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Golf League OOB, Provisional and Local Rule


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This week in our Monday work golf league we had a question come up regarding OOB, provisional and applying a local rule.   The hole is a par 4 with OB and a road running along the right.   Our opponent sliced his drive to the right and we couldn't tell from the teebox if it was OB or not.  Based on our league rules, he had 2 options.  1) Play a provisional potentially hitting 3 off the tee or 2) elect to drop at the edge of the fairway where the ball went out and hitting 4.   He declared a provisional and hit it OB.  He proceeded to look for his first ball and I moved forward to my ball.  We play a triple bogey max so I thought he would be in his pocket.  After I hit, he was still looking and then dropped at the edge of the fairway and hit.  I asked what he was laying and he said 4.  I corrected him and his partner agreed.  It really slowed the group down how much time was wasted looking for the ball and continuing to play in.  

 

I'm not a fan of the local drop rule.  I would rather see stroke and distance and not provide additional options to speed play.

 

 

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Interesting... I'd love to hear from the actual rules experts on what should be done here. 

 

However, here's what I think should LOGICALLY happen:

  1. He hit the provisional (hitting 3 from the tee) as the insurance against his first ball being lost or OB. 
  2. Because that's his provisional, should his first ball be lost or OB as happened here his provisional should be the "ball in play". 
  3. He hit his provisional OB, so if he takes MLR E-5 relief it should be on his provisional, not his first ball. 
  4. When he drops in the fairway with MLR E-5, he should be lying 5 and hitting 6. 

IMHO you can't just hit a provisional and then if it goes OB say "well I'm taking MLR E-5 on my first ball, lying 3, hitting 4." Just as if MLR E-5 isn't in place I don't *think* the rules allow you to hit a provisional, hit it OB, go to try to find the first ball and it's lost or OB, allow you to go back to the tee for S&D on the *first* ball either, then hitting 3 off the tee. I think if your original is lost/OB and then your provisional is lost/OB, you're taking S&D against the provisional, hitting 5 off the tee. 

 

But there are people who know this better than I, so I await their thoughts...

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1 hour ago, BC_ said:

I'm not a fan of the local drop rule.  I would rather see stroke and distance and not provide additional options to speed play.


I would just counter that ML E-5 is a great way to speed up play. You may be well served by coaching your league on its use to speed up play. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, BC_ said:

This week in our Monday work golf league we had a question come up regarding OOB, provisional and applying a local rule.   The hole is a par 4 with OB and a road running along the right.   Our opponent sliced his drive to the right and we couldn't tell from the teebox if it was OB or not.  Based on our league rules, he had 2 options.  1) Play a provisional potentially hitting 3 off the tee or 2) elect to drop at the edge of the fairway where the ball went out and hitting 4.   He declared a provisional and hit it OB.  He proceeded to look for his first ball and I moved forward to my ball.  We play a triple bogey max so I thought he would be in his pocket.  After I hit, he was still looking and then dropped at the edge of the fairway and hit.  I asked what he was laying and he said 4.  I corrected him and his partner agreed.  It really slowed the group down how much time was wasted looking for the ball and continuing to play in.  

 

I'm not a fan of the local drop rule.  I would rather see stroke and distance and not provide additional options to speed play.

 

 

 

5 minutes ago, betarhoalphadelta said:

Interesting... I'd love to hear from the actual rules experts on what should be done here. 

 

However, here's what I think should LOGICALLY happen:

  1. He hit the provisional (hitting 3 from the tee) as the insurance against his first ball being lost or OB. 
  2. Because that's his provisional, should his first ball be lost or OB as happened here his provisional should be the "ball in play". 
  3. He hit his provisional OB, so if he takes MLR E-5 relief it should be on his provisional, not his first ball. 
  4. When he drops in the fairway with MLR E-5, he should be lying 5 and hitting 6. 

IMHO you can't just hit a provisional and then if it goes OB say "well I'm taking MLR E-5 on my first ball, lying 3, hitting 4." Just as if MLR E-5 isn't in place I don't *think* the rules allow you to hit a provisional, hit it OB, go to try to find the first ball and it's lost or OB, allow you to go back to the tee for S&D on the *first* ball either, then hitting 3 off the tee. I think if your original is lost/OB and then your provisional is lost/OB, you're taking S&D against the provisional, hitting 5 off the tee. 

