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WH and provisional ball

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WH and provisional ball

Postby Mr. Bean » Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:52 pm

A course has a Local Rule in force that allows a player to hit a provisional according to the principles of Appendix I recommended wording:

“If there is doubt whether a ball is in or is lost in the water hazard (specify
location), the player may play another ball provisionally under any of the
applicable options in Rule 26-1.
If the original ball is found outside the water hazard, the player must continue
play with it.
If the original ball is found in the water hazard, the player may either play the
original ball as it lies or continue with the ball played provisionally under Rule
26-1.
If the original ball is not found or identified within the five-minute search
period, the player must continue with the ball played provisionally."

Now, a player hits his tee shot and it does not carry over the WH in front of him. It is certain that the ball is in the WH but uncertain if the player might be able to play his ball from the hazard (long dry slope within the WH). As this LR is in place in order to save time I assume the player is entitled to play a provisional even though it is certain that his ball is in the WH.

Correct?
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Re: WH and provisional ball

Postby MikeH » Tue Jul 05, 2016 10:29 pm

The introduction to this LR states
If a water hazard (including a lateral water hazard) is of such size and shape and/or located in such a position that:

(i) it would be impracticable to determine whether the ball is in the hazard or to do so would unduly delay play, and

(ii) if the original ball is not found, it is known or virtually certain that it is in the water hazard,


IMHO....... Your example in the OP does not fit this criteria as it would appear the WH is clearly visible and a ball entering the hazard is also clearly visible and as there is 'no doubt' and I would suggest that the player must proceed under R26-1.
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Re: WH and provisional ball

Postby Doug » Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:09 am

I agree with Mike
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Re: WH and provisional ball

Postby Mr. Bean » Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:25 am

I am looking this from the angle of time saving. My example is from real life and the hole in question is of such nature that you cannot be sure whether the ball went over the WH or stayed within but even in the latter case the ball is often playable and it is advantageous for the player to play that ball in such a case. In most cases a player knows for certain whether the ball landed in the WH but even in such a case he might want to play it from the hazard and this is often the case (green is right after this WH). Now, in order for the player to decide he needs to get to the ball and that takes time. Walking back behind the WH takes more time. Should the player be allowed to play a provisional time would be saved, which I believe is the purpose of provisional balls in general.

Mike, Doug, what do you say?
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Re: WH and provisional ball

Postby anyclues » Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:29 pm

I also agree with Mike and Doug, but your point about saving time is imho valid.
I have never come across this LR and can only offer my understanding of its meaning. It will be interesting to see if others agree. First thing to be aware of, the LR says "ball played provisionally" and not "provisional ball as in 27-2". So I think it should only be used where it is virtually impossible that a ball could be lost outside the WH.
If player is uncertain as to whether their ball has crossed the far margin of the water hazard, or has landed within the hazard. If the above LR is in operation, the player may proceed to where their ball crossed the nearside margin of the hazard and drop and play a ball provisionally just outside the hazard, on a line from the hole to where their ball crossed the water hazard, or from where their last stroke was played from. That is the time saving bit, but it's the far 'margin part' I am not sure about.
In the OP the ball did not carry the WH, so I agree with Mike in that your example does not fit this criteria. I see R26-1 the only option. There again, I have been wrong so many times this could add to my tally.
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Re: WH and provisional ball

Postby Doug » Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:31 pm

Mr Bean

This is the bit that I don't like in the situation you describe.

If the original ball is found in the water hazard, the player may either play the original ball as it lies or continue with the ball played provisionally under Rule
26-1.
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Re: WH and provisional ball

Postby Mr. Bean » Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:06 pm

Doug wrote:Mr Bean

This is the bit that I don't like in the situation you describe.

If the original ball is found in the water hazard, the player may either play the original ball as it lies or continue with the ball played provisionally under Rule
26-1.


You mean that the player may choose which ball he plays? But isn't that the entire idea of this LR? The player may play their ball from the hazard but in order to make up their mind they first need to reach the spot where the ball lies and here's where the time saving part comes into picture.
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Re: WH and provisional ball

Postby Doug » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:41 pm

You suggested earlier that the ball was often playable if in the WH which is rarely the normal case and that in most cases he knows it is in the WH.
That seems to me to be tilting the balance way from time saving towards giving the player two bites.

