Rules FAQ


Rule 27-2

Original Ball Found and Declared Unplayable, Player wishes to Continue with Provisional Ball

Q.  A player played his tee shot into deep woods. He correctly played a provisional ball to the fairway in case the ball would be lost. Before reaching the provisional ball the player finds the original ball laying against the base of a tree in between two large roots. The player declares the ball unplayable. His best option is to proceed under Rule 28a and return to the teeing ground. To save time may the player still continue play with the provisional ball?

A.  No. Once the original ball is found the provisional ball must be abandoned (Rule 27-2c) and the player must continue play with the original ball or declare it unplayable (Rule 28). A provisional ball is not an option for a ball that may be unplayable. It is only an option if the original ball may be out of bounds or lost outside of a water hazard.


Below you can view videos related to this Rule.

Video
Provisional Balls
Learn when you can play a provisional ball and when you must abandon it.
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Video
Ball Lost or Out of bounds
What do do when you ball is lost or out of bounds
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Video
Tee shots into a ravine
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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Video
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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