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

Voyager EMH

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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.
That is the assessment that must be made by the player in those circumstances.
The circumstances will vary greatly for each situation.
No hard and fast deduction plan will suit all circumstances.
 

cliveb

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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! .
Bringing up the concept of having played a provisional opens up another can of worms in this discussion.
If you think it's ok to hit a provisional, then by definition you're acknowledging that the ball might not be in the pond - because if you're virtually certain it's in a penalty area then you're not allowed to play a provisional.
In the context of the 8th at Grims Dyke, my opinion is that you should hit a provisional and accept that you can't be virtually certain the ball is in the pond.
 

Colin L

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Bringing up the concept of having played a provisional opens up another can of worms in this discussion.
If you think it's ok to hit a provisional, then by definition you're acknowledging that the ball might not be in the pond - because if you're virtually certain it's in a penalty area then you're not allowed to play a provisional.
In the context of the 8th at Grims Dyke, my opinion is that you should hit a provisional and accept that you can't be virtually certain the ball is in the pond.
No worms in that can. From where you are at the time of playing the ball you might reasonably think that it might be lost outside the PA but find when in the area of the PA that the circumstances are such that you can have KVC that your ball is in it.
 

salfordlad

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Bringing up the concept of having played a provisional opens up another can of worms in this discussion.
If you think it's ok to hit a provisional, then by definition you're acknowledging that the ball might not be in the pond - because if you're virtually certain it's in a penalty area then you're not allowed to play a provisional.
In the context of the 8th at Grims Dyke, my opinion is that you should hit a provisional and accept that you can't be virtually certain the ball is in the pond.
Those bolded words are incorrect, nothing in the rule book defends them. The decision criterion is stated clearly in 18.3a: IF A BALL MIGHT BE LOST OUTSIDE A PENALTY AREA...... That is, you only need 1 per cent probability that it is outside the PA and you are free to play a provisional. Expressing this the other way - anything less than 100 per cent probability the ball is in the PA and you are free to play a provisional. The concept of KVC cannot be applied to anywhere it is not expressly authorised in the rules.
 

cliveb

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No worms in that can. From where you are at the time of playing the ball you might reasonably think that it might be lost outside the PA but find when in the area of the PA that the circumstances are such that you can have KVC that your ball is in it.
To make sure I understand you correctly, is this an example of the kind of situation you're describing:
You think there could be rough (or other terrain) around the PA that might be hiding your ball, so you play a provisional, but when you get to the PA you discover that there is no rough and the ball must therefore be in the PA. OK, I can see how that would be, but surely at the time you play the provisional, you're NOT virtually certain the ball is in the PA?
Those bolded words are incorrect, nothing in the rule book defends them. The decision criterion is stated clearly in 18.3a: IF A BALL MIGHT BE LOST OUTSIDE A PENALTY AREA...... That is, you only need 1 per cent probability that it is outside the PA and you are free to play a provisional. Expressing this the other way - anything less than 100 per cent probability the ball is in the PA and you are free to play a provisional. The concept of KVC cannot be applied to anywhere it is not expressly authorised in the rules.
I don't read the rules that way. Rule 18.3a states "But if the player is aware that the only possible place the original ball could be lost is in a penalty area, a provisional ball is not allowed". Isn't that what "known or virtually certain" means - that there's nowhere else the ball could be lost? Happy to have this clarified if I've misunderstood.
 

salfordlad

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To make sure I understand you correctly, is this an example of the kind of situation you're describing:
You think there could be rough (or other terrain) around the PA that might be hiding your ball, so you play a provisional, but when you get to the PA you discover that there is no rough and the ball must therefore be in the PA. OK, I can see how that would be, but surely at the time you play the provisional, you're NOT virtually certain the ball is in the PA?

I don't read the rules that way. Rule 18.3a states "But if the player is aware that the only possible place the original ball could be lost is in a penalty area, a provisional ball is not allowed". Isn't that what "known or virtually certain" means - that there's nowhere else the ball could be lost? Happy to have this clarified if I've misunderstood.
The "only possible place" means 100 per cent certainty. Anything less and provisional is possible. KVC means something quite different - see the definition - and is only relevant to the rules that directly identify KVC as part of the rule - and it has no relevance whatsoever to the question of whether a provisional ball is permitted.
 

