Lost Ball – Rule – 18.2a(1)

The Definition when a ball is lost.

Your ball is lost if not found in three minutes after you or your caddie begins to search for it.

If a ball is found in that time but you are uncertain whether it is your ball you must do one of the following:

1. You must promptly attempt to identify the ball and are allowed a reasonable time to do so, even if that happens after three-minute search time has ended.
This includes a reasonable time to get to the ball if you’re not where the ball is found.

2. If you do not identify your ball in that reasonable time, the ball is lost!

​​​​​​​Please remember:

You only have three minutes to look for a lost ball.
3 steps to increase speed of play when searching for a lost ball.

Step One:

If in any doubt, please play a provisional ball.

Step Two:

Mark your ball so it is easily identifiable to you, your playing partner, or a fellow competition player.

Step Three:

Please play your shot if it’s safe to do so before looking for a playing partner’s lost ball.

Click here to watch a video which discusses the lost ball rule further.