Category: Match & Handicap

Provisional Ball

From the Quick Guide to the Rules of Golf…

If, after playing a shot, you think your ball may be lost outside a water hazard or out of bounds you should play a provisional ball. You must announce that it is a provisional ball and play it before you go forward to search for the original ball.

If the original ball is lost (other than in a water hazard) or out of bounds, you must continue with the provisional ball, under penalty of one stroke. If the original ball is found in bounds within 5 minutes, you must continue play of the hole with it, and must stop playing the provisional ball.

From the Rules of Golf

Rule 27-2

If a ball may be lost outside a water hazard or may be out of bounds, to save time the player may play another ball provisionally in accordance with Rule 27-1.

Additional Information *

In other words, if it is known or it is virtually certain that the ball is within the margins of a water hazard (or lateral water hazard) then the player may not play a provisional ball. The reason for this is that the relief options for a ball lost in a water hazard (Rule 26-1a) are significantly more advantageous than those for a ball that is lost or out of bounds Rule 27-1).

There are two Decisions that clearly illustrate this

27-2a/2 Provisional Ball Played Solely in Belief Original Ball Might Be in Water Hazard
Q. A player’s tee shot might be in a water hazard, but clearly it is not lost outside a water hazard or out of bounds. The player announces that, since his ball might be in the hazard, he is going to play a provisional ball and he does so. Rule 27-2a seems to prohibit a provisional ball in the circumstances. What is the ruling?
A. The player did not play a provisional ball which, according to the Definition of “Provisional Ball,” is a ball played under Rule 27-2 for a ball which may be lost outside a water hazard or may be out of bounds. The second ball from the tee was in play since it was not a provisional ball.

27-2a/2.2 Possibility That Original Ball Is in Water Hazard May Not Preclude Play of Provisional Ball
Q. If a player’s original ball may have come to rest in a water hazard, is he precluded from playing a provisional ball?
A. No. Even though the original ball may be in a water hazard, the player is entitled to play a provisional ball if the original ball might also be lost outside the water hazard or out of bounds. In such a case, if the original ball is found in the water hazard, the provisional ball must be abandoned — Rule 27-2c (Formerly 27-2c/1)

The point made in the answer to this second Decision is important. Whether a ball may be lost inside or outside of a hazard may depend a lot on the surrounding terrain. If a wide fairway leads straight down to a water hazard then the ball will either be found on the fairway or will be in the water hazard. But if there is long grass and/or trees around the water hazard then the ball could be lost anywhere inside or outside of the hazard because it could be hidden in the deep rough or could have been deflected off trees in any direction.

* Information taken from Barry Rhodes blog.

Our 10th Hole…
‘..the player is entitled to play a provisional ball if the original ball might also be lost outside the water hazard or out of bounds.’ As a ball could be lost outside the water hazard and / or not out of bounds, then the player can play a provisional ball.

  • If the original ball is found outside the hazard the provisional ball is abandoned.
  • If the original ball is found in the hazard then the provisional ball comes into play.
  • If the ball can not be found then you can not know or be virtually certain the ball is in the Water Hazard so the provisionable ball comes into play.

Supplementary Scores

From the 1st April 2017 members, will be able to return 10 supplementary scores in a calendar year. To return a supplementary score members are required to:

  • Sign In to the ‘Supplementary Round’ using the sign in button on the touch screen before commencing to start their round
  • Play 18 Holes of Golf from either the White or Blue tees with another MEMBER of the Golf Club and have them sign the card at the end of the round.
  • The Rules of Golf as always will apply.
  • Enter the score onto the computer; making sure you select the right course:
    • Greenacres 2015 if round is played from the White Tees
    • Greenacres Blue 2015 if round is played from the Blue Tees
  • Place the score card into the Match & Handicap slot

Note: Only one supplementary round can be return a week and only 10 rounds can be played in a calendar year.


Introduction from CONGU Rules

The UHS is based on the expectation that every player will return a sufficient number of scores to provide reasonable evidence of his current ability. To operate in the intended manner, the UHS requires information i.e. the return of Qualifying Scores to produce handicaps that reasonably reflect current ability.

Although golf club Committees and administrators may consider that in the course of a playing season they organise an adequate number of competitions to provide ample opportunity for Members to participate, investigation has confirmed that a substantial number of Members do not return sufficient scores in the period between Annual Reviews to maintain a handicap that reasonably reflects their current ability. This may in part be due to:

  • Work or family commitments preventing participation in competitions
  • Difficulty in obtaining an acceptable starting time on competition days in clubs with a large playing membership.
  • A declining desire to play regular competitive golf.

Supplementary Scores provide players in the above situations and the like an alternative format in which to submit scores for handicap purposes and augment the often sparse information derived from competition play. They can provide more evidence of playing ability for a wider range of players so making handicapping more equitable and golf under handicap conditions more meaningful for all concerned.

A Member may return a Supplementary Score for handicapping purposes in compliance with the following conditions:

  • Shall apply to all Handicap Categories.
  • A Supplementary Score may only be returned at the Home Club of the player.
  • An acceptable score for Supplementary Score purposes is any authenticated score over 18 holes under Competition Play Conditions over a Measured Course in compliance with the conditions listed in this clause.
  • The format may be Stroke Play or Stableford
  • Up to a maximum of ten Supplementary Scores may be returned annually.

Ready Golf

“Ready golf” is a commonly used term which indicates that players should play when they are ready to do so, rather than adhering strictly to the “farthest from the hole plays first” stipulation in the Rules of Golf.

“Ready golf” is not appropriate in match play due to the strategy involved between opponents and the need to have a set method for determining which player plays first. However, in stroke play formats it is only the act of agreeing to play out of turn to give one of the players an advantage that is prohibited. On this basis, it is permissible for administrators to encourage “ready golf” in stroke play, and there is strong evidence to suggest that playing “ready golf” does improve the pace of play. For example, in a survey of Australian golf clubs conducted by Golf Australia, 94% of clubs that had promoted “ready golf” to their members enjoyed some degree of success in improving pace of play, with 25% stating that they had achieved ‘satisfying success’.

When “ready golf” is being encouraged, players have to act sensibly to ensure that playing out of turn does not endanger other players.

“Ready golf” should not be confused with being ready to play, which is covered in the Player Behaviour section of this Manual.

The term “ready golf” has been adopted by many as a catch-all phrase for a number of actions that separately and collectively can improve pace of play. There is no official definition of the term, but examples of “ready golf” in action are:

  • Hitting a shot when safe to do so if a player farther away faces a challenging shot and is taking time to assess their options
  • Shorter hitters playing first from the tee or fairway if longer hitters have to wait
  • Hitting a tee shot if the person with the honour is delayed in being ready to play
  • Hitting a shot before helping someone to look for a lost ball
  • Putting out even if it means standing close to someone else’s line
  • Hitting a shot if a person who has just played from a greenside bunker is still farthest from the hole but is delayed due to raking the bunker
  • When a player’s ball has gone over the back of a green, any player closer to the hole but chipping from the front of the green should play while the other player is having to walk to their ball and assess their shot
  • Marking scores upon immediate arrival at the next tee, except that the first player to tee off marks their card immediately after teeing off