Sussex County Ladies' Golf Association Ltd

Rule of the Month (February) - Provisional Ball Part 2

FEBRUARY: Rule of the Month - Provisional Ball Part 2

Following on from Part 1 earlier his week where Ann, Chris, Jo and Kathy are playing a round of stroke play golf and need help to deal with some tricky situations.

3.  Kathy has correctly played a provisional ball that lands on the fairway, she then goes to search for her original ball that she hit into the woods. She finds a ball that she believes to be her original and makes a stroke at it. She picks up the provisional ball and makes her way to play her 3rd stroke. On arriving where the shot landed she discovers that it was in fact  Ann’s 1st ball (who also hit into the woods) she hit not hers. If she doesn’t find her original ball within 3 minutes what should she do? What shot will Kathy playing next?

A. Return to where she made the stroke from the woods to take stroke and distance
B. Return to the tee to take stroke and distance
C. Estimate the spot from where she picked up the provisional ball, replace it and play from there

4.  There must be something about those woods as Chris hits her ball there too and correctly plays a provisional. She is a bit luckier with the provisional and it goes in the hole. Ann, Jo and Kathy look for the original ball hit by Chris but before they find it, she runs to the green and picks the ball out. Is the score with the provisional ball the score for the hole?

A Yes
B No



3.  C. Estimate the spot from where she picked up the provisional ball, replace it and play from there.
This is complicated maths. Since Kathy did not find her original ball after 3 minutes, the provisional ball became the ball in play under penalty of stroke & distance (1 penalty), She is required to replace the provisional ball under Rule 9.4b (1 penalty). She also incurs an additional 2 stroke penalty for playing Ann’s ball, fortunately the stroke made with the wrong ball doesn’t count, but even so it’s an expensive mistake. She made 2 actual strokes added to 4 penalty strokes so her next stroke is number 7. Clarification 18.3c(2)/4

4.  A Yes
Chris was in luck, because she lifted the ball from the hole before the original was found her score for the hole was 3! Clarification 18.3c(2)/3.
If one of the others had found her original ball before she picked the provisional ball out of the hole she would have to abandon it and continue playing with the original ball. Remember a player does not have to look for their ball but they can’t declare it lost so if someone else finds a ball that they believe to be the original ball, or the player sees a ball that could be theirs, the player must go there to identify it.

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