 

But there are people who know this better than I, so I await their thoughts...

 

I believe you are correct. However, I don't seen anything different from the OP's post (maybe I missed it ?)

 

Note the OP said he "corrected him".

 

I'm thinking he meant corrected him to be lying 5, not 4.

 

 

 

Edited by nsxguy

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, nsxguy said:

 

I believe you are correct. However, I don't seen anything different from the OP's post (maybe I missed it ?)

 

Note the OP said he "corrected him".

 

I'm thinking he meant corrected him to be lying 5, not 4.

 

 

I took that to mean that he said the player "then dropped at the edge of the fairway and hit", so that his question of "what are you lying" is after the shot. If he [incorrectly] took MLR relief on his first ball, he would now be lying 4. And then correcting him that relief occurs on the provisional ball would mean he's now lying 6. 

 

@BC_ can you clarify?

Edited by betarhoalphadelta
typo--lying 4, not 6

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1 hour ago, BC_ said:

 

I'm not a fan of the local drop rule.  I would rather see stroke and distance and not provide additional options to speed play.

 

 

8 minutes ago, klebs01 said:


I would just counter that ML E-5 is a great way to speed up play. You may be well served by coaching your league on its use to speed up play. 

 

I've argued in the past that I worry that MLR E-5 can make the game "too easy", especially for higher handicappers like me. 


Because imagine the OP's opponent hitting his tee shot and not knowing whether it might be lost/OB, but there's a good chance it is. If he goes up and looks for it, can't find it in bounds, and takes MLR E-5, he's now lying 3 hitting 4 in the fairway.

 

However, for a higher handicapper, whether you hit a provisional (as in the case here) or go back to the tee and take S&D, there's no guarantee your provisional/S&D shot will be in the fairway. 

 

In this case, the logical thing for OP's opponent to do if a local rule isn't in place, and for PoP, would have been to hit a provisional off the tee. When the provisional was [obviously] sliced OOB, he should have hit ANOTHER provisional and hope to keep it in play. Which means that if his third ball remained in play and he couldn't find the first one, he's lying 5 with his third ball. And if his third ball sails OB? Might as well pick up because he's already at triple bogey (league max). Whereas if he merely takes MLR E-5 on the first ball, he's lying 3, in the fairway, which is sorta the best possible outcome he could ever hope for with a provisional or S&D penalty. 

 

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, betarhoalphadelta said:

 

I took that to mean that he said the player "then dropped at the edge of the fairway and hit", so that his question of "what are you lying" is after the shot. If he [incorrectly] took MLR relief on his first ball, he would now be lying 4. And then correcting him that relief occurs on the provisional ball would mean he's now lying 6. 

 

@BC_ can you clarify?

 

Correct, I didn't read long enough. "dropped at the edge of the fairway and hit". So yes, then lying 6.

 

Point is, as you mentioned, he's taking E-5 on the provisional ball, NOT the original.

 

Sorry about that.

Edited by nsxguy
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39 minutes ago, betarhoalphadelta said:

 

 

I've argued in the past that I worry that MLR E-5 can make the game "too easy", especially for higher handicappers like me. 


Because imagine the OP's opponent hitting his tee shot and not knowing whether it might be lost/OB, but there's a good chance it is. If he goes up and looks for it, can't find it in bounds, and takes MLR E-5, he's now lying 3 hitting 4 in the fairway.

 

However, for a higher handicapper, whether you hit a provisional (as in the case here) or go back to the tee and take S&D, there's no guarantee your provisional/S&D shot will be in the fairway. 

 

In this case, the logical thing for OP's opponent to do if a local rule isn't in place, and for PoP, would have been to hit a provisional off the tee. When the provisional was [obviously] sliced OOB, he should have hit ANOTHER provisional and hope to keep it in play. Which means that if his third ball remained in play and he couldn't find the first one, he's lying 5 with his third ball. And if his third ball sails OB? Might as well pick up because he's already at triple bogey (league max). Whereas if he merely takes MLR E-5 on the first ball, he's lying 3, in the fairway, which is sorta the best possible outcome he could ever hope for with a provisional or S&D penalty. 

 

That is the entire point of the local rule though - speed up play for everyone. It's not making it, "too easy". To be completely honest (using a par 4 as an example), taking the local rule in the fairway (for high-er handicaps) keeps triple bogey max in play anyway. The average strokes to hole out from 150yds for a 15 handicap is 3.92. 

