Silky

Provisional Ball & Pace of Play

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I have a question for the forum. The other day I had to take a provisional ball after slicing my first ball 200+ yards to the right. The provisional ball shot that I hit was not good either but it made its way to the middle of the fairway only 150 yards ahead of us. So as we approached my provisional ball, I asked my opponent whether I could hit the provisional ball before looking for my first ball to speed up play in the event that I do not find my first ball. He agreed to this and I hit my provisional ball then proceeded to go and find my first ball. We found my first ball and I hit on to the green side banker. After putting out, my opponent, penalised me two shots for hitting my first ball. 

What is the ruling on this? The pace of play etiquette we play at our course is that we are allowed to hit our provisional ball forward to speed up play. Is there are a R&A rolling on this?

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providing you declared the second ball a provisional you can continue to play it until it passes the point that the original ball is believed to have finished. 

 

In your scenario, you were correct,

 

rule 27-2

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More specifically:

 When Provisional Ball Becomes Ball in Play

The player may play a provisional ball until he reaches the place where the original ball is likely to be. If he makes a stroke with the provisional ball from the place where the original ball is likely to be or from a point nearer the hole than that place, the original ball is lost and the provisional ball becomes the ball in play under penalty of stroke and distance (Rule 27-1).

but as you didn't play the provisional from such a place, then your original was always the ball in play and, as said, you were correct. 

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Well dome for knowing and applying the rules correctly Silky. Carry a rule book in the future so that these issues can be cleared up. Your opponent should be able to point out such items in the rules during the walk to the next tee .... sometimes it's just a misconception from them, other times they are just stupid ;)

Edited by Brian T

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Don't be too hard on yourself Silky, as in my experience this one of the Rules that most golfers are completely unaware of, and causes many arguments, even after the Rule has been pointed out to the doubter(s). Many just can't believe that you can hit your original after you have hit your provisional a another time.

The other Rule that many, not all, get wrong is: at what point is a ball lost?  Many think that they can "declare" a ball lost just because they say so, for example as they walk off the tee after a bad drive having played a provisional, and can't be bothered to look for it for 5 minutes.  Unless I'm wrong, and I'm sure someone will tell me, a ball is only lost after you (and others) have been looking for it for over 5 minutes.
Those who simply declare it lost as they walk off the tee think they are doing everyone a favour by saving time, but they are in fact breaking the Rules.

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This does bring arguments to Clubrooms all over the world.

First thing. You don't have to look for a ball, you can just carry on. BUT. If someone does go to search and finds a ball, you have to identify it and if it is yours, abandon the PB. That is if you haven't hit you PB beyond the point your original ball is (as per Rule 27-2 above).

Another one that gets confusing is the term "going forward to search" when you have left your bag 50yds or so up the fairway to walk back to a tee. Some say that if you walk forward you can't declare a PB, but if you need to get a ball from your bag, you can if you have declared a PB.

Rules mostly help, but they can also hinder if you don't know them very well.

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I have to agree with TheLYth (Again!)

Having declared your PB you keep playing this ball until the point where it has passed your original ball.

You can declare your ball as lost and decide not to look for it.  If someone finds your first ball then your PB is not longer in play and you must continue with your first ball.  As long as your first ball is found within the five minute search time.

The last thing I ever want to see is somebody coming back to the tee to play another ball.  Play a Provisional ball before leaving the tee!

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On 3/25/2017 at 17:22, RussMidd said:

You can declare your ball as lost and decide not to look for it. 

You can do the latter but not the former.

The ball becomes lost if it is not found within 5 minutes or any of the other actions in the definition has taken place. It cannot be made lost bey declaration.

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