Rules Question-Lost Ball thick rough and water hazard

McLovin

feelz good 2 b a Gsta
Albatross 2019 Club
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Messages
26,027
Reaction score
916
Location
orlando
Handicap
6.8
Yesterday I played a course that had recently overseeded the rough. The ball would just sink to the bottom. It was so thick you had to be right next to the ball to see it. A couple times the guys I was playing with lost balls in the rough. I was fortunate to find mine each time.

The course also has water hazards, and some sloping holes with blind landing areas.

Let’s say you hit a tee shot to one of these blind landing areas, with a water hazard on the right. It’s heading right, but not so far right that it will fly into the water. You’re hoping it stays out, and the rough holds it up. But you won’t know until you drive up.

You drive up, and you don’t see your ball. You were pretty convinced it was a 50/50 chance that the ball went in, or got held up by the rough near the waters edge. Given how thick the rough is, it’s also entirely possible the ball is dry, but you can’t find it.

What do you do? Do you assume it’s a lost ball and re tee? Do you assume it went into the water hazard, and drop?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

Daddio

Well-known member
Albatross 2019 Club
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
3,952
Reaction score
30
Location
SW Mizzou
Handicap
10.4 GHIN
I'm probably wrong per ROG but I'd assume water hazard rather than return to the tee. I'd turn the score in for handicap too if I truly believed it to be 50-50. No way to know without fore caddies. If odds were less that it'd reach the hazard and rough was so severe a lost ball wss the most like likely result I'd play a provisional.
 

wubears71

Well-known member
Albatross 2019 Club
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Messages
8,586
Reaction score
486
Location
Webster Groves, MO
Handicap
9.5 GHIN

Sox_Fan

BHG Homer
Albatross 2019 Club
Joined
Feb 10, 2012
Messages
38,260
Reaction score
583
Location
South Georgia
Handicap
5.2
Honestly, if I couldn't find it, I would assume it went in the water, drop it accordingly and hit 3 from the drop.
 

McLovin

feelz good 2 b a Gsta
Albatross 2019 Club
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Messages
26,027
Reaction score
916
Location
orlando
Handicap
6.8
wubears71;n8902679 said:
Re tee, but if local rule E5 is implemented, you take a drop on the fairway approximately where you think the ball was lost and assess yourself 2 strokes. We use it a lot now.

Here are the details:

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules-hub/rules-modernization/major-changes/golfs-new-rules-stroke-and-distance.html
but this rule says “if the ball is almost certainly known to be out of bounds.” would you think this rule still applies?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

McLovin

feelz good 2 b a Gsta
Albatross 2019 Club
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Messages
26,027
Reaction score
916
Location
orlando
Handicap
6.8
Sox_Fan;n8902698 said:
Honestly, if I couldn't find it, I would assume it went in the water, drop it accordingly and hit 3 from the drop.
exactly what i did


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

wubears71

Well-known member
Albatross 2019 Club
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Messages
8,586
Reaction score
486
Location
Webster Groves, MO
Handicap
9.5 GHIN
McLovin;n8902778 said:
but this rule says “if the ball is almost certainly known to be out of bounds.” would you think this rule still applies?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
It does apply. We have had instances in or are amateur series league that is governed by the local USGA association. It has come up in my group a couple of times where we cannot find the ball and we suspect it went in the water but we are not sure. So, we play it as a lost ball where we think it was lost and then apply the rule.
 

McLovin

feelz good 2 b a Gsta
Albatross 2019 Club
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Messages
26,027
Reaction score
916
Location
orlando
Handicap
6.8
wubears71;n8902785 said:
It does apply. We have had instances in or are amateur series league that is governed by the local USGA association. It has come up in my group a couple of times where we cannot find the ball and we suspect it went in the water but we are not sure. So, we play it as a lost ball where we think it was lost and then apply the rule.
so is the standard to assume the worst and apply the most strokes? because this rule seems to only apply AFTER you’ve determined it’s out of bounds (or almost certainly out of bounds) and you choose to apply the rule to keep up pace of play. but i don’t play in any events like this so i defer to people who do. thanks!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