 

I, personally, don't want to see someone rip three balls out of bounds and declare triple bogey max when they can use the local rule and try to save bogey/double bogey. We are playing for fun after all. 

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1 hour ago, betarhoalphadelta said:

 

I took that to mean that he said the player "then dropped at the edge of the fairway and hit", so that his question of "what are you lying" is after the shot. If he [incorrectly] took MLR relief on his first ball, he would now be lying 4. And then correcting him that relief occurs on the provisional ball would mean he's now lying 6. 

 

@BC_ can you clarify?

 I questioned what he was lying because I suspected he was omitting the provisional being OB as he was when he replied lying 4.   I my correction to him was that he would be lying 6 after he hit. 

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24 minutes ago, Primo1868 said:

That is the entire point of the local rule though - speed up play for everyone. It's not making it, "too easy". To be completely honest (using a par 4 as an example), taking the local rule in the fairway (for high-er handicaps) keeps triple bogey max in play anyway. The average strokes to hole out from 150yds for a 15 handicap is 3.92. 

 

I, personally, don't want to see someone rip three balls out of bounds and declare triple bogey max when they can use the local rule and try to save bogey/double bogey. We are playing for fun after all. 

 

My issue is that not everyone understands the rule and will either not count the strokes correctly or drop at the distance that the ball ended up and not where it crossed the OB.   It seems to lead to a lot of discussions, interpretations and on occasion disagreements that slow down the round.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, BC_ said:

 

My issue is that not everyone understands the rule and will either not count the strokes correctly or drop at the distance that the ball ended up and not where it crossed the OB.   It seems to lead to a lot of discussions, interpretations and on occasion disagreements that slow down the round.

 

It's actually pretty easy to work out.

 

How many would the player lie at the point,,,,,,,,, IF it'd have been found ?

 

Then add 2 and drop in the fairway (or wherever).

 

So, no provisional, "found" ball would've been lying 1. Drop in fairway and now it lays 3.

 

With provisional, "found" ball would've been lying 3. Drop in the fairway and it lies 5.

 

 

 

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34 minutes ago, Primo1868 said:

That is the entire point of the local rule though - speed up play for everyone. It's not making it, "too easy". To be completely honest (using a par 4 as an example), taking the local rule in the fairway (for high-er handicaps) keeps triple bogey max in play anyway. The average strokes to hole out from 150yds for a 15 handicap is 3.92. 

 

I, personally, don't want to see someone rip three balls out of bounds and declare triple bogey max when they can use the local rule and try to save bogey/double bogey. We are playing for fun after all. 

 

IMHO it's about speeding up play by avoiding the time necessary to take S&D, not to avoid being penal for hitting the ball lost/OB. Which is exactly what a provisional is also intended to do; speed up play by avoiding the time necessary to take S&D. 

 

I would say that any player who is on the tee (or anywhere else) and believes that there is a reasonable likelihood their ball is lost/OB depending on where it was headed, they should take a provisional, not just assume that it's ok to go look for their ball and take MLR E-5 if they can't find it or if it's OB. If that means they spray three balls OB off the tee, well, so be it. 

 

To me MLR E-5 is best suited to when you believe based on your previous shot that your ball is in bounds in a place where you're unlikely to lose it. If you get to that place and you either can't find your ball or you realize it's OB (perhaps you didn't know the course and that there was OB in that area), then you take MLR E-5 relief. 

 

What MLR E-5 shouldn't be used for, in my opinion, is if you hit a ball that is OBVIOUSLY out of bounds, and just say "screw it, I'm gonna drop in the fairway up there and take the 2 penalty strokes because I'm scared I'll hit my next ball OB too."

 

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6 minutes ago, betarhoalphadelta said:

 

 

 

What MLR E-5 shouldn't be used for, in my opinion, is if you hit a ball that is OBVIOUSLY out of bounds, and just say "screw it, I'm gonna drop in the fairway up there and take the 2 penalty strokes because I'm scared I'll hit my next ball OB too."

 

Why not? How would you prevent it?

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3 minutes ago, betarhoalphadelta said:

 

IMHO it's about speeding up play by avoiding the time necessary to take S&D, not to avoid being penal for hitting the ball lost/OB. Which is exactly what a provisional is also intended to do; speed up play by avoiding the time necessary to take S&D. 

