Could this change to The Rules be a good thing?
During a discussion today I asked a question that has been on my mind for a few years. It caused a lengthy debate and I was late home.
What do you guys (and gals) think?
You have hit a ball into a tough spot, played a Provisional and upon finding your original ball, can't play it so calling it unplayable. Because of its location you don't have any other option than proceeding under part a of Rule28 and returning to where you last played. We then discussed the merits of changing Rule28, in order to save time allowing the PB to be used for your next shot but only when parts b & c are not possible. We were split 50\50.
Reply : Fri 7th Jun 2013 13:51
Purely on the "saving time" aspect I would be in favour of the "using your provisional" if 28b&c are not possible. Simple little change to the 28a rule would enable this IMO.
Reply : Fri 7th Jun 2013 19:07
I'm in favour, but it does leave it open to abuse. How many times have you put your drive into the nasty stuff and boomed your provisional straight and long. You then find you're original ball, wish you hadn't due to the lie and end up taking 3 more shots to get up with your provisional.
The risk is people find their original ball, decide they are better off with their provisional and play that instead. At least if they have to go back they are under pressure with their next which you don't have so much of with a provisional
Reply : Sat 8th Jun 2013 18:58
I thought a player could deem a ball unplayable at any time? could i be wrong?? probably but im sure most people would hit a decent provisional and then not even bother looking for the original ball and claim it 'unplayable' i may be wrong
Reply : Sun 9th Jun 2013 11:13
That is claiming the original ball is lost and the PB is then the ball 'in play'.
Reply : Sun 9th Jun 2013 11:50
oh ok nice1
Reply : Mon 10th Jun 2013 07:45
I can see how this idea would speed up play but it would definitely be open to abuse and it would be unfair on the other players as the provisional ball is played under different pressure conditions.
When a provisional is take the pressure is off slightly as there is always the chance you ball might be found. You tend to be more relaxed and hit a better ball. Most of my provisionals are blummin great shots compared to my original efforts.
If you have found your ball but it is unplayable and your only option is to trudge back to the tee then you are in a very different mindset to when you played your provisional. You really have to control your emotions to be able to hit a decent shot.
A lot of golf is brain control so to remove this from the shot by being able to take your provisional wouldn't be right in my book.
Reply : Mon 10th Jun 2013 10:04
For me hitting a provisional actually puts me under far more pressure as I know off my handicap that I have to score a par with it or better.
However I agree with others that it would be open to abuse as you have to rely on honesty. Mind you is that not part of golf that you have to rely on the honesty of players.
The thing that irritates me more than anything is slow play, and the pro's are the ones that have led to this creeping down through amateur ranks. Therefore anything that would help speed up play albeit a rarely occurring situation surely would be a good change?
Reply : Mon 10th Jun 2013 11:55
How about we flip the question on its head. You are playing behind a group of similar size and are preparing your t shots on the tee while the other group are approaching their balls. One of the players spends 5 minutes in the bushes, before finding his ball and walking 250 yards back to you to play his shot again, despite you seeing him hit a beautiful provisional. During this time the group behind you has caught you up and the group behind them is likely to be on the green by the time you have tee'd off.
Rather than saving the 'unplayable ball' group time, the rule change will most likely stop congestion behind the group which could effect a fair number of guys/girls rounds
Reply : Mon 10th Jun 2013 15:32
If the group in front were looking for the ball whilst you were on the tee then they should have waved you through.
Reply : Mon 10th Jun 2013 20:21
I dont think you should ever have the choice to have this ball in this position or that ball in that position. Its almost intoducing a type of mulligan IMO. I dont play a lot of medals but honestly cannot remember the last time I went back to the tee to play 3rd shot. And I do play by the rules. None of this "drop it about here, I think thats where it landed". Dave CAC handed Geordie.
Reply : Mon 10th Jun 2013 22:42
I had to take the "walk of shame" in a medal a few weeks ago after hoping I would find my ball. I'd already hit a provisional that was horribly sliced and was going back to play 5 off the tee. We'd only looked for about 2 minutes and I walked back while my playing partners continued looking. As I hit my second provisional they called they'd found it (inside the time limit) and I got away with it. Ironically I came second overall and got cut 1.2!
Interestingly, on the very next hole the assistant pro who was playing in the group in front trudged back past us doing the walk of shame himself!
Reply : Tue 11th Jun 2013 12:43
I'm not in favour of this. The winner should always be the player that has hit the best shots & kept their head during a round. Not finding your ball & having to walk back to the tee will always effect players differently, it's how they handle this pressure that will make them a better player.
There are other things that players can do to avoid slow play.
Reply : Tue 11th Jun 2013 20:57
I wasn't aware that provisional balls could only be played before the search began and i doubt many people are. i do know you can play a provisional at any time (as long as you declare it) and there is no limit on how many you play
That being the case I would not have gone back and played until the five minutes were up. I only did so to save time and in truth wouldn't have bothered with a provisional at all had it not been a medal as I was quite confident of finding it. It turns out we were looking about 10 yards short of where the bal was. I was chatting to the pro post-round and told him what had happened and he made no mention of any wrong doing
Reply : Wed 12th Jun 2013 12:37
Your just as bad as Tiger!