But the crux is that you say that the player is certain and the rule says if there is doubt.

It can't be both.
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Re: WH and provisional ball

Postby anyclues » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:15 pm

As we know, unless it is known or virtually certain that the ball is in the WH, a player is not normally permitted to use any of the relief options in R26-1. This LR modifies that ruling in that it allows a provisional ball under any of the relief options under Rule 26-1 when the player is unsure if his ball is either in or outside the WH. And it is certain that if his ball is not found outside the WH, then it must be in the WH.
Clearly, if the original ball is found outside the hazard, the provisional must be abandoned. If the original ball is not found, the player must continue with the provisional ball. Now the debatable bit. If the original ball is found in the hazard, the player must either play the original as it lies in the hazard, or continue play with the provisional ball. Remember, the ball played provisionally was played under any of the relief options in R26-1.
Moreover, the player must stick with the provisional if his original ball is lost or unplayable in the WH. He does not get a second bite at the cherry by dropping yet another ball. So putting numbers to the OP. If you continue with the provisional ball, count the original stroke, one penalty stroke, and all strokes with the provisional, which is now the ball in play.
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Re: WH and provisional ball

Postby MikeH » Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:04 pm

Doug wrote:You suggested earlier that the ball was often playable if in the WH which is rarely the normal case and that in most cases he knows it is in the WH.
That seems to me to be tilting the balance way from time saving towards giving the player two bites.

But the crux is that you say that the player is certain and the rule says if there is doubt.

It can't be both.



I concur
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Re: WH and provisional ball

Postby Mr. Bean » Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:14 am

Doug wrote:You suggested earlier that the ball was often playable if in the WH which is rarely the normal case and that in most cases he knows it is in the WH.
That seems to me to be tilting the balance way from time saving towards giving the player two bites.

But the crux is that you say that the player is certain and the rule says if there is doubt.

It can't be both.


There is no Rule, just a recommended wording.

This entire LR is a strange bird in golf as it creates the only situation where a player may choose which of the two balls in play they wish to continue with. I just wonder which is more crucial, having doubt or saving time.

Originally I also relied on the 'doubt' part but lately I am more inclined towards the time saving. After all, that is what this LR is all about.
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Re: WH and provisional ball

Postby Doug » Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:48 am

As it doesn't tally with the exact requirements of the authorised LR, I suggest you should run it past the R&A
Appendix I Part A General
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Re: WH and provisional ball

Postby Mr. Bean » Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:38 am

In Finland such LR has to be approved by the National Association and it appears they have interpreted this LR differently from what reads in the recommended wording. Here is the translation of the LR in use on the hole I have described in the OP:

'On hole xx player has the possibility to play a provisional ball if the original ball may be lost inside the WH.'

This wording is substantially different from the suggested one and certainly supports the idea of playing a provisional when it is certain that the ball is inside the WH. Whether this wording would be supported by R&A is not clear to me.
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Re: WH and provisional ball

Postby Mr. Bean » Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:48 pm

I presented the OP question whether a player may play a provisional ball as per Local Rule even if it is certain that the ball is in the WH to R&A and they responded that as the ball is in or lost in the WH the player is entitled to play a provisional ball as per Local Rule.That is because he still may be able to play it (in the WH).
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Re: WH and provisional ball

Postby Doug » Mon Aug 15, 2016 5:30 pm

Thanks for following it up.
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Re: WH and provisional ball

Postby RJM » Sat Nov 12, 2016 11:23 pm

Mr. Bean wrote:I presented the OP question whether a player may play a provisional ball as per Local Rule even if it is certain that the ball is in the WH to [b]R&A and they responded that as the ball is in or lost in the WH the player is entitled to play a provisional ball as per Local Rule.[/b]That is because he still may be able to play it (in the WH).


I have followed up with said ruling body and they have now said that if it is KVC that the ball is in a WH or LWH, the local Rule is not applicable and the player may not play a ball provisionally. Playability of the original ball is totally irrelevant. It was indicated that other answers to similar or different questions may not have been as clear, but they are aligned on this view - if there is KVC, the local Rule is not applicable.
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