wubears71

Well-known member
Albatross 2019 Club
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Messages
8,586
Reaction score
486
Location
Webster Groves, MO
Handicap
9.5 GHIN
McLovin;n8902791 said:
so is the standard to assume the worst and apply the most strokes? because this rule seems to only apply AFTER you’ve determined it’s out of bounds (or almost certainly out of bounds) and you choose to apply the rule to keep up pace of play. but i don’t play in any events like this so i defer to people who do. thanks!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
It applies to OB and balls that are presumed lost. So for example in your scenario it may be in the tall rough or it may be in the water. Since you cannot ID your ball or cannot be certain it went in the water, the rule applies. I’ve had it happen in a tournament in a very similar situation. Water in front of green on blind shot. Based on distance I hit my club I would not expect it go in but it probably did. We could not find the ball expecting it to be in the fairway in front of the water. The rules official had me apply E-5 to keep play moving. It sucked but that’s the way it goes.
 

Daddio

Well-known member
Albatross 2019 Club
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
3,952
Reaction score
30
Location
SW Mizzou
Handicap
10.4 GHIN
Thanks for clarifying wubears, I kind of assumed it'd be the more penal option per official ROG but answered it as to how I'd personally proceed or advise in the casual rounds I play in 99% of the time. The question does illuminate another instance where the touring pros (with their gallery and fore caddies) have it better than the rest of us though. Basically any lost ball scenario we typically face is no issue for them. Was at the landing area on #10 at Bellerive when Phil pushed his opening tee shot of lasts year's PGA Championship into the left rough. None of the fore caddies picked it up but dozens of us saw it sail over a shrub 40 yards past where Phil and the caddies were searching. He quickly found it after the shouts and finger pointing directed him to it.
 

wubears71

Well-known member
Albatross 2019 Club
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Messages
8,586
Reaction score
486
Location
Webster Groves, MO
Handicap
9.5 GHIN
Daddio;n8902824 said:
Thanks for clarifying wubears, I kind of assumed it'd be the more penal option per official ROG but answered it as to how I'd personally proceed or advise in the casual rounds I play in 99% of the time. The question does illuminate another instance where the touring pros (with their gallery and fore caddies) have it better than the rest of us though. Basically any lost ball scenario we typically face is no issue for them. Was at the landing area on #10 at Bellerive when Phil pushed his opening tee shot of lasts year's PGA Championship into the left rough. None of the fore caddies picked it up but dozens of us saw it sail over a shrub 40 yards past where Phil and the caddies were searching. He quickly found it after the shouts and finger pointing directed him to it.
Yep. If I had a gallery I would never lose a ball. It’s kind of BS. Also in these tournaments I play in a spotter sees my partners ball but doesn’t see mine. He points out his ball and I’m SOL if I can’t find mine. Again not very fair.
 

InTheRough

Amateur
Joined
Apr 17, 2015
Messages
1,591
Reaction score
76
Location
Tacoma WA
Handicap
19+
The water rule is that you have to be "virtually certain" that it went into the hazard - i.e. you heard a splash or saw it go in. So if that's not the case, the ball is lost and you have to use the lost ball rule - either the new one if your course uses the local rule - which nearly all of them will "unofficially" do for pace of play unless you're in a competition.
 

donny475

Hitting the Long Ball
Albatross 2019 Club
Joined
Mar 2, 2011
Messages
1,482
Reaction score
212
Location
Texas
Handicap
10.3
I would have to assume the worst especially if the shot was reasonably "on line" with the water hazard. Stroke and distance with a drop hitting 3.
 

