4. Rule 18.3 – Provisional Ball
If you intend to play a provisional ball you must announce that you are going to play a provisional ball.
It is not enough for you only to say that you are playing another ball or are playing again. You must use the word “provisional” or otherwise clearly indicate that you are playing the ball provisionally under Rule 18.3.
Phrases that do not clearly indicate you are playing a provisional ball would include:
“I’m going to re-load”
“I’m going to play another”
If you do not follow these requirements, you have put a ball in play under penalty of stroke and distance, and the original ball is lost.
If the golfer subsequently plays the original ball, he or she is deemed to have played a wrong ball and must correct the error as prescribed in Rule 6.3c.
5. Rule 16.1 - Abnormal Course Conditions (Including Immovable Obstructions)
A ball lies in the fairway in temporary water, and the nearest point of relief is in the rough.
But how many times will the ball be dropped in the fairway when the only proviso is that the nearest point of relief must not be in the general area?
There is no distinction between on or off the fairway!
6. Rule 17 – Penalty Areas (yet again!)
Before proceeding under this Rule there must be knowledge or virtual certainty that a ball struck toward a penalty area, but not found, is in the penalty area.
In the absence of such proof the player must proceed under Rule 18.1 (stroke and distance).
Too many times it’s the safer option to assume that as the ball cannot be found it must be in the water, rather than going back to the tee.