You must be able to identify your ball so always put an identifying mark on it and if you play a provisional ball make sure you can tell it apart from the original ball! Ask your caddie to time the search once you start looking for it – you have 5 minutes to find it from when you get up to where it may be.
You must play a provisional ball before you go forward to search for a ball. You cannot search for a few minutes and ‘go back’ and play a provisional ball.
When you drop a ball – whether a free drop or one under penalty the ball can roll up to 2 club lengths, no nearer the hole, from where it hits the ground. It doesn’t have to come to rest within the area marked by your tees. You only re-drop if it rolls back into the hazard/back into the GUR etc., or rolls nearer the hole.
When dropping the ball under penalty for an unplayable ball be careful where you drop as the ball is in play once it comes to rest – you cannot re-drop if you don’t like where it ends up!
If your ball is in a bunker in an impossible lie you can take an unplayable and under penalty of one stroke go back and replay the shot from where you played it. The ‘2 club lengths’ and ‘back on a line’ options must be in the bunker.
There is no penalty for playing out of turn in match play but you may be asked to replay the stroke if you do.