Colin L

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To make sure I understand you correctly, is this an example of the kind of situation you're describing:
You think there could be rough (or other terrain) around the PA that might be hiding your ball, so you play a provisional, but when you get to the PA you discover that there is no rough and the ball must therefore be in the PA. OK, I can see how that would be, but surely at the time you play the provisional, you're NOT virtually certain the ball is in the PA?
You may, indeed should play a provisional any time you have any doubt about finding your ball outside a penalty area. That doubt is all you need to validate it, the possibility of your ball being in a PA being irrelevant.
 
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Do any clubs provide guidance on particular holes? We have lots of ditches and ponds and this scenario arises frequently.

One hole has a ditch about 180-190 yards down the fairway, with slightly decline before the ditch such that you never see the ball enter the ditch. Whilst there is a slight collar of grass thicker than closely mown before the ditch it is not enough to reasonably lose a ball in. Hence it is fine to declare KVC that a ball is in the penalty area.

On the same hole there is a pond on the adjacent RHS fairway about 220 yards from the tee. Also down a slightly incline such that you cant ever see a ball enter the pond. There are a couple of trees about 25 yards before the pond. The approach I take here is that If I can see the ball land and take a straight bounce towards the pond then I can have KVC. Lack of seeing a bounce or hearing a tree noise and no KVC. I suspect here that more people declare KVC then they should.

A third scenario is more difficult again - pond on LHS of fairway about 220 from tee, but this time with rough around it. I think KVC here is just about OK if falling in to the side of the pond from the fairway (no rough there), but if towards the left edge of the pond then too much doubt. Even more people declare KVC here whe re they shouldn't IMO.
Anyway point is, do any clubs provide guidance at specific holes? Or are there just too many variables to make that sensible?
 

Voyager EMH

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Clubs may offer guidance as to the rules or make local rules.

This bit or that bit of a penalty area and you should do this or that - is unlikely to produce clarity.

The player must understand the rules and make a judgement as to what is the best way to proceed in the circumstances.
 

Steven Rules

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Do any clubs provide guidance on particular holes? We have lots of ditches and ponds and this scenario arises frequently.

One hole has a ditch about 180-190 yards down the fairway, with slightly decline before the ditch such that you never see the ball enter the ditch. Whilst there is a slight collar of grass thicker than closely mown before the ditch it is not enough to reasonably lose a ball in. Hence it is fine to declare KVC that a ball is in the penalty area.

On the same hole there is a pond on the adjacent RHS fairway about 220 yards from the tee. Also down a slightly incline such that you cant ever see a ball enter the pond. There are a couple of trees about 25 yards before the pond. The approach I take here is that If I can see the ball land and take a straight bounce towards the pond then I can have KVC. Lack of seeing a bounce or hearing a tree noise and no KVC. I suspect here that more people declare KVC then they should.

A third scenario is more difficult again - pond on LHS of fairway about 220 from tee, but this time with rough around it. I think KVC here is just about OK if falling in to the side of the pond from the fairway (no rough there), but if towards the left edge of the pond then too much doubt. Even more people declare KVC here whe re they shouldn't IMO.
Anyway point is, do any clubs provide guidance at specific holes? Or are there just too many variables to make that sensible?
There is a Model Local Rule available for committees to adopt.

B-3
Provisional Ball for Ball in a Penalty Area
Purpose. Under Rule 18.3, a player is not allowed to play a ball provisionally if it is known or virtually certain that his or her ball is in a penalty area.
But in unusual cases, the size, shape or location of a penalty area may be such that:
*The player cannot see whether the ball is in the penalty area,
*It would unreasonably delay play if the player had to go forward to look for the ball before returning to play another ball under penalty of stroke and distance, and
*If the original ball is not found, it would be known or virtually certain that the ball is in the penalty area.
 
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