Played a round last night. The 8th hole is densly tree lined all the way down the left hand side (if it's in there, it's lost). I managed to hook it off the tee and saw my ball take one bounce and disappear into the trees. I took a provisional off the tee and walked down to see if I could find my first ball. When I got down to the area my ball went in, there were red stakes just inside the tree line as a stream was running through the trees (you couldn't see these from the tee). I couldn't see my ball
I wasn't sure of the correct action so I took a drop in line with the lateral hazrd rules and played both balls into the hole. As the score was the same for both balls, it didn't affect my card.
My question is, given that I played a provisional off the tee, does this automatically become the ball in play, or can I still take the drop due to the lateral hazard I wasn't aware of? The drop was further from the hole than the position of the provisional. I just want to make sure I do the right thing in future.
Reply : Wed 19th May 2010 14:38
A Provisional ball is hit in case you lose your 1st ball or it is Out of Bounds and only those things.
If you find a Water Hazard (like you did) the first ball can still be lost or Out of Bounds and you could play your 3rd shot with the Provisional Ball.
If you find your ball in the Water Hazard then the Provisional is now out of play and not able to be used (your 1st ball is not lost or out of bounds). you then proceed with that 1st ball.
The big problem and a very mis-understood ruling is when you hit a Provisional and then find your 1st ball in a spot where your only option is to return to the original spot you played from. In this case, even though you have a ball close by (the Prov) you still have to return to where you last played from to hit your next shot. Time consuming yes, but that is what the Rules say.
Last edit : Wed 19th May 2010 14:40
Reply : Wed 19th May 2010 14:54
The statement in the rules says something like "It is a matter of fact as to whether a ball has gone into a water hazard", and "if it can be reasonably assumed" that the ball has gone into the hazard and it is agreed by all parties that it is, then it is considered to be in there (wording is unlikely to be correct but you get the gist). In my case, it was a reasonable assumption that my ball was in the lateral hazard (it's not a trickle of a stream!), so I was unsure whether my provisional became the defacto ball in play or I still had the option to take the drop.
The way I saw it, i had two options: -
I am unsure if I can do option 2 having played a provisional
Reply : Wed 19th May 2010 14:56
"As Chris was saying that this happened after a tee shot, he would then play 3 off the tee, then wouldn't he be playing his 4th shot?"
Actually that would only be my third as you get the option to replay the shot from the original position under penalty of stroke and distance
Reply : Wed 19th May 2010 15:33
Wow, quick replies.
You can't hit a Provisional ball for a ball that you think may be in a Water Hazard, you can only hit a Prov for a ball that may be LOST 'outside a water hazard' or OUT of BOUNDS.
You have to be vertually certain that a ball is 'Lost in a Water Hazard'. "A ball went into that area and there is a Water Hazard over there" is not good enough.
What Chris should have done was either:-
1. Played the Prov Ball for his 4th shot, or.....
2. Found his 1st ball in the Water Hazard, dropped out within 2clublengths of where his ball entered it and played his 3rd shot from there.
Reply : Wed 19th May 2010 15:45
"Lyth..May I clarify something, please. Your reply stated "If you find a Water Hazard (like you did) the first ball can still be lost or Out of Bounds and you could play your 3rd shot with the Provisional Ball." As Chris was saying that this happened after a tee shot, he would then play 3 off the tee, then wouldn't he be playing his 4th shot?"
You found me out David, I missed one importent thing out. What I was meaning to say was that even though there was a chance that the 1st ball was in the Water Hazard, which Chris implies he didn't know it was there when he played the Provisional Ball, without any evidence of the ball being in the Water Hazard you can deem the ball lost and play the Provisional Ball and seeing that that ball was close by, it would be the 4th shot.
Reply : Wed 19th May 2010 16:02
"The simple answer is to not lose the damn ball in the first place"
Now I know what I'm doing wrong!
I thought a provisional only became in play when your ball was lost IN PLAY. As mine was lost in a hazard, then I could take the drop. As I say, I'm not sure so I'm after clarification
Also, as the stakes were only defined at my side, does this mean that the hazard extends back infinitely?
