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Can I Keep Playing My Provisional Ball Even If I Find My First Ball?

Golf Rules FAQ


Nice try.

The answer is no, of course, and shame on you for asking! Seriously, once the original ball is found you are obligated under the rules to continue playing it, no matter how bad a spot it may be in when you find it. And no matter how good that provisional shot was. (Exception: If the original ball is found out of bounds, you'd keep playing the provisional.)

This means that even if you were willing to take a lost-ball penalty and continue with the provisional, you may not do so. The original ball must be played if found (see Rule 27-2c). You also can't play the provisional even if you are willing to declare the original ball unplayable and take the stroke-and-distance penalty (Rule 28a).

If you keep playing the provisional you'll be deemed to be playing a wrong ball (see Rule 15).

Back to Golf Rules FAQ Index

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