GM Rules guru Jezz Ellwood explains the term 'Known or virtually certain'
Known Or Virtually Certain Explained - Rules Of Golf
One of the terms at the back of the rule book is 'Known or virtually certain' and here we look to define what exactly that means when out on the golf course.
It's a phrase you'll find quite a lot in the rule book, talking about the likelihood or something having happened, which then dictates how you proceed.
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Often that will be whether or not your ball has gone into a penalty area, it could be whether your ball has moved or it could even be what has caused your ball to move.
The rules say that known means there is conclusive evidence that the ball went in to where you believe it went into.
So if and your playing partners see a splash in the water there is conclusive evidence that your ball landed in the penalty area.
Virtually certain means that you're 95% sure what happened to your ball.
That is obviously difficult to define but, for example, if you saw your ball land short of the water and you can't see it, you can be virtually certain that it went into the penalty area and proceed under those rules.
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If you hit the ball into thick rough near a penalty area, you can't be 95% virtually certain that it made its way into the penalty area and you would have to presume that the ball was lost and go back to where you played your original shot from.
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