Last edit : Wed 19th May 2010 16:04
Reply : Wed 19th May 2010 17:44
Rule 26 states: -"It is a question of fact whether a ball that has not been found after having been struck toward a water hazard is in the hazard. In order to apply this Rule, it must be known or virtually certain that the ball is in the hazard. In the absence of such knowledge or certainty, the player must proceed under Rule 27-1.
If a ball is in a water hazard or if it is known or virtually certain that a ball that has not been found is in a water hazard (whether the ball lies in water or not), the player may under penalty of one stroke:"
This is what I was talking about with my ball. It was beyond the red stakes (I saw it going that direction and I am certain it was beyond them). I am comfortable that had I not played a provisional I would have been doing the right thing by taking a drop. That wasn't my question though. My question is: -
Having played a provisional and then finding my ball is deemed to be lost in the hazard, can I take the appropriate drop or do I have to play my provisional?
Reply : Wed 19th May 2010 17:54
"Having played a provisional and then finding my ball is deemed to be lost in the hazard, can I take the appropriate drop or do I have to play my provisional? "
you take the appropriate drop from the water hazard !
Reply : Wed 19th May 2010 19:14
Dave - The red stakes were inside the tree line, which is why I didn't see them. The ball went into the trees and when I got there I found red stakes about 5 feet inside the trees and a stream at the bottom of a ditch. The ditch was about 8 feet down and 20 feet wide, with the stream being about 10 feet wide. I pitched outside of the trees and I'm confident yet another of my balls has gone to a watery grave. There were no red stakes marking the far side of the hazard.
Santo - Yes my prov was further than where my first went missing. I would have preferred the drop though as the green was still in range so I could have been on for 3.
All irrelevant though. I played a provisional and then found out my ball was in a hazard. Do I have to play the provisional or can I take the drop?
Reply : Wed 19th May 2010 19:50
If you found your ball in the hazard then you proceed under the rules with that ball. The prov comes into play if your ball is deemed lost.
Last edit : Wed 19th May 2010 19:51
Reply : Wed 19th May 2010 20:04
But rule 26 contradicts John
"....it must be known or virtually certain that the ball is in the hazard. In the absence of such knowledge or certainty, the player must proceed under Rule 27-1. If a ball is a water hazard or if it is known or virtually certain that a ball that has not been found is in a water hazard (whether the ball lies in water or not), the player may under penalty of one stroke:"
I pretty certain that my ball was in the hazard, so does this mean I have the choice?
My head hurts!!!!
Reply : Wed 19th May 2010 20:23
You were playing on your own and therefore only answerable to yourself, Chris. If you had a playing partner then you would have had to be certain that the ball was in the hazard. If your partner agrees with you, then fine, no problem.
Reply : Wed 19th May 2010 20:57
I'm an honest golfer John (or try to be). Whether I am playing a practice round by myself or in a comp, I will always do my best to play to the rules. That's why I want to know what I should have done in this situation
Reply : Wed 19th May 2010 21:03
I'm basing my suggestion on your comment
I played a provisional and then found out my ball was in a hazard.
Reply : Wed 19th May 2010 21:16
I think that you're right John, but I didn't know if playing a provisional would have an effect on what I should do. Had I known the lateral hazard was there I certainly wouldn't have played the provisional.
Reply : Wed 19th May 2010 21:34
A Provisional Ball is played when you think that your 1st ball may be lost outside a Water Hazard or Out of Bounds. This you did.
You then found that there was actually a Water Hazard in the area your 1st ball had ended up. No problem.
You then decided that the 1st ball was in the Water Hazard. You need to be vitually certain that it was. Finding it would have helped.
If it is DEEMED that your 1st ball was in the Water Hazard then it is not lost or Out of Bounds, so the Provisional Ball is now taken out of the picture.
If the 1st ball can't be DEEMED to be in the Water Hazard, nor can it be found then it is LOST and the Provisional Ball becomes your Ball In Play.
Hope this clears it up.
