USGA Quiz Question (Ref# 689)

Dutch Boy

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My answer to the question was 8 which was incorrect.

Tee shot 1, S&D and wrong place 3 penalties and subsequent stroke, serious breach (rule 14.7b must correct the mistake). 3 stokes with the original ball.

I cannot understand why the player had to return to the tee.

What am I getting wrong?

Would appreciate clarifications thanks

The Q&A:

In stroke play, a player hits their tee shot into the rough on the 18th hole. They search for 2 minutes and find a ball in a bad lie. They decide it is unplayable, drop it under Rule 19.2b, and play it onto the putting green. When they get there they realize it isn’t their ball and return to the area and find their ball in 30 seconds in a playable lie. Without lifting it, they play it to the green and hole out in two putts. They then go into the scoring area and, before returning their card, tell the scorer what they just did. Their score for the hole is: (Ref# 689)

Incorrect

You answered 8

Correct answer

They must return to the tee and will be playing their 7th stroke.

Explanation

Rule 18.1; Rule 14.7b(1); Rule 6.3b; Rule 6.3c, Clarification 19.2/5
 
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At a guess :

1st ball was lost, out of time clearly, so back to the tee to play 3, however also played a wrong ball (2 shots) then another wrong ball (original that was out of time?) another 2 shots.

The arguments might come from lack of lateral thinking. The reference to 30 seconds is a red herring I believe, because there is no way in reality someone could find a ball after 2 minutes searching, then decide to drop it, then play it, then walk to the green, then discover it's a wrong ball, then walk back and find the correct ball all within the initial 3 mins, hence the original is no longer in play.
 

rulie

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Let me try. When you picked up that ball that you found and then dropped it under unplayable, it was not a wrong ball but a ball substituted for your ball in play. The only Rule which can be applied to your actions is stroke and distance, and the only correct place for stroke and distance would be the teeing ground, so it was a serious breach of playing from a wrong place (significant distance gained without a stroke). Since you continued play up to the green etc, your three minutes of searching for your original ball had expired and it was lost. When you played it, you played a wrong ball and must correct. To correct the serious breach of playing from a wrong place, you must return to the teeing area.
Stroke count - tee shot, 1 ps for s+d, stroke made from wrong place, 2 ps for playing from wrong place, 2 ps for playing wrong ball (your original ball)
Two talent strokes and four penalty strokes, returning to the tee would be your seventh stroke.
(A point to note in the above - except for one situation that I'm aware of, any time you have a ball in your hands and put it into play by dropping or placing it, it is no longer a wrong ball, it is your ball in play.
The exception to this rule of thumb is when the player marks and lifts his ball on the putting green and sets the ball aside, then plays it from that spot. The ball was no longer his ball in play and is therefore a wrong ball.)
 
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Steven Rules

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Since the player did not know the spot of the original ball at the time the other ball was substituted, the player is treated as having taken stroke-and-distance relief (one penalty stroke) and did so in a wrong place (two penalty strokes) (Clarification 19.2/5)

My take on it is:

Tee shot - 1
S&D - 1 ps
Wrong place - 2 ps (serious breach)
Wrong ball (original ball) - 2 ps (strokes played with wrong ball do not count)
Total - 6

Next shot from the 18th tee to correct the serious breach will be the player’s 7th stroke.

Had this uncorrected error occurred on any hole other than the 18th the player would be disqualified. For a serious breach, the player must correct the mistake before making a stroke to begin another hole or, for the final hole of the round, before returning their scorecard.
 

Steven Rules

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The reference to 30 seconds is a red herring I believe, because there is no way in reality someone could find a ball after 2 minutes searching, then decide to drop it, then play it, then walk to the green, then discover it's a wrong ball, then walk back and find the correct ball all within the initial 3 mins, hence the original is no longer in play.
The references in the question to the search period might be a red herring but not for the reason you suggest.

There are situations when the "clock stops" on the three minute search period and such time does not count towards the player's three minutes. One example given in the Clarifications, which resembles this quiz question, is that a player searches for their ball for one minute and finds a ball. The player assumes that ball is their ball and plays that ball. The player then discovers that it is a wrong ball. When the player returns to the area where the original ball was likely to be and resumes the search, they have two more minutes to search. The time of search stopped when the player found the wrong ball and stopped searching. (Clarification 18.2a(1)/1)

I suggest the bit in the question about the search time is something of a red herring because if a player makes a stroke at an incorrectly substituted ball, the player must play out the hole with the incorrectly substituted ball. (Rule 6.3b(3))

Whether the original ball was found or not, and whether it was within the three minute search period or not, matters little because under 6.3b(3) the original ball had to be abandoned once the substituted ball had been played, even though such substitution was not permitted.
 

backwoodsman

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I accept the explanations above.

But have one query. Given that the question (as written) does not say where the original ball was in relation to the incorrectly substituted ball - how do we know that the substituted ball, when played, was a 'serious breach' of playing from a wrong place - or not? If the 'found ball' and the 'original ball' were close together might not the substituted ball have been dropped either in the right place, or at least close enough to be not a serious breach? (I guess I'm asking was it truly necessary to go back to the tee.) Or is none of this relevant?
 
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Steven Rules

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Rule 19.2 is explicit. In order to take back-on-the-line relief or lateral relief, the player must know the spot of the original ball.

So it doesn't matter if the wrong ball is sitting directly on top of the player’s original ball (i.e. they are in near identical positions). If the original ball has not been found and identified, stroke amd distance is the only available option. (Rule 19.2)
 

backwoodsman

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Rule 19.2 is explicit. In order to take back-on-the-line relief or lateral relief, the player must know the spot of the original ball.

