Lost Ball Explained
May 18, 2023
CHOCOWINITY, NC — The Carl Spackler Open has been a 72-hole amateur golf event held for 22 years in 15 different states with 410 different players. It is a 4-day handicapped golf competition with players posting scorecards from local play throughout the year.
The 21-year old Captains Club was proposed an option to increase simplicity at future Carl Spackler Open events. Rid itself of competition. The 2022 proposal would eliminate golf rules, posting scorecards for handicapping, some awards, tournament tees, and time required to score its event.
“Our event has always been an individual golf competition, which quite frankly is a huge effort from 80+ golfers and volunteers,” said Chairman of the Captains Club Greg Long. "I proposed letting everyone tee where they want, play golf however they wish, and enjoy themselves. The proposal would simplify the event substantially for everyone involved.”
The Captains Club dismissed that proposal. The club voted unanimously for the Carl Spackler Open to remain a competitive handicapped golf tournament. The Carl Spackler Open now begins its transformation that includes engaged participants who want to participate in a competitive golf tournament.
In this series of news articles, we are going to explain our six basic golf rules in the simpliest form. This article, Lost Ball, will define a lost ball. We also will provide the penalty.
Let’s begin. A ball that crossed yellow, red, or white stakes (or lines) is a penalty and may never be found, but IS NOT a lost ball by definition. A ball lost in the trees, the fairway, long grass, or any UNSTAKED place on the golf course is a lost ball.
"Let me repeat," says Jason Ridgeway. "Hitting a ball that crosses a colored stake might be gone forever, but not penalized as a lost ball."
The Carl Spackler Open allots a player 2 minutes to locate their golf ball. This 2-minute rule supersedes the 3 minutes allotted by the USGA for pace of play reasons.
"The Carl Spackler Open uses the USGA Lost Ball Local Rule," adds Ridgeway. "When near certain of the golf ball location and under penalty of two strokes, you (1) estimate that spot its lost, (2) add two more strokes to score, (3) find the nearest fairway edge no closer to the hole, and (4) drop another ball in the fairway from above the knee."
What does two strokes mean? You tee up. You hit a ball somewhere without colored stakes. You cannot find the ball. You estimate the distance to the flagstick. You add two strokes as a penalty and hit your 4th shot from the nearest fairway edge.
“Once the ball is declared lost is where most golfers tend to make a mistake,” says Jason Ridgeway. “The player will typically drop a ball in the area close to where the original is deemed to have been lost, add one stroke to their score, and the proceed to play from there. You’ve just broken the rules.”
The Carl Spackler Open is bound to have shots played where nobody in the pairing saw the flight or result of the golf shot.
"There are circumstances where nobody has any idea where the ball went," added Ridgeway. "Golfers have a second option. Hit another ball from the same spot. Golfers take a one-stroke penalty.”
What does one stroke mean? You took a stroke and lost ball. You add one stroke as a penalty. You are hitting your next shot from the original spot.
The 2023 Carl Spackler Open begins its practice round on Thursday, June 22. As of today, there are 84 players from 15 different states signed to participate in the 22nd celebration of golf and friends. The Captains Club are expected to crown another champion in a couple of months.