McLovin

feelz good 2 b a Gsta
Albatross 2019 Club
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Messages
26,027
Reaction score
916
Location
orlando
Handicap
6.8
InTheRough;n8902997 said:
The water rule is that you have to be "virtually certain" that it went into the hazard - i.e. you heard a splash or saw it go in. So if that's not the case, the ball is lost and you have to use the lost ball rule - either the new one if your course uses the local rule - which nearly all of them will "unofficially" do for pace of play unless you're in a competition.
forgive my ignorance, but when you use "i.e. you heard a splash or saw it go in" are you saying those are the exact conditions to yield a virtually certain conclusion that the ball went into the hazard? or do you mean "e.g. you heard a splash or saw it go in," meaning there are still other ways to be certain?

ere's another example. par 5, hitting second shot and decide to go with fairway wood. fairway slopes up, then goes back down to the green. you can see the top of the flagstick, but don't bother to check what's on either side of the fairway. you hit and tug it left. oh well, should be an easy pitch onto the green. drive up, sh1t there's a water hazard on the left that i didn't know about! well, i don't see ripples, i didn't hear a splash, but i don't see my ball anywhere. can i not drop and take a penalty for hitting into the hazard? do i have to take stroke-and-distance or apply local rule e5?

fwiw i find this scenario very interesting and appreciate and enjoy everyone's feedback!
 

wadesworld

Well-known member
Albatross 2019 Club
Joined
Aug 31, 2012
Messages
7,865
Reaction score
84
Location
Nashville, TN
Handicap
12
McLovin;n8903218 said:
forgive my ignorance, but when you use "i.e. you heard a splash or saw it go in" are you saying those are the exact conditions to yield a virtually certain conclusion that the ball went into the hazard? or do you mean "e.g. you heard a splash or saw it go in," meaning there are still other ways to be certain?

ere's another example. par 5, hitting second shot and decide to go with fairway wood. fairway slopes up, then goes back down to the green. you can see the top of the flagstick, but don't bother to check what's on either side of the fairway. you hit and tug it left. oh well, should be an easy pitch onto the green. drive up, sh1t there's a water hazard on the left that i didn't know about! well, i don't see ripples, i didn't hear a splash, but i don't see my ball anywhere. can i not drop and take a penalty for hitting into the hazard? do i have to take stroke-and-distance or apply local rule e5?

fwiw i find this scenario very interesting and appreciate and enjoy everyone's feedback!

You have to know or be virtually certain the ball entered the hazard. Known is a simple one: you saw it go into the hazard, or after searching you find it in the hazard.

Virtually certain is more complex. Many factors can come into play. For example if I hit a ball from 150 yards away that's thinned like all get-out, it's heading right towards a small pond and I'm looking directly into the sun. Can I be virtually certain it's in the pond? That will be a lot more advantageous to my score. The answer is, probably not. The ball could have skipped off the pond. It could be in the grass surrounding it.

The standard for virtually certain is, "Considering all available factors, is there anywhere else the ball could be?" If you can't answer "no" to this question, it's a lost ball.
 

InTheRough

Amateur
Joined
Apr 17, 2015
Messages
1,591
Reaction score
76
Location
Tacoma WA
Handicap
19+
Virtually certain - I'd say preponderance of evidence. It's not absolute certainty. Just the most likely outcome.... and I have skipped a ball across a hazard and had it emerge safely.
 

V14_Heels

New member
Joined
Jul 11, 2019
Messages
59
Reaction score
0
Location
Richmond, VA
Handicap
28
Uh. Crap I think i've been playing golf wrong this entire time. Am I understanding this correctly? Any lost ball is a 2 stroke penalty? I.e. I just slice it hard right into some woods, can't find it and have to take a drop at the point where it entered the "forest". Am I missing something here? I've only been playing for about 5 months but I've only ever been taking a 1 stroke penalty there?
 

OGputtnfool

Double standard hater
Albatross 2019 Club
Joined
Jan 17, 2018
Messages
7,907
Reaction score
282
Location
Edmond, Oklahoma (NW OKC)
Handicap
-8.8
I think there needs to be more than a 50/50 chance it went in the water to assume the drop by where it "went in" and use 1 stroke. It's true the new rule only requires a "kinda, sorta feeling" that it's lost to invoke, but I guess the 2 stroke penalty negates the chances that it'll be abused. I still prefer a beyond a shadow of a doubt type evidence. I think this is the situation that calls for liberal use of provisionals.

McLovin;n8902779 said:
exactly what i did


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
I thought you found your ball each time.
 