Reply : Thu 20th May 2010 07:19
Wayne, its not "if the prov ball has passed that point" but if "the player plays the prov from past that point". I do believe.
Reply : Thu 20th May 2010 11:21
Sorry to correct you, but you said
"you declared you were playing a provisional in case you had lost your ball (this also relates to losing the ball in any hazard), however, in addition to that you have to realise playing a provisional ball is also permitted to be played if you are unsure as to whether you have hit a ball into a hazard. This provisional ball was your initial decision that also relates to your ball in the hazard whether you find the ball in the hazard or declare it lost in the hazard, it is an option available within the rules (as rule 26-1a states - play a ball as near as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played.) You have clearly taken that option available to you within the rules whether you realised this option was available or not, so for you to further abandon your provisional ball and play one of the other options available to you near the margin of where your ball crossed the hazard and under penalty stroke, you will actually have played from the wrong place also and should incur a further penalty."
Rule 27-2 Provisional Ball starts with a. Procedure and "If a ball may be lost OUTSIDE A WATER HAZARD or may be Out of Bounds................"
You can't play a Provisional Ball if you think your 1st ball may be in a Water Hazard.
Reply : Thu 20th May 2010 12:02
"I'm under the impression you can play a Prov ball upto the point where you believe your other is lost !!! but if the prov ball is passed that point and you play it, then the prov ball becomes the ball in play irrelevant to the 1st ball"
Wayne, i was under the impression that you can play a provisional ball whenever the rules deem appropriate but if you hit that provisional ball a second time then it becomes in play irrespective if you find the original ball.
or to put it easier (for me anyway), i hit a tee shot into the woods and am not sure if i am going to find it, so i hit a prov ball which i duff it just passed the ladies (i know a common occurance for most ) then hit the prov ball again but it still doesnt reach the point my first ball went to. now this is the bit.... the prov ball became the ball in play after i hit it for the 2nd time even if it didnt go further than my original and even if i find my original.
am i right with this assumption?
Lyth a question for you response..
"You can't hit a Provisional ball for a ball that you think may be in a Water Hazard, you can only hit a Prov for a ball that may be LOST 'outside a water hazard' or OUT of BOUNDS."
Whilst playing a while ago 1 of my playing partners hit a tee shot left into deep rough but also there is a water hazard there, he decided to play a provisional
when we reached the spot where we thought his ball might have been we noticed that the rough was cut right down around the edge of the water, we assumed his ball had gone through the rough and with the grass being so short there was nothig to stop it going in the water and all 4 players in the group deemed the ball had gone in the water, he then dropped under rules and played from there, picking his prov ball up on the way to the green
was this correct?
Reply : Thu 20th May 2010 13:08
One thing I am cetain of in all this. You can hit a provisional ball as many times as you like. However, once you make a stroke at it BEYOND THE POINT AT WHICH THE ORIGINAL BALL IS BELIEVED TO BE LOST i.e. closer to the hole than which your original ball is believed to be lying, then that becomes the ball in play.
So in your situation, you top the first shot at the provisional, then hit again. You then find your original ball. As long as you have not made a stroke at your provisional when it was closer to the hole than your original ball, the original ball remains the one ion play and you pick up the provisional at no penalty
Reply : Thu 20th May 2010 13:10
I think you can carry on playing your provisional ball up until the point where you think your original ball landed. If you find your original then you can carry on & the provisional is no longer in play.
I think the provisional becomes in play if you carry on past the point where your ball landed.
I think that's right.
Last edit : Thu 20th May 2010 13:13
Reply : Fri 21st May 2010 11:22
You couldn't make it up. EXACTLY the same thing happened again last night!!!
It was on the other course at the same club. Pushed a tee shot into the trees on a par 3, took a provisional, got down there and found red stakes in the trees for a ditch. Grass was second cut length except inside the red stakes so I am positive that I was in the defined hazard.
I took the drop for a lateral hazrd and played this ball, picking up my provisional
Reply : Fri 21st May 2010 13:45
It is because of the strict Ruling of the "known or vertually certain that a ball is lost inside a Water Hazard" that dictates the correct proceedure with regard to a Provisional Ball.