 

I would say that any player who is on the tee (or anywhere else) and believes that there is a reasonable likelihood their ball is lost/OB depending on where it was headed, they should take a provisional, not just assume that it's ok to go look for their ball and take MLR E-5 if they can't find it or if it's OB. If that means they spray three balls OB off the tee, well, so be it. 

 

To me MLR E-5 is best suited to when you believe based on your previous shot that your ball is in bounds in a place where you're unlikely to lose it. If you get to that place and you either can't find your ball or you realize it's OB (perhaps you didn't know the course and that there was OB in that area), then you take MLR E-5 relief. 

 

What MLR E-5 shouldn't be used for, in my opinion, is if you hit a ball that is OBVIOUSLY out of bounds, and just say "screw it, I'm gonna drop in the fairway up there and take the 2 penalty strokes because I'm scared I'll hit my next ball OB too."

 

 

My friend, you are overthinking this.

 

E-5 is meant for casual rounds and low-level tournaments. As you suggested, and the USGA "admitted", it's to save time.

 

If it means that much to you, within your group, don't use it. If, within the context of a "club", make it an issue. Easy peasy. 

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2 minutes ago, Newby said:

Why not? How would you prevent it?

 

Effectively I think players should just self-police this one, for the integrity of the game. A player *can* take MLR E-5 when they are pretty darn sure their ball went OB just by saying "oh, I didn't think it was OB", but that's not exactly honest. A player *should* hit a provisional in that scenario.

 

2 minutes ago, nsxguy said:

 

My friend, you are overthinking this.

 

E-5 is meant for casual rounds and low-level tournaments. As you suggested, and the USGA "admitted", it's to save time.

 

If it means that much to you, within your group, don't use it. If, within the context of a "club", make it an issue. Easy peasy. 

 

Personally our group DOES use MLR E-5, but I personally only use it when a ball is lost or OB without me thinking it should have been.

 

I.e. if I'm on a course that I know well and I hit a ball that I think is pretty likely OB, I'll hit a provisional. And if that provisional goes OB, I'll hit another. If the third one goes OB, I'm just gonna say screw it, pick up, and card NDB for the hole because my score is shot. At that point I'm not winning a skin and my score will already be "max" for handicap purposes. If I'm relatively certain at the moment I see the ball flight that it's OB, I'm not just heading up the fairway and dropping a ball if I find it truly is OB. 

 

However a scenario that just recently came up is a course that I know well, I pulled my tee shot on #4. It crested a ridge and rolled out to the opposite side of that ridge, so the final resting place was blind from the tee. But since I know the course and that area only contains very light rough and a couple spotty trees between the #3 and #4 fairways, it was reasonable to believe that I would find the ball and a provisional wasn't warranted. I got up there and didn't find the ball, so took advantage of MLR E-5 rather than going back to the tee. I had another recently where I hit a ball into an area that usually only contains very light rough, but in this case due to all the recent heavy rains we had in SoCal, it was a lot taller than usual. I couldn't find my ball so I took MLR E-5. But again, from the tee I fully expected to be able to find it.  

 

Another one that happened last summer was on a course in Texas visiting in-laws that I'd never played before. On a par 5, I had a partial wedge into the green on my 3rd shot and just misjudged the distance and it sailed long. I got up there and realized it was about 4 feet past OB stakes that I didn't know were there b/c I'd never played the course. I dropped and took my two penalty strokes using MLR E-5 because it didn't make sense to go all the way back to the fairway and hit another from that spot. 

 

I think the rule has an important place for casual games. I also think that certain situations as I've outlined above are beyond the spirit of the game if you apply MLR E-5 too liberally. Or to put it another way...

 

4 minutes ago, bluedot said:

Which is a perfect example of why, in most cases, you’re at least no worse off using E5 automatically than hitting a provisional, unless the provisional original ball only went a very short distance before disappearing.

 

(Strikethrough and italics is my modification of what I think bluedot meant to say--that unless your original ball was horrible, using E5 automatically is almost always better than a provisional.)

 

I don't think players using E-5 automatically is the right thing to do. It is a best-case scenario unless you absolutely hit a perfect provisional, i.e. it's a par 3 and you're pretty sure your tee ball went OB and you hole out the provisional, or something like that. 

