10 things to know about Provisional Ball In Golf
1. A provisional ball is a golf term used when a player believes their shot may be lost or out of bounds. They are allowed to hit a provisional ball in case they need to re-tee and continue play without having to search for their original shot.
A provisional ball is a golf term used when a player believes their shot may be lost or out of bounds. They are allowed to hit a provisional ball in case they need to re-tee and continue play without having to search for their original shot.
The provisional ball is an insurance shot, and the player is only allowed to hit it after playing their original shot. If the original ball is found, the provisional ball is disregarded, and play continues with the original ball.
However, if the player cannot find their original shot, they must continue play with the provisional ball. In this case, the provisional ball becomes their ball in play, and they incur the appropriate penalties (such as stroke and distance) if necessary.
It is essential to mark the provisional ball to differentiate it from the original ball. Typically, players will use a different brand, color, or number to ensure it is distinct.
The player must search for their original ball for no more than five minutes before switching to the provisional ball. This time limit helps keep the pace of play moving efficiently.
Once the player decides to switch to the provisional ball, they cannot go back and play another shot with their original ball if it is later found. The provisional ball becomes the ball in play for that particular hole.
If both the original ball and the provisional ball are found within the time limit, the player has the option to choose which ball to continue play with. However, they must notify their playing partners of their decision.
If the provisional ball is hit closer to the hole than the original ball, the player has the choice to play the provisional ball, even if the original ball is found. Again, notifying their playing partners of their decision is crucial.