Butch and Cliff are playing in a tournament. On the 4th hole, Butch strokes his ball towards a water hazard. Both players are virtually certain that the ball is in the water hazard. Butch drops a ball behind the hazard keeping the point at which it is believed the ball crossed the margin of the water hazard directly between the hole and the spot the ball is dropped. Before he plays the dropped ball and within the five-minute search period, the original ball is found. Cliff says he is not allowed to play the original ball.
Is he correct?
In the unlikely situation of the original ball being found outside the water hazard, Butch must continue play with the dropped ball rather than with the original ball under penalty of one stroke. Cliff is correct. See USGA Decisions on the Rules of Golf, 2014-2015, 26-1/3.5.
Golf clinics continue on Saturday mornings, 10:30-12-noon. Individual concerns are covered. Remember, the swing’s the thing and continuous improvement is what it’s all about.