the penalty area an proceeds accordingly.
B. Player states that he is more than 95% certain that his ball is lost in the penalty area and proceeds accordingly.

Postulation: A is factually incorrect more often than B.

Reason: A general perception that a 4% doubt is far greater than it is in reality.
I simply don't believe that anyone can specify their actual numeric degree of certainty/doubt accurately!
That is why it's appropriate for KVC to be the Rule wording.
 

Voyager EMH

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I agree that no one can "specify" their numeric degree of certainty with certainty, but the rules require that you you must make the 5% and/or 95% judgement to the best of your ability at the time in those circumstances and take responsibility.
"I don't know how to make that judgement" is not catered for. (other than the play two balls and ask questions later scenario)
 
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This discussion has been useful for me in respect of KOVC. So to player who has hit his ball towards water and thinks it has gone in.

1) Did you/we see the ball hit the water Y/N.
2) If Yes is agreed then ball in water is Known, continue accordingly.
3) If No then for Virtually Certain - is there any other place the ball could reasonably have ended up given where we saw it heading
4) If No then it is Virtually Certain that the ball is in the water, continue accordingly.
5) If Yes but we can’t find it in any such place then, sorry, not VC it’s in the water and therefore not KOVC so Lost Ball, continue accordingly.

Good enough for me.
 

Voyager EMH

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This discussion has been useful for me in respect of KOVC. So to player who has hit his ball towards water and thinks it has gone in.

1) Did you/we see the ball hit the water Y/N.
2) If Yes is agreed then ball in water is Known, continue accordingly.
3) If No then for Virtually Certain - is there any other place the ball could reasonably have ended up given where we saw it heading
4) If No then it is Virtually Certain that the ball is in the water, continue accordingly.
5) If Yes but we can’t find it in any such place then, sorry, not VC it’s in the water and therefore not KOVC so Lost Ball, continue accordingly.

Good enough for me.
Part 5 could also be interpreted as, we can’t find it in any such place then we are moved to be more than 95% certain that the ball is in the water. It will depend on the circumstances.
The player must decide whether,
More than 5% doubt ball is in water (despite a search has not found it out of the water)
More than 95% certain ball is in water (aided by the failure to detect the ball out of the water)
This is the judgement for the player to make, and most importantly, the decision should be made with a clear understanding of the concept of 5% doubt and 95% certainty.
 
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Part 5 could also be interpreted as, we can’t find it in any such place then we are moved to be more than 95% certain that the ball is in the water. It will depend on the circumstances.
The player must decide whether,
More than 5% doubt ball is in water (despite a search has not found it out of the water)
More than 95% certain ball is in water (aided by the failure to detect the ball out of the water)
This is the judgement for the player to make, and most importantly, the decision should be made with a clear understanding of the concept of 5% doubt and 95% certainty.
But surely that you can’t find it when there are places it could be sitting cannot mean that it must therefore with 95% certainty be in the water.
 
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