Question: Jim and Jeff are playing in a tournament. Jim’s tee shot on the 2nd hole may be resting in the water hazard. He announces he will stroke a provisional ball. Jeff says Jim’s ball must be lost or out of bounds to allow a provisional ball. Is Jeff correct?
Answer: The original ball may be in the water hazard, but a provisional ball may be played if the original ball might also be lost outside the water hazard or out of bounds. If the original ball is discovered in the water hazard, the provisional ball must be picked up. Jeff is incorrect. See USGA Decisions on the Rules of Golf, 2016-2017, 27-2a/2.2. Rules for 2017-2018 have not been printed.
Golf clinics continue on Saturday mornings, 10:30 a.m. to noon. I continue to work on individual concerns. Remember, the swing’s the thing and continuous improvement is what it’s all about.