Know the Rules

Rule 27 – Ball Lost or Out of Bounds; Provisional Ball

27-1. Ball Lost or Out of Bounds

If a ball is lost or is out of bounds, the player must play a ball, under penalty of one stroke, as nearly as possible at the spot from which the origin
l ball was last played (see Rule 20-5).

Exceptions:

1. If there is reasonable evidence that the original ball is lost in a water hazard, the player must proceed in accordance with Rule 26-1.


2. If there is reasonable evidence that the original ball is lost in an obstruction (Rule 24-3) or an abnormal ground condition (Rule 25-1c) the player may proceed under the applicable Rule.


Penalty for Breach of Rule 27-1::


Match play - Loss of hole; Stroke play - Two strokes.



27.2. Provisional Ball

a. Procedure

If a ball may be lost outside a water hazard or may be out of bounds, to save time the player may play another ball provisionally in accordance with Rule 27-1. The player must inform his opponent in match play or his marker or a fellow-competitor in stroke play that he intends to play a provisional ball, and he must play it before he or his partner goes forward to search for the original ball.


If he fails to do so and plays another ball, that ball is not a provisional ball and becomes the ball in play under penalty of stroke and distance (Rule 27-1); the original ball is lost.


(Order of play from teeing ground — see Rule 10-3.)


Note: If a provisional ball played under Rule 27-2a might be lost outside a water hazard or out of bounds, the player may play another provisional ball. If another provisional ball is played, it bears the same relationship to the previous provisional ball as the first provisional ball bears to the original.


b. When Provisional Ball Becomes Ball in Play The player may play a provisional ball until he reaches the place where the original ball is likely to be. If he makes a stroke with the provisional ball from the place where the original ball is likely to be or from a point nearer the hole than that place, the original ball is lost and the provisional ball becomes the ball in play under penalty of stroke and distance (Rule 27-1).


If the original ball is lost outside a water hazard or is out of bounds, the provisional ball becomes the ball in play, under penalty of stroke and distance (Rule 27-1).


If there is reasonable evidence that the original ball is lost in a water hazard, the player must proceed in accordance with Rule 26-1.


Exceptions:

If there is reasonable evidence that the original ball is lost in an obstruction (Rule 24-3) or an abnormal ground condition (Rule 25-1c) the player may proceed under the applicable Rule.


When Provisional Ball to Be Abandoned

If the original ball is neither lost nor out of bounds, the player must abandon the provisional ball and continue playing the original ball. If he makes any further strokes at the provisional ball, he is playing a wrong ball and the provisions of Rule 15 apply.



Note: If a player plays a provisional ball under Rule 27-2a, the strokes made after this Rule has been invoked with a provisional ball abandoned under Rule 27-2c and penalty strokes incurred solely by playing that ball are disregarded.

 

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