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We golfers are so funny when it comes to rules. I’m not sure any other amateur athlete quotes the rules more than the amateur golfer.

Many years ago I was an avid baseball player. I’d play any and every where I could find a game. This street ball basketball had its own set of socialized rules based on the neighborhood you were playing. One thing for sure was regardless of the location of the game a lane violation (3 seconds) was never called and unless there was bodily harm nor were fouls called.

I guess my point here is as long as the group all agrees what rules the group will play by then “Rules of Golf” be damned. Enjoy yourself!

Tournament play, sanctioned events and for official handicap rounds then of course the rules of golf should be closely followed. No “putting ball” allowed.


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Any league that I’ve played in follows the rules of golf with any modifications being listed as a local rule. (Which is still following the rules) I do agree that if you’re playing for fun with friends or with a regular informal group you should feel free to do as you’d like to have fun so long as what you’re doing doesn’t hold up play or disturb other groups.

But in league play which the OP stated this was in, I’d probably talk to the guy after the round and suggest he look at the rule book or consult with a league officer -

I wouldn’t bother him about it during the round although I should. It’s not fair to the rest of the guys in that league. It’s really not up to me to determine whether or not it’s to his advantage - he’s clearly, blatantly and repeatedly breaking a rule.


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... Lots to unravel here. I play strictly by the rules, but honestly don't care if you do or not. Great thing about this game is like a dogleg over water, you can bite off as much as you would like. I also agree in tournament or league play everyone must follow the rules and as Rev stated, local rules can be anything from rolling the ball in the fairway to changing out balls on the green, as long as all agree. I do think changing todays balls on the green offers zero advantage, but them's the rules. 

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On 6/17/2019 at 4:37 AM, perseveringgolfer said:

You can't declare a ball lost. It's lost if it can't be found within 3 minutes, or if he didnt declare a provisional on the tee (you said he did though) or he plays the provisional before the original ball is found.

Actually you can. If you declare that you do not want anyone to look for the ball, you can declare that ball out. 

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3 minutes ago, Kor.A.Door said:

Actually you can. If you declare that you do not want anyone to look for the ball, you can declare that ball out. 

that's not accurate, your opponents or competitors can search for your ball, no matter what you say, and you are required to identify it if it is found.  the only way to avoid that is to play 3 from the tee, not use the provisional option.

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5 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

that's not accurate, your opponents or competitors can search for your ball, no matter what you say, and you are required to identify it if it is found.  the only way to avoid that is to play 3 from the tee, not use the provisional option.

Yes they can look, the player can instruct no one is to look for it, which he is basically declaring it a lost ball, and therefore would put his provisional ball into play. Which would be his 3rd from the tee. The new rules do allow for some different scenarios as we are learning at our course. 

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there is an interpretation on specifically this topic, rule 18.3.  if he has announced and played a provisional, the provisional only becomes the ball in play if he hits it from nearer the hole than the original was likely to be, before the original was found.

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It’s definitely against the rules. League play is not casual; it’s competition. Everyone has to play by the same rules. And any round used for establishing a handicap is not casual; it must be done following USGA rules.

For newbies, I do recommend playing cheapo balls off the tee or anywhere else they are likely to lose them, and use a good ball around the greens.


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On 6/17/2019 at 8:19 PM, SteddyGolf said:

I guess my point here is as long as the group all agrees what rules the group will play by then “Rules of Golf” be damned. Enjoy yourself!

+1. My winter gang employs some "adjusted" rules and we have a blast - even when BIG $$ is at stake playing wolf.

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10 hours ago, Kor.A.Door said:

Actually you can. If you declare that you do not want anyone to look for the ball, you can declare that ball out. 

As @DaveP043 states, it doesn't matter what you say, if it's a provisional from the tee and the other ball is found prior to you hitting the provisional first, and closer than the 1st ball, then the first ball is the one in play. I think (correct me if I'm wrong) but not being able to declare a ball lost came into affect in the 60's! you'd think we'd all know that rule by now😄

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3 hours ago, perseveringgolfer said:

As @DaveP043 states, it doesn't matter what you say, if it's a provisional from the tee and the other ball is found prior to you hitting the provisional first, and closer than the 1st ball, then the first ball is the one in play. I think (correct me if I'm wrong) but not being able to declare a ball lost came into affect in the 60's! you'd think we'd all know that rule by now😄

You can’t declare it lost, you CAN instruct that nobody is to look for it. That’s what I am talking about. If the people you are playing with are Jerks, then you may be SOL. Yes, if it is found, the provisional ball is no longer an option. You have to play the first ball and with the new rules there are options. 

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13 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

there is an interpretation on specifically this topic, rule 18.3.  if he has announced and played a provisional, the provisional only becomes the ball in play if he hits it from nearer the hole than the original was likely to be, before the original was found.

Yes that is correct, once the second stroke is played with the provisional ball (fourth stroke for the hole). That is the ball in play. If the original ball is found before the next stroke, the provisional ball is invalid and cannot be used and he must proceed with the original ball. What I was trying to say is that although he cannot declare a ball lost, a player can instruct that he doesn’t want anyone to look for it, if someone does look and they find it, the player will be pissed, but he must play the original ball at that point. 

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1 hour ago, Kor.A.Door said:

Yes that is correct, once the second stroke is played with the provisional ball (fourth stroke for the hole). That is the ball in play. If the original ball is found before the next stroke, the provisional ball is invalid and cannot be used and he must proceed with the original ball. What I was trying to say is that although he cannot declare a ball lost, a player can instruct that he doesn’t want anyone to look for it, if someone does look and they find it, the player will be pissed, but he must play the original ball at that point. 

