Friday, January 20, 2012

What to Know About Using Provisional Ball in Golf Game?

During the course of a round of golf, certain situations might occur where you are no longer able to play your original ball. This is typically a result of losing your ball in the rough or woods or hitting your ball out of bounds. If you feel your shot may have gone astray, you have the choice to use a new ball, known as a provisional ball. Just as with every other aspect of the game of golf, use of a provisional ball has rules to account for every possible scenario.
Using a Provisional Ball
If you believe that your shot might be out of bounds or lost, you can play a provisional ball from the spot you took your original shot to save time and continue the flow of play. For the provisional shot to be legal, you must let your playing partner know that you intend to play a provisional ball. You also have to play the provisional ball before you or your playing partner go to look for the original ball. If your provisional ball seems to be lost or out of bounds, you can play a second provisional ball. This provisional ball now has the same relationship to the first provisional ball as the first provisional had to your original ball.
Abandoning Provisional Ball
After you make the shot with your provisional ball and walk up to the point where you though your original ball was lost, you might have to abandon the provisional ball. If you find that the original ball wasn't actually lost and is still technically in bounds, the provisional ball must be abandoned. You must continue on using your original ball from that point.
Wrong Ball
If you continue to play your provisional ball after you discover that your original isn't lost or out of bounds, you are playing with a wrong ball. Once you make a swing at a wrong ball, penalties are incurred. During match play, you will automatically lose the hole. If you make a swing at a wrong ball in stroke play, you must add one penalty stroke to your score, and retake your shot with the original ball where it lies.
Lost or Out of Bounds
If your ball is actually lost or sails out of bounds without a doubt, you must play a new ball under a one-stroke penalty. If the ball is out of bounds, you must play your new ball as close as possible to the spot where your original was last played. If the ball is lost, you and your caddie have five minutes to locate it. If you can't find it within five minutes of initiating a search, you must play a new ball as close as possible to where your original was last played, with a one-stroke penalty. If you have been playing a provisional ball in either situation, that ball becomes the ball in play and a penalty stroke is added.

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