Rules FAQ


Rule 27-1

Ball Thought to be Embedded is Lost

Q.  I hit my ball right down the middle, I know it`s there, it must have embedded in the soft ground. Am I allowed to drop a ball without penalty where I think it might have come to rest?

A.  No. If the ball can not be found, the player must proceed under Rule 27-1, incurring the stroke-and-distance penalty. There is nothing in Rule 25-2 that permits a player to take relief for a ball that is thought to be embedded without identifying it first. The soft mushy earth is not an abnormal ground condition unless casual water is present, in which case Rule 25-1c applies.


Below you can view videos related to this Rule.

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Learn when you can play a provisional ball and when you must abandon it.
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What do do when you ball is lost or out of bounds
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On the third playoff hole at the 2001 Buick Invitational, Phil Mickelson and Frank Lickliter both drove their tee shots into a ravine.
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Landed in a tree
During the 3rd round of the 1987 US Open, Tommy Nakajima’s approach shot on the final hole landed in a tree, short of the green. A volunteer helped him search for the ball, but to no avail.
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