Rules: You Cannot Declare Your Ball Lost
Article from Barry Rhodes author of the book, ‘999 Questions on the Rules of Golf’
Barry is author of the book, ‘999 Questions on the Rules of Golf’ and writes a regular blog of miscellaneous content on the rules of Golf at www.barryrhodes.com
Reply : Mon 28th Nov 2011 20:47
Of course, Barry Rhodes (and Darren) are quite correct.
It's not possible to declare a ball lost. If someone finds your ball and the 5 minute period (which starts only when you or your playing partner starts seraching for it) hasn't expired then that ball is in play unless you have put another ball into play. Playing another ball from the oriignal position without declaring it a provisional would mean that that ball is in play.
So, next time you are playing matchplay and your opponent tells you not to bother looking for his ball becuase it's in such a bad position just remember - it's always worth a quick look because if you find it they must play it unless they've hit a shot with another ball. And, to be clear, they can't insist that you don't look for it!
Reply : Tue 29th Nov 2011 19:12
Why on earth would anyone go looking for an opponents ball that could be in a bad lie when the option of three off thee is a far better scenario to play against.
Reply : Tue 29th Nov 2011 22:07
John, in all of your experience are you saying you have never seen a situation where an opponent would be worse off playing from the original position rather than taking 3 from the tee???
Reply : Tue 29th Nov 2011 23:08
Richard, I would glady accept the 2 shots I would gain from someone taking 3 off the tee and if I failed to win that hole then it would be my own fault.