Rule of the Week
September 7th, 2016

Our apologies for the second email as the original message had missing information.
I am "declaring that ball lost" ....   
A golfer hits his drive on the par 3 8th hole playing 190 yards into the trees.  He promptly declares it lost.  He hits another ball which lands on the putting green 10 feet from the hole.  He did not announce the ball as a provisional ball.  While walking up to the green one, of his fellow competitors finds the first ball in a playable position well within the 5 minute time limit. 

Is the player obligated to play the first ball or continue with the second ball?
As the player above did not use the word or saying "Provisional" or other accepted methods, when he made a stroke at that ball, he had substituted a ball in play.  It was not a second ball or a Provisional ball it was his ball in play.

A ball can never "Be Declared Lost!"  Simply put, the ball is either lost or it is not lost.  The answer comes from the definitions section of the Rules of Golf for "Lost Ball," see below.     

A ball is deemed "lost" if:
a) It is not found or identified as his/hers by the player within 5 minutes after the player's shot or his/hers or their caddies have begun to search for it;
b) The player has made a stroke at a provisional ball from the place where the original ball is likely to be or from a point nearer the hole than that place (see Rule 27-2b); 
c) The player has put another ball into play under penalty of stroke and distance according to Rule 26-1a, 27-1, or 28a;
d) The Player has put another ball into play because it is known or virtually certain that the ball, which has not been found, has been moved by an outside agency (see Rule 18-1), is in an obstruction (see Rule 24-3), is in an abnormal ground condition (see Rule 25-1c), or is in a water hazard (see Rule 26-1b or c);
e) The player has made a stroke at a substituted ball
If you have not done any of the above, you ball is still in play and not lost.
Happy golfing and remember the Rules of Golf Matter
About Golf Saskatchewan
As the governing body of amateur golf in Saskatchewan, our mission is to grow participation in, and passion for golf while upholding the integrity of the game.


Golf Saskatchewan
510 Cynthia St
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7L 7K7
Golf Saskatchewan
(306) 975-0850

Authored by Brian Lee, Executive Director of Golf SK

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