Does A Provisional Ball Count As A Stroke

Does A Provisional Ball Count As A Stroke

Does a Provisional Ball Count as a Stroke?

In the realm of golf, every stroke counts. But what happens when you have to play a provisional ball? Does that count as a stroke, or do you get a do-over? I was recently in this situation during a tournament, and let me tell you, it was not as straightforward as I thought.

Provisional balls are used when you’re not sure whether your original ball is lost or out of bounds. You can play a provisional ball without penalty, but only if you declare it as such before hitting it. If your original ball is later found, you must continue playing with that ball and abandon the provisional ball.

Exceptions to the Rule

There are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, if your original ball is lost in a hazard, you are not required to declare a provisional ball. You can simply take a penalty stroke and drop a new ball outside the hazard.

Another exception is if you believe your original ball is out of bounds. In this case, you must declare a provisional ball and play it from the tee. If your original ball is later found to be in bounds, you can continue playing with that ball. However, if your original ball is not found, you must continue playing with the provisional ball.

Counting Provisional Strokes

So, does a provisional ball count as a stroke? The answer is yes, but only if you hit it. If you declare a provisional ball but do not hit it, it does not count as a stroke.

For example, let’s say you hit your drive on a par 4 hole and it ends up in the rough. You’re not sure if it’s lost, so you declare a provisional ball and hit it. You then find your original ball and continue playing with it. In this case, the provisional ball does not count as a stroke.

Expert Advice

Here are a few tips for playing provisional balls:

  • Always declare a provisional ball before hitting it.
  • If you’re not sure whether your original ball is lost or out of bounds, play a provisional ball.
  • If you find your original ball, continue playing with it and abandon the provisional ball.

By following these tips, you can avoid any penalties and ensure that your score is accurate.

FAQ

Q: What is a provisional ball?

A: A provisional ball is a ball that you play when you’re not sure whether your original ball is lost or out of bounds.

Q: Do you have to declare a provisional ball?

A: Yes, you must declare a provisional ball before hitting it.

Q: Does a provisional ball count as a stroke?

A: Yes, a provisional ball counts as a stroke if you hit it.

Conclusion

Playing provisional balls can be a tricky part of golf, but it’s important to understand the rules so that you can avoid any penalties. By following the tips in this article, you can ensure that you’re playing the game fairly and accurately.

Are you interested in learning more about provisional balls? Let us know in the comments below!

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