What Is a Lost Ball in Golf?
A ball is “lost” if:
- It is not found or identified as his by the player within five minutes after the player’s side or his or their caddies have begun to search for it; or
- The player has put another ball into play under the Rules, even though he may not have searched for the original ball; or
- The player has played any stroke with a provisional ball from the place where the original ball is likely to be or from a point nearer the hole than that place, whereupon the provisional ball becomes the ball in play.
Time spent in playing a wrong ball is not counted in the five-minute period allowed for search.