So it doesn't matter if the wrong ball is sitting directly on top of the player’s original ball (i.e. they are in near identical positions). If the original ball has not been found and identified, stroke amd distance is the only available option. (Rule 19.2)
OK, thanks.
 
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The references in the question to the search period might be a red herring but not for the reason you suggest.

There are situations when the "clock stops" on the three minute search period and such time does not count towards the player's three minutes. One example given in the Clarifications, which resembles this quiz question, is that a player searches for their ball for one minute and finds a ball. The player assumes that ball is their ball and plays that ball. The player then discovers that it is a wrong ball. When the player returns to the area where the original ball was likely to be and resumes the search, they have two more minutes to search. The time of search stopped when the player found the wrong ball and stopped searching. (Clarification 18.2a(1)/1)

I suggest the bit in the question about the search time is something of a red herring because if a player makes a stroke at an incorrectly substituted ball, the player must play out the hole with the incorrectly substituted ball. (Rule 6.3b(3))

Whether the original ball was found or not, and whether it was within the three minute search period or not, matters little because under 6.3b(3) the original ball had to be abandoned once the substituted ball had been played, even though such substitution was not permitted.
Good info, thanks 👍
 

wjemather

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I concur with @Steven Rules and think Clarification 19.2/5 covers it pretty well.

As soon as the player took relief using an incorrect reference point (because they hadn't found their ball) they are deemed to have taken stroke and distance relief. Playing the substituted ball was playing from a wrong place. Subsequent discovery of the original ball is irrelevant as it's no longer the ball in play - playing it was playing a wrong ball. The right place was the tee, and since playing from the wrong place was a serious breach, the tee is where they must play the next stroke from.

1. tee shot
2. penalty relief (stroke and distance)
3 & 4. two-stroke penalty for playing the substituted ball from a wrong place
5 & 6. two-stroke penalty for playing the original ball (wrong ball)
7. from the tee
 
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YandaB

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My confusion is from the clarification that Steven Rules mentions. If the ball that was found could have been played without relief, then the player would have been correct in what they did (going back and finding their ball within the remaining 30 seconds). I don't quite get why this is regarded as a substitute ball being played from the wrong place. If it had been playable but then the next shot was unplayable, would the same ruling apply?

The definition I read of wrong ball doesn't mention you having to hit it to be one, it just is.

Seems harsh, they are applying all the correct rules, just to the wrong ball. Seems like double jeopardy.

Edit: I guess that I am asking, why is it a substitute ball not a wrong ball?
 

jim8flog

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There are times when I think the people who think up these questions do not think it through. Would this be a real life situation?

A player picks up the ball and does not realise it is not his ball!!!! Would that really happen?

However I bet there might be one in 1000 players who might do that.
 

Viewer

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There are times when I think the people who think up these questions do not think it through. Would this be a real life situation?

A player picks up the ball and does not realise it is not his ball!!!! Would that really happen?

However I bet there might be one in 1000 players who might do that.

Lots of Titleist 4s out there!
 
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It doesn't say that the substitute ball is played from the wrong place, so why is that being offered as an explanation? Actually I still think that it's a wrong ball.
 

Steven Rules

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If the ball that was found could have been played without relief, then the player would have been correct in what they did (going back and finding their ball within the remaining 30 seconds).
In the situation you describe here, the found ball is the wrong ball and the player incurs a two stroke penalty for playing it. The player’s original ball is still the ball in play.


I don't quite get why this is regarded as a substitute ball being played from the wrong place. If it had been playable but then the next shot was unplayable, would the same ruling apply?
The difference is that the player has dropped and played the second ball (i.e. the player has put the second/substitute ball in play) as opposed to walked up and hit a random (wrong) ball.


Edit: I guess that I am asking, why is it a substitute ball not a wrong ball?
The Definitions are your friend.

The definition of In Play says that a ball is no longer in play when another ball has been substituted for it, even if not allowed by a Rule. It also says that a ball that is not in play is a wrong ball and the player cannot have more than one ball in play at any time.

The definition of Wrong Ball includes any ball other than the player’s ball in play (whether the original ball or a substituted ball),
 

Steven Rules

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It doesn't say that the substitute ball is played from the wrong place, so why is that being offered as an explanation? Actually I still think that it's a wrong ball.
The quiz question doesn't say that the substitute ball is played from the wrong place because that is the point of it being a quiz question. We have to work these things out for ourselves as part of the 'fun' of doing the quiz.

As explained in #18, the second (incorrectly substituted) ball became the ball in play when the player dropped and played it. The player can only have one ball in play at a time. Anything else (including the original ball in this scenario) is a wrong ball.

As explained in #8, the only correct place from which to play the second/substituted ball is back on the 18th tee (i.e. stroke and distance). Anywhere else would be a wrong place.

This particular question would be at the more challenging end of the spectrum of quiz questions. Personally, I find the wrong ball/wrong place/substituted ball aspects of the Rules the most complex aspects of the Rules to master.
 
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The quiz question doesn't say that the substitute ball is played from the wrong place because that is the point of it being a quiz question. We have to work these things out for ourselves as part of the 'fun' of doing the quiz.

As explained in #18, the second (incorrectly substituted) ball became the ball in play when the player dropped and played it. The player can only have one ball in play at a time. Anything else (including the original ball in this scenario) is a wrong ball.

As explained in #8, the only correct place from which to play the second/substituted ball is back on the 18th tee (i.e. stroke and distance). Anywhere else would be a wrong place.

This particular question would be at the more challenging end of the spectrum of quiz questions. Personally, I find the wrong ball/wrong place/substituted ball aspects of the Rules the most complex aspects of the Rules to master.
Does the act of picking it up and dropping it before hitting it negate it from being a wrong ball?
 
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