This month’s message is short, but important in aid of maintaining pace of play.
Most of you likely understand when and how to play a PROVISIONAL ball. If you believe your ball is “out of bounds”, you must announce to your foursome your intention to play a “Provisional ball”. You must play the provisional ball from the same spot as you played the original shot. The same applies if you believe your ball may be “lost”. Playing a Provisional ball is far more efficient than moving forward, only to discover your ball is OB or lost, and returning to the spot where the original shot was made, to play your next shot. The penalty for a ball lost or OB is “stroke and distance”. If your tee shot is OB, you will be hitting your third shot from the tee; many players remember this by repeating this: “one out, two back, hitting three.”
Finally, a PROVISIONAL ball may be played in any format, Stroke play or Match play. It is time saver and an important option to keep in mind. For further details, please refer to pages 100 and 101 in the Rules of Golf book.
As always, please feel free to contact any member of your Rules committee with questions.
Stevie Lamar – Rules Chair