McLovin

feelz good 2 b a Gsta
Albatross 2019 Club
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Messages
26,027
Reaction score
916
Location
orlando
Handicap
6.8
OGputtnfool;n8903355 said:
I thought you found your ball each time.
when i hit in the rough, yes i found it. but i had one shot that was similar to what wadesworld explains a couple posts back. i was short of the green in a bad lie. had to pitch it over a bunker. thinned it very badly and expected it to be in the water hazard over the green. but that area was some extremely thick rough. so if the ball didn't carry into the water, there was a good chance it would be held up in the rough. because of where i was, there was no way to hear a splash or see a ripple (too long to drive cart over, get out different clubs, etc). so i would say i'm almost entirely certain, but i can't rule out the possibility that it got held up and i lost it in the rough.
 

wadesworld

Well-known member
Albatross 2019 Club
Joined
Aug 31, 2012
Messages
7,865
Reaction score
84
Location
Nashville, TN
Handicap
12
V14_Heels;n8903345 said:
Uh. Crap I think i've been playing golf wrong this entire time. Am I understanding this correctly? Any lost ball is a 2 stroke penalty? I.e. I just slice it hard right into some woods, can't find it and have to take a drop at the point where it entered the "forest". Am I missing something here? I've only been playing for about 5 months but I've only ever been taking a 1 stroke penalty there?
Under the new local rule, yes, taking a drop where the ball went out-of-bounds or was presumed lost is a 2-stroke penalty. The reason is to provide an equivalent penalty with "stroke and distance." However, don't feel bad, 95% of golfers ignore the rule and only charge themselves a single stroke.

Here's the actual procedure:

 

V14_Heels

New member
Joined
Jul 11, 2019
Messages
59
Reaction score
0
Location
Richmond, VA
Handicap
28
wadesworld;n8903568 said:
Under the new local rule, yes, taking a drop where the ball went out-of-bounds or was presumed lost is a 2-stroke penalty. The reason is to provide an equivalent penalty with "stroke and distance." However, don't feel bad, 95% of golfers ignore the rule and only charge themselves a single stroke.

Here's the actual procedure:

Ok I'm still unclear though if it's not out of bounds? Most of the balls I lose aren't out of bounds necessarily.
 

Phil75070

Well-known member
Albatross 2019 Club
Joined
May 18, 2014
Messages
3,459
Reaction score
67
Location
DFW (McKinney)
Handicap
GHIN 3.6
InTheRough;n8902997 said:
The water rule is that you have to be "virtually certain" that it went into the hazard - i.e. you heard a splash or saw it go in. So if that's not the case, the ball is lost and you have to use the lost ball rule - either the new one if your course uses the local rule - which nearly all of them will "unofficially" do for pace of play unless you're in a competition.
This is the case!
 

rollin

"Just playin golf pally"
Albatross 2019 Club
Joined
Aug 28, 2012
Messages
10,446
Reaction score
121
Location
planet earth, milky way galaxy
Handicap
15.7
wadesworld;n8903568 said:
Under the new local rule, yes, taking a drop where the ball went out-of-bounds or was presumed lost is a 2-stroke penalty. The reason is to provide an equivalent penalty with "stroke and distance." However, don't feel bad, 95% of golfers ignore the rule and only charge themselves a single stroke.

Here's the actual procedure:

I have to be honest. I feel its so ridiculous when we lose balls that are not in any trouble or in areas where its 100% find-able had we simply had the same benefits the pros do. Lets face it , even on their occasional very errant shots their balls are found for them before they even leave the tee box. I am an honest player when it comes to my scoring. i dont play competitively in any oficial capacity at all. I simply just want to get better and see my cap drop but its important to me to do it as honestly as possible so that i know (for my own sake, no one elses but my own) that i have improved. so iots important i do it as honest as i can.

