Rules Article - Test
The Florida High School Golf Championships are currently underway at Mission Inn Resort in Club in Howey-In-The-Hills. The 2A Finals (middle-sized schools) concluded this past Wednesday and the 3A Finals (largest schools) concluded Saturday. The 1A Finals (smallest schools) play this coming Tuesday and Wednesday. Once completed, over 550 boys and girls will have competed in the State Championship.
During round one of the 3A Finals a player requested a Rules Official on the 17th hole and Frank Zubrick, Rules Official, was quickly on the scene. The player’s tee shot entered an area of dense trees left of the fairway. The area of trees are part of the “general area” and is NOT a penalty area or out of bounds. The player properly played a provisional ball because he thought his ball might be lost. His provisional ball found the center of fairway. The player and the Official found the player’s original ball deep in the trees. The player determined that the ball is unplayable. He asked the Official if can play his provisional ball and the Official told him that the moment he found his first ball, which was not out of bounds, his provisional ball is no longer in play.
A provisional ball is used when player thinks their original ball might be lost or out of bounds. The player’s ball was not lost or of bounds once he found it in the trees, so he must not play the provisional that lies in the fairway.
The player said he wants to take relief for an unplayable ball. Unfortunately, measuring two club-lengths from the ball was no help to him. Additionally, going “back-on-the-line” with the flagstick would take him deeper into the trees. The only viable option was for the player to return to the tee and play under stroke and distance.
The player then asked the Official if he could drop a ball on the edge of the fairway for a two-stroke penalty. The Model Local Rule E-5 was in effect. (MLR E-5 is the Local Rule allows a player to drop a ball on the edge of fairway for a two-stroke penalty – see more here). The Official explained to the player that Local Rule E-5 may only be used when your ball is lost or out of bounds. The player seemed to not fully believe that the ruling was correct. To reassure the player, the Official called over the radio and asked for confirmation on the ruling. The Committee quickly confirmed the ruling, which reassured the player. The player returned to tee and played his third stroke under stroke and distance.