The Provisional Ball

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What should we do if there’s a group playing behind us and one of us loses a ball?

The Provisional Ball

Lost your ball? To save time from frantically searching in the water or up in trees, you could hit a second or provisional ball. Maybe you'll find your ball and be able to continue to play on. But if you've lost a ball and decide to try to find it, the courteous thing to do is to let the group behind you play through.
You may get lucky and find it, but that takes time. And, find it or not, when you and your group decide to play on, make sure you wait until the group you let play through has completed the hole. You must make certain they are out of range when you and your friends step up to the ball to make your shots. This is the kind of courtesy all golfers expect when they're out on the course



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