that said I just dont think its fair we lose strokes simply because we dont have the same help the pros get. I truly dont think its proper that just because we are in the rough or lets say slightly worse just even in a light tree canopy thats clean and open underneath or whatever the case. Basically a situation that is not penal and one in which with even just a little better help the ball would definitely be found. The 2 strokes is rediculous and honestly even the one stroke is not fair given some these not found ball scenarios. Different when I hit a wayward shot that goes into the woods or even if it went in just a few yards. I can see that as being penal. But not when the ball is simply in the rough or even a bit more of the beaten path yet only in some lighter buit still not real unfriendly openness. I just dont even think the one stroke is fair. i mean a pro can hit a ball 30 yrds off the hole and into 3 foot high fescue or the woods and the ball is found for them. yet we simply miss the fairway or hit under a thin tree line between to holes thats open and we get 2 strokes. as honest as i am for my own sake I am making judgment calls on this. Unless im outright errant or into heavy stuff Im just not taking the two strokes and on some very rarer of those times (scenario dependant) im not even taking the one stroke. not when i know the ball would have no chance of being lost at all other than the fact that we simply dont have even a tenth of that kind of help. i mean sorry but losing one well in play and in the rough or just because it went near enough 3 trees with clean open space all underneath is no reason to lose the stroke let alone two. Not when the some next group behind is going to stumble upon your ball without even knowing about it and think how possibly could no one have found this ball? we all so easily have accidentally found balls in this manor plenty times. just something not right about it imo. i mean sure i hit the ball near even just a little patch of thick bushes and weed then so be it I'll take my lumps. But clean open space? where some next player is going to simply walk across it ?something wrong with that imo
 

OGputtnfool

Double standard hater
Albatross 2019 Club
Joined
Jan 17, 2018
Messages
7,907
Reaction score
282
Location
Edmond, Oklahoma (NW OKC)
Handicap
-8.8
rollin;n8903623 said:
I have to be honest. I feel its so ridiculous when we lose balls that are not in any trouble or in areas where its 100% find-able had we simply had the same benefits the pros do. Lets face it , even on their occasional very errant shots their balls are found for them before they even leave the tee box. I am an honest player when it comes to my scoring. i dont play competitively in any oficial capacity at all. I simply just want to get better and see my cap drop but its important to me to do it as honestly as possible so that i know (for my own sake, no one elses but my own) that i have improved. so iots important i do it as honest as i can.

that said I just dont think its fair we lose strokes simply because we dont have the same help the pros get. I truly dont think its proper that just because we are in the rough or lets say slightly worse just even in a light tree canopy thats clean and open underneath or whatever the case. Basically a situation that is not penal and one in which with even just a little better help the ball would definitely be found. The 2 strokes is rediculous and honestly even the one stroke is not fair given some these not found ball scenarios. Different when I hit a wayward shot that goes into the woods or even if it went in just a few yards. I can see that as being penal. But not when the ball is simply in the rough or even a bit more of the beaten path yet only in some lighter buit still not real unfriendly openness. I just dont even think the one stroke is fair. i mean a pro can hit a ball 30 yrds off the hole and into 3 foot high fescue or the woods and the ball is found for them. yet we simply miss the fairway or hit under a thin tree line between to holes thats open and we get 2 strokes. as honest as i am for my own sake I am making judgment calls on this. Unless im outright errant or into heavy stuff Im just not taking the two strokes and on some very rarer of those times (scenario dependant) im not even taking the one stroke. not when i know the ball would have no chance of being lost at all other than the fact that we simply dont have even a tenth of that kind of help. i mean sorry but losing one well in play and in the rough or just because it went near enough 3 trees with clean open space all underneath is no reason to lose the stroke let alone two. Not when the some next group behind is going to stumble upon your ball without even knowing about it and think how possibly could no one have found this ball? we all so easily have accidentally found balls in this manor plenty times. just something not right about it imo. i mean sure i hit the ball near even just a little patch of thick bushes and weed then so be it I'll take my lumps. But clean open space? where some next player is going to simply walk across it ?something wrong with that imo
I see your point, but I'm of the feeling that if it's really out in "open space", then it should be easy enough to find. I don't think I've ever lost a ball in the fairway.
 

MrDC

Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
Messages
732
Reaction score
24
Location
Long Island, NY
There's no way I'm taking a lost ball penalty that may have been caused by poor course maintenance when there's a water hazard right there, not only is it more than likely the ball went in but rough should never be so deep you can't see the ball when standing close by, that's BS.

1 stroke, drop and play on.
 

Welcome to The Hackers Paradise

Don't just play golf, live it!

Register Log in
Top