Provisional Ball Rule 27-2
When can or should you play one?
You can only play a provisional ball if your ball maybe lost either a) Out of Bounds, or, b) Lost outside of a Water Hazard.
HOWEVER – your marker or a fellow competitor MUST be infomred before you play the provisional that you intend to do so, and you must play that provisional ball BEFORE you go forward to search for your original ball. (The defintion of goes forward means you are only allowed to advance a maximum of 50 metres from the tee or the orginal place where you hit the orginal ball.) Once you have advanced more than 50 metres then if you return and hit another ball from the position of the orginal ball then the next ball hit is now the ball (under penalty of stroke and distance) in play and the orginal ball is deemed lost.
So lets look at hole #11 where players commonly either fade or slice a ball into the hazard on the right-hand side of the cart path trying to cut the corner over the bunkers. Commonly most players will see their ball enter into the lateral hazard. However, on occasion, a bit hitter will hit a ball and will either see their ball with a small fade go over the bunkers and not know or be virtually certain where it has ended up. It may have
- hit the cart path and continued on past the green, on most occassions a player or his fellow competitior will here it hit the cart path
- it may have bounced left into the thick rough or onto the fairway.
- it may have bounced right into the water hazard
So, in this case, should play a provisional ball (as they would need to proceed in accordance with Rule 27-1 Ball Lost or Out of Bounds; Provisional Ball.) For point 3) above the player along with feloow competitors/caddies would need to discuss to determine with consideration to the flight path of the ball whether the ball is most probably not in the Lateral hazard.
Another hole where it is sometime a little difficult is also hole 13. in the areas before and after the Bunkers on the left hand side
- So you have hit your tee shot over the bunker on the left into the hatched area (Alang Alang) - You may then hit a provisional ball in case the ball maybe lost Rule 27-1
- So you are a big hitter and have hit your tee shot either over the bunker on the left with a big draw which most probably would have cleared the hatched area (Alang Alang) - You Cannot hit a provisional ball and must play a ball in accordance with Rule 26-1
- You are an average driver of the ball length wise and see your ball land in the closest hatched area (Alang Alang) - knowing that you may not be able to find your ball you may hit a provsional ball Rule 27-1