Question: John and Mike are playing in a tournament. On the 6th hole, John strokes his ball into an area which might cause the ball to be lost or out of bounds. He plays a provisional ball which comes to rest short of where his original ball came to rest. He walks forward and spots his original ball which he thinks is in bounds. He picks up his provisional ball and quickly discovers that his original ball is indeed out of bounds. Mike says a penalty has been incurred by John. Is Mike correct?
Answer: The original ball was out of bounds. The provisional ball became the ball in play. When john picked up the provisional ball without authority under the rules, he incurred a penalty and was required to replace it. Mike knows the rules. See USGA Decisions on the Rules of Golf, 2014-2015, 27-2b/8.
Golf clinics continue on Saturday mornings, 10:30-12-noon, to work on individual concerns. Remember, the swing’s the thing and continuous improvement is what it’s all about.Alan Jeffery is a golf instructor at GMNGC.