Proposed Change: Time for Search Before a Ball is Lost March 1, 2017

Modernizing Golf's Rules: Major Proposed Changes

Proposed Rule: Under new Rule 18.2, the time for a ball search (before the ball becomes lost) would be reduced from 5 minutes to 3 minutes.

Reasons for Change:

Limiting the search period to 3 minutes is more consistent with the underlying principle that golf is to be played in a prompt and continuous way, without long pauses in play.

In most cases, if the ball is going to be found, it will be found within the first 3 minutes.

Although this change may increase the number of lost balls, on average the overall impact should be to speed up play.

Knowing that the search time is limited to 3 minutes should encourage players to play a provisional ball when they believe there is a chance their ball may not be found.

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