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When to play a provisional ball
Graham Lewis - photo by Photo provided.

Question: Beth and Janet are playing in their golf association’s tournament. On the 10th hole, Beth hits her tee shot to the left of the fairway. She believes the ball probably is in the water hazard, but she is positive the ball is not lost or out of bounds. She announces she will hit a provisional ball and does so. Janet states that a provisional ball is not allowed. Is she correct?
Answer: Janet is correct. A provisional ball may be played only if the original ball is possibly out of bounds or may be lost outside a water hazard. The player must announce that a provisional ball is being hit.
Because Beth was certain that her original ball was not lost or out of bounds, she was not allowed to hit a provisional ball.
Therefore her provisional ball became the ball in play and she laid three instead of one.
Tip of the Day: Many of us, to save time, play a provisional ball when we feel our original ball may be in a water hazard. Remember that this is not allowed. Also remember to announce that you are playing a provisional ball if you think it may be out of bounds or lost outside of a water hazard. Failure to do so automatically puts the provisional ball in play.
As always, have fun playing and practicing the game of golf. Call 912-832-4653 and sign a junior up for the June and July golf camps.
E-mail me at with any questions.

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