Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Ask Linda #1010-How long to keep playing provisional

Hi there,
My question has to do with playing a Provisional Ball. 
If I strike a Provisional Ball off the Tee Box and I do not find my original ball down the Fairway, can I advance the Provisional Ball? And by doing so, is the original ball deemed as lost? 
Assuming that I advance my Provisional Ball but then I find my original ball, can I now elect to play my original ball and abandon my Provisional Ball?
Thank you, 
Lou from Barbados

Dear Lou,

You may continue to hit your provisional ball until you reach the area where your original is likely to be. At that point you should search for your original. If you hit the provisional from this area, or from a spot closer to the hole than this area, your provisional ball becomes the ball in play and your original is deemed lost [Rule 27-2b].

Please remember that it is not how far you have hit your provisional that makes it the ball in play – it is where you hit it from in relation to the likely location of your original ball. As long as you are still behind the area where your original is likely to be, you may continue hitting the provisional ball.

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