Ball in Tree
Question: My Ball is stuck in a Tree - What are my options?
Answer: Your options are as follows:-
1. Play It as It Lies.
This means that you will climb the tree and play the ball (presumably with a "tree iron")
2. Unplayable Ball. (Rule 28).
You can only use the unplayable ball option if you can positively identify that it is your ball in the tree. In order to identify your ball you must be able to see any identification marks on the ball, it is not sufficient to say "that must be my ball".
If you can identify your ball you can declare the ball unplayable and take a 1 shot penalty and drop within two club-lengths of the ball (The spot from which you measure the two club-lengths is that spot on the ground directly under where the ball rests in the tree). Rule 28a.
Alternatively you can drop a ball behind the point where the ball lies (in the tree) keeping that point between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped. Rule 28b.
Or can play a ball from the original spot. Rule 28c. (This is the same result as the lost ball option)
In order to identify the ball you could try shaking it loose from the tree, or climbing the tree to retrieve the ball for identification purposes. Before you do either, make sure you've announced your intention to treat the ball as unplayable. If you do not make this declaration you will have moved a ball at rest. This infringes Rule 18-2a and you will have to replace the ball in the tree, under penalty of 1 shot, and then state your intention to treat the ball as unplayable.
3. Lost Ball. (Rule 27-1a)
To use this rule means returning to the spot of the previous stroke, where you must replay as near as possible from the spot the last ball was played under a 1 shot penalty.
You will have to use this option if you can not positively identify your ball in the tree
Remember if you have not identified the ball within 5 minutes the ball is lost under Rule 27-1c and you must play from the original spot with a 1 shot penalty.