If you hit a ball towards a Water Hazard and it WAS "known or vertually certain that the ball had entered a Water Hazard" you can't hit a Provisional Ball. It's in the Hazard so you know where it is.
If you hit a ball towards a Water Hazard and you are not sure where it finished and it may be lost outside the Water Hazard, you can hit a Provisional. Then when searching, you can't locate the ball, then it is difficult to get a "known or vertually certain" Ruling because there is equal chance that the ball was either IN or OUT of the Water Hazard.
Reply : Sat 22nd May 2010 07:45
Chris you keeping saying you were sure it was in the water hazard because it could be no where else, In my eyes that is not certain that very uncertain. Unless you see a splash or see it clearly roll in then you can not just assume it's in there. Therefore to be sure you are inside the rules if a hazrd is out of view when you hit the ball you can not be certain so you should assume the ball is lost unless you find it in the hazard.
Reply : Mon 7th Jun 2010 12:39
Had this this weekend the captain played in 4 ball behind the captain and he sent a guy back for exactly the same thing.
On the 15 a dog leg left you play a blind tee shot over a fairway bunker probaly 200yds carry about 260yds see's you in the hazard as this is the very edge of the fairway on the dog leg. The guy went over the bunker and his ball was not on the fairway he then proceeded to look in the hazard but made the mistake of looking outside off the hazrd for his ball for a few seconds just to check it had not gone in before declaring it in the hazard.
Now the captain queit rightly siad if you are lookin there you are not 100% certain your ball is in there so you have to declare it lost or find it now. A bit of gamesmanship by the captain maybe as he was on agood score to but he was totally wothin his rights the bloke then had to return to the tee after looking for a while and play again.
Moral of the story if you are certain it is in there then only look in the hazard and if you don't find it in there take a drop but chanceing your arm hoping it didn't when it did will get you in real trouble.
Reply : Mon 7th Jun 2010 23:14
Gary, the Captain may think he has a valid point but if the ball isn't found in light rough around a hazard then that for me would confirm that my thinking that the ball is in the hazard is correct.
Reply : Tue 8th Jun 2010 10:20
It is "A QUESTION OF FACT" that a ball hit towards a Water Hazard is in it. It has to be "KNOWN OR VIRTUALLY CERTAIN" that a ball that has not been found is in the Water Hazard. These are the Rules.
The problem is how much does it take to be "Vitually Certain"? Here the Captain wanted 100% proof.
Over the years I have come to this conclusion:-
Sunday Knockabout = 50%
Club Comps = 75%
Team Matches = 85%
County Comps = 95%
Pro and Amatur Tournaments = 99.9%
If this Captain wants to apply The Rules to the letter, he needs to apply it to them all, and unless he is a Top Rules Official with either The PGA or R&A he won't know be able to do that. There is always a chance that a ball you think is in an area, actually isn't, however small that chance is.
Reply : Tue 8th Jun 2010 11:16
If you can not see a water hazard from the tee then it might as well not be there as you would not see your ball go in so you would have to declare it lost everytime. proffessionals allways have cameras , spectators, officials etc all watching the ball, whereas we do not. so if it heads towards a hazrad and you can't find it then it should be declared as going in the hazard.
Reply : Tue 8th Jun 2010 13:53
Of course it should be there that's the whole point of it, this is in actual fact an extremely very well thought out posiiton for the hazard.
This hazard turns quiet a short dogleg hole into thnking hole do you blast it over the bunker and risk losing your ball for a 125 yd shot to the green or do you lay up to the right of the bunker safely and take the 180-200yd shot into the green it's risk reward and how all golf holes should be options off the tee not just blast it down the middle on a straight up par 4.
The point I was making is not that the hazard is in a silly place but if you don't see a splash then by rights your playing partner can be as anal as he wants and send you back to tthe tee. Obviously common sense would prevail as Lyth says 90% of the time but some people are all about winning and if your are serious competition to your playing partner by the letter of the law he can if he wants send you back.