Monday, February 8, 2016

Ask Linda #1250-Play a provisional for a ball in a water hazard

I know that you are not supposed to hit a provisional when your ball goes in the hazard. If someone ignores that rule and hits one anyway and then finds their ball in the hazard, is the second ball in or out of play? Does declaring it a provisional change anything?  
Lulu from Sarasota, Florida

Dear Lulu,

A player is not permitted to hit a provisional ball for a ball that is known to be in a water hazard. If the player hits a second ball, it is not a provisional ball – it is her ball in play under penalty of stroke and distance. Declaring the second ball a “provisional” is meaningless; it does not alter the fact that the second ball she hit is now her ball in play [Decision 27-2a/2]. If she subsequently finds her ball, she may not play it; it became a lost ball as soon as she put a second ball into play under stroke and distance [Rule 27-1; Definition of “Lost Ball”].

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