Monday, October 28, 2013

Ask Linda #739-Original found, hits second tee shot

Hi Linda

I have a rules question.

A player, playing a par 3, hits his tee shot. Reaching the green and surrounding area, he searches for his ball. He cannot find his ball. After a few minutes (less than 5minutes was said by playing partners) he takes a club and proceeds to the tee box to replay the shot. As he approaches the tee box, his playing partner finds his ball (assuming it is within 5 minutes). The player plays 2 balls, i.e. his original ball and he tees off again with the second ball and completes the hole with both balls (reason for this is unsure of the rules).

From the original ball he makes a 4 and the new ball he makes a 5.

What is the ruling and which ball is in play?

Lou from Roxby Downs

Dear Lou,

A player is entitled to play two balls when he is not sure of the correct procedure [Rule 3-3]. He should announce that he will play two balls, and indicate which ball he would like to count. He must indicate he will play two balls before he hits either of them. He must report his action to the Committee prior to signing his scorecard. If he follows these procedures, the Committee will rule that the score with the original ball counts, since it was played correctly under the Rules [Decision 3-3/0.5]. The player’s score on the hole is 4.

There is no penalty if the player does not announce which ball he would like to count. In that case, the score with the original ball will count if it is played in accordance with the Rules; otherwise, the score with the second ball will count if the procedure with that ball is correct. However, there is a disqualification penalty if he does not report the facts to the Committee before signing his scorecard.

If the player does not indicate in advance of playing either ball that he will play two balls and let the Committee sort it out, the score with the second ball will count. Once the player has hit a second shot from the teeing ground without invoking Rule 3-3, that second ball is in play under stroke and distance [Rule 27-1a]. The player’s second tee shot is his third stroke on the hole. The original ball is officially “lost.” [Definition of Lost Ball]. The player incurs no penalty for also playing the second ball.

It all boils down to a matter of timing and communication. If the player tells his fellow competitors that he will play two balls because he is unsure how to proceed, he communicates his intentions before he hits either ball, and he reports the incident to the Committee before he turns in his scorecard, the first ball will count and his score is four. If he makes his announcement after he hits the ball from the tee, that ball counts and his score is 5.

Copyright © 2013 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.