Question: Ann and Steve are playing in a tournament.On the 11th hole, Steve’s tee shot goes toward an area of trees and possible reeds. Believing the ball might be lost, he announces and plays a provisional ball from the tee. When he gets to where he believes the ball may rest, he discovers the area is made up of wetlands with red stakes defining a lateral water hazard. It is virtually certain that the ball rests in the hazard. There is nowhere else it could be. He goes to the provisional ball which is nearby, and prepares to play it. Ann says “Hold it.” She says he is not allowed to play the provisional ball. Is she correct?
ANSWER: Because the area the ball was lost in was a lateral water hazard and there was virtual certainty the ball was in this area, the provisional ball must be abandoned and the original ball played under the lateral water hazard rules. Ann is correct. See USGA Decisions on the Rules of Golf, 2014-2015, 27-2a/2.5.
Golf clinic continue on Saturday mornings, 10:30-12-noon. We continue to work on individual concerns. Remember, the swing’s the thing and continuous improvement is what it’s all about.
Alan Jeffery is a professional golf instructor at GMNGC.