Almost!

The provisional can be hit as many times as you want up to where the original ball is, or is thought to be, and it's still classed as the provisional until that point.

 

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1 hour ago, Kor.A.Door said:

You can’t declare it lost, you CAN instruct that nobody is to look for it. That’s what I am talking about. If the people you are playing with are Jerks, then you may be SOL. Yes, if it is found, the provisional ball is no longer an option. You have to play the first ball and with the new rules there are options. 

What are the 'new rules options' you are referring to as I'm not clue'd up on them all?

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On 6/16/2019 at 6:51 PM, HardcoreLooper said:

What is the logic behind this?  Back in the bad-old-days of balata, we used to do this in friendly rounds because the balls would get lopsided after a few holes and not putt straight (and that's if you didn't cut it).  You'll lose a modern ball before you can really do damage to it.

Most guys I know do it because they want a clean ball and others (older players) continue to do it out of habit or misconceptions about the modern golf ball.

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1 hour ago, perseveringgolfer said:

What are the 'new rules options' you are referring to as I'm not clue'd up on them all?

If the ball cannot be found, you can drop in the fairway at the point at which the ball would have come to rest and 90° out from that point and incur a 2 stroke penalty. If you have played a provisional ball, it does not have to be played. you can choose to drop in the fairway 90° from where the ball would have come to rest and incur a 2 stroke penalty.  If the ball is found, you have choices as well, you can play it as it lies, you can take an unplayable lie, drop within 2 club lengths with a penalty stroke, and play from there, or you can take the ball 90° out to the fairway and drop and play your 4th stroke.

Scenario: let’s say you hit a tee shot far, but it went into the woods, and you aren’t sure if you can find it, you can play a provisional, and let’s say you hit it straight but it’s only 220 yards. Your first ball cannot be found. You have 2 options under the new rule. If your first ball that is lost would have been 290 yards from the tee box, you can drop atthe edge of the fairway and play your 4th shot, or you can go back to your second ball, and play your 4 shot from 70 yards back. This is how the club pro explained it to us. 

The new rule is meant to speed up play, so in the above scenario there really isn’t a reason to hit a provisional ball, because if you find it you play that ball under the new rules, if you don’t find it you will drop on the edge of the fairway and play your 4th shot. 

The only time I can think that hitting a provisional from the tee is if your first ball was hit into the trees 80 yards off the tee box, by hitting a provisional from the tee you could potential make it so your 4th stroke would be much farther down the fairway. 

Remember the old rule for lost ball or OB was stroke and distance, this new rule allows so you don’t have to go back and tee again. 

Now if the trees or area where you hit the ball are red staked or white stakes you would proceed under those rules. The course I play at has lots of trees, and not all of them are penalty areas, some of them are part of the course, and you have to proceed under the rules. 

 

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12 minutes ago, Kor.A.Door said:

If the ball cannot be found, you can drop in the fairway at the point at which the ball would have come to rest and 90° out from that point and incur a 2 stroke penalty. If you have played a provisional ball, it does not have to be played. you can choose to drop in the fairway 90° from where the ball would have come to rest and incur a 2 stroke penalty.  If the ball is found, you have choices as well, you can play it as it lies, you can take an unplayable lie, drop within 2 club lengths with a penalty stroke, and play from there, or you can take the ball 90° out to the fairway and drop and play your 4th stroke.

Scenario: let’s say you hit a tee shot far, but it went into the woods, and you aren’t sure if you can find it, you can play a provisional, and let’s say you hit it straight but it’s only 220 yards. Your first ball cannot be found. You have 2 options under the new rule. If your first ball that is lost would have been 290 yards from the tee box, you can drop atthe edge of the fairway and play your 4th shot, or you can go back to your second ball, and play your 4 shot from 70 yards back. This is how the club pro explained it to us. 

The new rule is meant to speed up play, so in the above scenario there really isn’t a reason to hit a provisional ball, because if you find it you play that ball under the new rules, if you don’t find it you will drop on the edge of the fairway and play your 4th shot. 

The only time I can think that hitting a provisional from the tee is if your first ball was hit into the trees 80 yards off the tee box, by hitting a provisional from the tee you could potential make it so your 4th stroke would be much farther down the fairway. 

Remember the old rule for lost ball or OB was stroke and distance, this new rule allows so you don’t have to go back and tee again. 

Now if the trees or area where you hit the ball are red staked or white stakes you would proceed under those rules. The course I play at has lots of trees, and not all of them are penalty areas, some of them are part of the course, and you have to proceed under the rules. 

 

That rule wasn't adopted I'm afraid.

You can use it in a bounce/friendly game but it's not an actual new rule as such, more the pity.

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... It is a rule, just not a universal rule. It can be instituted as a local rule at any course, in league play or in tournament play if designated ahead of time.  

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the local rule says that if you play a provisional, you are not allowed to use the fairway drop option.  please read local rule e-5

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12 minutes ago, chisag said:

... It is a rule, just not a universal rule. It can be instituted as a local rule at any course, in league play or in tournament play if designated ahead of time.  

Local rule for non qualifying competitions only. If qualifying for any handicap alterations the R&A are very clear it cannot be used.

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, perseveringgolfer said:

Local rule for non qualifying competitions only. If qualifying for any handicap alterations the R&A are very clear it cannot be used.

 

... R&A?  You can't even figure out what side of the road you are supposed to drive on. 😜

Edited by chisag
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