to the rules of golf
If during an unsuccessful
search for his ball a player shall find another ball that does not belong to him
or to one of his fellow players and that does not appear to be currently in play
from an adjacent hole, he may treat that ball as a "providential ball" and substitute
it for his own ball if (a) it lies reasonably close to the point where he believes
his own ball came to rest, (b) it is not an obviously different colour, and (c)
it is not a range ball.
In playing this
providential ball, the player need not assess a penalty stroke, since the award
of one minus stroke for having found a ball cancels out the penalty stroke for
having lost his original ball.
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