Golf rules questions

I tee it up and drill it deep into the trees (not out of bounds, and not a hazard)… I decide that a provisional is a good idea, so I tee up another and hit that down the fairway.

We go off to look for the first one and…

1a) The first ball is not found, I MUST play my provisional and the next shot will be my fourth?

1b) The first ball is found, but is not playable. I can take a drop two club lengths with a one-stroke penalty, or I can replay the shot (ie go back to the tee), but I CANNOT use the provisional?

There was a situation in the U.S. Open several years ago, where the greens were shaved so thin and dried up so much that the ball would not come to rest when putted up to the hole. It was similar to mini-golf putt-the-ball-in-the-clown’s-nose.

More than one player watched their putt go up the hill, stop and roll right back down to their feet. Out of frustration, the second time they stopped the ball from rolling back with their foot!

2a) What is the penalty for this?

2b) Could there be a (more severe) penalty for intentionally breaking the rules like this?

I’m answering these off the top of my head, my rule book is in the car (in my golf bag, natch).



2a)Two shot penalty, Mr. Daly
2b)Disqualification if he didn’t add up all the strokes (and penalty strokes) correctly.

Not third? (shot, that is…)

I recently had a discussion concerning similar issues with a couple of guys who claim to know the rules.

According to them, you need to declare the specific reason for which you are hitting a provisional. So it would depend on whether you hit a provisional because you feared your 1st shot was lost or unplayable. In the situation we were discussing, say you hot a wild drive that you thought might be lost, and didn’t realize there was OB where you hit it. If you hit a provisional for a lost ball, but when you get there you find your ball on the wrong side of the white stakes, your only remedy is to march back to the tee and rehit.

Similar to your second scenario, we were discussion whether you could place the flagstick to stop/direct a slipery downhill putt. Both guys said it was a 2-stroke penalty, and one guy claimed there was some kind of general “intentional cheating” rule that would apply if you intentionally stopped the ball. Probably loss of hole or match.

I didn’t really pay too much attention, because IMO when taken to this extent the official rules of golf have little to do with the way I and my buddies play.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again - outside of a tournament, anyone who marches back to the tee to take his “stroke and distance” is a pretentious asshole, plain and simple!

Here’s a good one for you weekend duffers. Say you are playing a hole with a long lateral bunker along one side of a hole. You drive into the trap, and your second shot goes a good distance forward, but remains in the trap. You realize, of course, that it is a penalty to rake the trap where you hit your 2d shot? Just have your caddy do it, or stroll back and do it after hitting your 3d shot. I’m sure all the 4-somes behind you won’t mind waiting - and will, instead, appreciate your respect for the sanctity of the rules.

1st shot - lost drive
2d - penalty (back to the tee)
3d - provisional
next shot will be 4.
If you use a provisional, you incur a penalty.
If you find and play your original ball, no penalty.

I agree that playing strict rules in non-tournament golf is ridiculous. The rounds are slow enough as it is.

We always play the bush as a lateral hazard, whether or not it has red stakes. Speeds things up, and really improves your score :slight_smile:

A man after my own heart. Would be glad to walk 18 with you.

For example, on one of my regular course’s holes, the entire left side is brush, with a river on the other side. No stakes of any color. Nearly everyone just plays it as a lateral hazard, stroke but no distance.
Of course, if it goes into the brush, you don’t know if it got to the (unmarked) water.
If you found it and it was unplayable, you get relief - stroke but not distance.
But if you don’t find it, you have to presume it is a lost ball, penalty stroke and distance, hitting 3 from the tee.

But hell, we’re just out here to have fun, taking a pleasant stroll in a park.
Even if I AM playing you in a match, you just spotted me a penalty stroke, and are probably rattled. Like i really want to magnify things by demanding that you hit again from the tee if you don’t want to? Heck, i don’t play for so much $ that I need to do that.