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7 hours ago, nsxguy said:

 

My issue is that not everyone understands the rule

 

E-5 has been available since 1/1/2019. Anyone interested in using it surely has had sufficient time to figure it out. My club has used from day 1 and describes it this way:

 

BALL LOST OR OUT OF BOUNDS When a ball has been lost outside a penalty area or is out of bounds, provided you do not have a provisional ball in play, you may use this CCA Local Rule, Alternative to Stroke-and-Distance.     (MLR E-5) 

 

1) Estimate the spot where the ball was lost or went out of bounds. 

2) From that spot, follow an arc equidistant from the flagstick to the nearest edge of the fairway, then extend that arc further by two club-lengths into the fairway. 

3) Drop anywhere in the general area behind that arc. 
Add two penalty strokes.

 

Our players do pretty well with E-5.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, sui generis said:

 

E-5 has been available since 1/1/2019. Anyone interested in using it surely has had sufficient time to figure it out. My club has used from day 1 and describes it this way:

 

BALL LOST OR OUT OF BOUNDS When a ball has been lost outside a penalty area or is out of bounds, provided you do not have a provisional ball in play, you may use this CCA Local Rule, Alternative to Stroke-and-Distance.     (MLR E-5) 

 

1) Estimate the spot where the ball was lost or went out of bounds. 

2) From that spot, follow an arc equidistant from the flagstick to the nearest edge of the fairway, then extend that arc further by two club-lengths into the fairway. 

3) Drop anywhere in the general area behind that arc. 
Add two penalty strokes.

 

Our players do pretty well with E-5.

 

 

 

How did you manage to "quote" me and get the OP's text ? :classic_blink:  :classic_tongue:

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6 hours ago, betarhoalphadelta said:

 

Effectively I think players should just self-police this one, for the integrity of the game. A player *can* take MLR E-5 when they are pretty darn sure their ball went OB just by saying "oh, I didn't think it was OB", but that's not exactly honest. A player *should* hit a provisional in that scenario.

 

 

Personally our group DOES use MLR E-5, but I personally only use it when a ball is lost or OB without me thinking it should have been.

 

I.e. if I'm on a course that I know well and I hit a ball that I think is pretty likely OB, I'll hit a provisional. And if that provisional goes OB, I'll hit another. If the third one goes OB, I'm just gonna say screw it, pick up, and card NDB for the hole because my score is shot. At that point I'm not winning a skin and my score will already be "max" for handicap purposes. If I'm relatively certain at the moment I see the ball flight that it's OB, I'm not just heading up the fairway and dropping a ball if I find it truly is OB. 

 

However a scenario that just recently came up is a course that I know well, I pulled my tee shot on #4. It crested a ridge and rolled out to the opposite side of that ridge, so the final resting place was blind from the tee. But since I know the course and that area only contains very light rough and a couple spotty trees between the #3 and #4 fairways, it was reasonable to believe that I would find the ball and a provisional wasn't warranted. I got up there and didn't find the ball, so took advantage of MLR E-5 rather than going back to the tee. I had another recently where I hit a ball into an area that usually only contains very light rough, but in this case due to all the recent heavy rains we had in SoCal, it was a lot taller than usual. I couldn't find my ball so I took MLR E-5. But again, from the tee I fully expected to be able to find it.  

 

Another one that happened last summer was on a course in Texas visiting in-laws that I'd never played before. On a par 5, I had a partial wedge into the green on my 3rd shot and just misjudged the distance and it sailed long. I got up there and realized it was about 4 feet past OB stakes that I didn't know were there b/c I'd never played the course. I dropped and took my two penalty strokes using MLR E-5 because it didn't make sense to go all the way back to the fairway and hit another from that spot. 

 

I think the rule has an important place for casual games. I also think that certain situations as I've outlined above are beyond the spirit of the game if you apply MLR E-5 too liberally. Or to put it another way...

 

 

(Strikethrough and italics is my modification of what I think bluedot meant to say--that unless your original ball was horrible, using E5 automatically is almost always better than a provisional.)

 

I don't think players using E-5 automatically is the right thing to do. It is a best-case scenario unless you absolutely hit a perfect provisional, i.e. it's a par 3 and you're pretty sure your tee ball went OB and you hole out the provisional, or something like that. 

I take your point, but E5 either is or is not in effect.  You are advocating a middle ground that may be noble, but isn’t really workable.

