Don’t Be Rude! Make Sure You Do This Within 3 Minutes When Golfing.
I like going on hikes in the woods from time to time, which is why I enjoy playing golf. Most of my shots land in the homes of small woodland animals, so I get my hike in and play golf at the same time. I apologize to everyone I’ve ever been in front of, from Greenock in Lee to Skyline in Lanesboro to Waubeeka in Williamstown. I’m sure it wasn’t easy seeing me trudge into the woods for the eight-hundredth time.
Seeing as I don’t spend much time on the fairways, and I always feel the pressure of the group behind me to speed it up, just how long do you have to look for a missing golf ball? I’m sure the regulars already know this, but if you’re a weekend (or monthly) warrior like me, you might not. So, I went right to the source: golf.com
According to the website, you have three minutes to search for a lost ball. Will this ever be enforced in non-tournament play? No, probably not. But it's good etiquette.
This is a fairly recent change, going into effect in 2019. The old rule used to be five minutes. The three-minute rule was put into effect to speed up the pace of play. Basically, if you can’t find your ball in three minutes, the chances of you ever finding it aren’t that great. It’s time to accept your loss, and put a provisional ball in play. Then hit it right back out of bounds and into the woods like me.
That also go me thinking, how many golf balls have you lost in a round? I think my personal record was 10 lost balls on an 18-hole course. I read that around 300 million golf balls are lost each year to the forest, water, and grass gods.
So, there you go. If you’re like me and always losing balls but didn’t know the rule…make sure you pick up and give up after 3 minutes! It’ll be better for everyone on the course.