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9 minutes ago, nsxguy said:

 

How did you manage to "quote" me and get the OP's text ? :classic_blink:  :classic_tongue:

 

Oops, watching the Sox and enjoying an IPA after a day on the course and posing as a Rules expert on Wrx seems to have overloaded my octogenarian brain. 

 

nb Hey, everybody . . . nsxguy knows full well how E-5 works.

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Knowledge of the Rules is part of the applied skill set which a player must use to play competitive golf.

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5 minutes ago, sui generis said:

 

Oops, watching the Sox and enjoying an IPA after a day on the course and posing as a Rules expert on Wrx seems to have overloaded my octogenarian brain. 

 

nb Hey, everybody . . . nsxguy knows full well how E-5 works.

 

Gettin' old(er) ain't easy, is it ? :classic_laugh:

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8 hours ago, betarhoalphadelta said:

 

IMHO it's about speeding up play by avoiding the time necessary to take S&D, not to avoid being penal for hitting the ball lost/OB. Which is exactly what a provisional is also intended to do; speed up play by avoiding the time necessary to take S&D. 

 

I would say that any player who is on the tee (or anywhere else) and believes that there is a reasonable likelihood their ball is lost/OB depending on where it was headed, they should take a provisional, not just assume that it's ok to go look for their ball and take MLR E-5 if they can't find it or if it's OB. If that means they spray three balls OB off the tee, well, so be it. 

 

To me MLR E-5 is best suited to when you believe based on your previous shot that your ball is in bounds in a place where you're unlikely to lose it. If you get to that place and you either can't find your ball or you realize it's OB (perhaps you didn't know the course and that there was OB in that area), then you take MLR E-5 relief. 

 

What MLR E-5 shouldn't be used for, in my opinion, is if you hit a ball that is OBVIOUSLY out of bounds, and just say "screw it, I'm gonna drop in the fairway up there and take the 2 penalty strokes because I'm scared I'll hit my next ball OB too."

 

I may be wrong but the rule has to be in effect for the player to use it and not just randomly pick when to use it.

 

If it’s in effect imo there’s no need to hit a provisional. If you can’t find the ball or it’s ob then use the drop. It’s not cheating and it’s not making the game easier for the high handclap who is still probably going to miss the green and not get up and down 

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2 hours ago, GoGoErky said:

I may be wrong but the rule has to be in effect for the player to use it and not just randomly pick when to use it.

 

If it’s in effect imo there’s no need to hit a provisional. If you can’t find the ball or it’s ob then use the drop. It’s not cheating and it’s not making the game easier for the high handclap who is still probably going to miss the green and not get up and down 

 

Yes, MLR E-5 DOES have to be in effect for that round to be used. Note - it MAY be "in effect" only for certain holes.

 

But no need for a provisional ? Suppose the player hits a low slice line drive that barely gets in the air and it's roughly 80 yards off the tee and way right into all sorts of trees. Or possibly OB.

 

I can pretty much guarantee you most players WILL hit a provisional in that case.

 

But the player isn't required to use E-5. He can still go search and, if not found, take S&D instead of using E-5. Or, before going to search, hit a provisional - in which case only the (last) provisional can be used for E-5, NOT the original.

 

If he hits 1 or more provisionals, the original/previous ball's estimated location can NOT be used. He must use the LAST one of the provisionals for any E-5 drops.

 

Also note the ball need not be dropped in the fairway. There is a rather large relief area for this MLR.

 

I think I've got this correct. 🙃

 

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8 hours ago, nsxguy said:

 

 

 

But the player isn't required to use E-5. He can still go search and, if not found, take S&D instead of using E-5. Or, before going to search, hit a provisional - in which case only the (last) provisional can be used for E-5, NOT the original.

 

If he hits 1 or more provisionals, the original/previous ball's estimated location can NOT be used. He must use the LAST one of the provisionals for any E-5 drops.

 

 

I am a little puzzled with this but not saying you're wrong.

 

The words in E-5 say 

 

a. Ball Reference Point: The point where the original ball is estimated to have: ..........

 

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13 hours ago, Augster said:

You do know that players can take an unplayable ball penalty for a ball that is clearly playable, right? What about the integrity of the game?

 

If the game is played by the Rules, it is played correctly. E-5 is an MLR. As said above, if you don’t like it, don’t use it. 

 

Well in that case a player is choosing to take a penalty stroke (negative effect on score) rather than playing their ball, so whatever advantage they get from declaring their ball unplayable is balanced by the fact that they're taking a penalty. 

 

In this case a player just hit a ball OB. They're taking what is close the best possible result (hitting a provisional that finds the fairway) and lies 3) to avoid any other worse result with their provisional (duffing it, slicing it into rough, hitting it OB, hitting it into a PA, etc). 

 

13 hours ago, bluedot said:

I take your point, but E5 either is or is not in effect.  You are advocating a middle ground that may be noble, but isn’t really workable.

 

Agreed. There is no way to police it. It's not workable to restrict a player from taking E-5 automatically. I still don't like it. And thus personally I don't take it "automatically"--I only take it when my ball has been unexpectedly lost or found OB. I hit provisional(s) if I'm relatively sure after the offending strike that my ball is or might be OB. 

 

12 hours ago, GoGoErky said:

I may be wrong but the rule has to be in effect for the player to use it and not just randomly pick when to use it.

 

If it’s in effect imo there’s no need to hit a provisional. If you can’t find the ball or it’s ob then use the drop. It’s not cheating and it’s not making the game easier for the high handclap who is still probably going to miss the green and not get up and down 

 

Agreed it's not cheating. 

 

Disagree that it's not making the game easier for the high handicap. E-5 gives the player the outcome that would be associated with a well-struck provisional, a ball in the fairway, without requiring them to hit said provisional. Whereas requiring them to hit a provisional--albeit unworkable in the rule--exposes them to potential worse outcomes, including spraying their provisional OB following the first ball, and losing two more strokes. 

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5 hours ago, betarhoalphadelta said:

 

Well in that case a player is choosing to take a penalty stroke (negative effect on score) rather than playing their ball, so whatever advantage they get from declaring their ball unplayable is balanced by the fact that they're taking a penalty. 

 

In this case a player just hit a ball OB. They're taking what is close the best possible result (hitting a provisional that finds the fairway) and lies 3) to avoid any other worse result with their provisional (duffing it, slicing it into rough, hitting it OB, hitting it into a PA, etc). 

 

 

Agreed. There is no way to police it. It's not workable to restrict a player from taking E-5 automatically. I still don't like it. And thus personally I don't take it "automatically"--I only take it when my ball has been unexpectedly lost or found OB. I hit provisional(s) if I'm relatively sure after the offending strike that my ball is or might be OB. 

 

 

Agreed it's not cheating. 

 

Disagree that it's not making the game easier for the high handicap. E-5 gives the player the outcome that would be associated with a well-struck provisional, a ball in the fairway, without requiring them to hit said provisional. Whereas requiring them to hit a provisional--albeit unworkable in the rule--exposes them to potential worse outcomes, including spraying their provisional OB following the first ball, and losing two more strokes. 

I believe the intent of E5 was to make the rules in casual play reflect the way people actually play the game, and in casual play, almost nobody makes the “Walk of Shame” when their ball is UNEXPECTEDLY lost or OB.  There are obvious pace of play reasons for this., but I think “unexpectedly” was driving the bus on E5.

 

The substitution of E5 for hitting a provisional when you KNOW the original ball is OB or highly likely to be lost is, I think, unavoidable if you are going to have E5 at all.  I don’t think there is a workable way to write the MLR to cover one without the other.

 

Two other thoughts on this:


1. I think the idea that being able to take an option equal to a best case scenario for a provisional is exactly why E5 is not in effect for higher level tournament play, and why the Golf Committee at my club, for example, has chosen not to use E5 in any competitive play at our club.  There is a sense that it does, in fact, make the game “too easy” for lesser golfers at the expense of better players.

 

2.  That said, I don’t think the net effect of using E5 changes very much in the results of a competition.  Better players don’t need it, and players that need it are unlikely to win anyway.  Plus, if ALL players are using E5, at the most it might slightly narrow the gap by which the lesser player loses; it doesn’t turn them into winners.

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22 minutes ago, Augster said:

Using E5 the player takes TWO penalty strokes. The only advantages gained is time and the knowledge his next shot will be playable. 
 

But it costs the player two shots to do so. 

Not exactly.  If I just pumped a big hook OB, at least in theory I could have a Tin Cup moment and continue to pump hooks OB.  That’s potentially a BIG advantage to using E5, even with the 2 stroke penalty.

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