We are going to finish the series of articles of Abnormal course conditions with the rule covering animal holes.
Any hole dug in the ground by an animal, except for holes dug by animals that are also defined as loose impediments (such as worms or insects).
The term animal hole includes :
The loose material the animal dug out of the hole.
Any worn-down track or trail leading into the hole , and
Any area on the ground pushed up or altered as a result of the animal digging the hole underground.
A player cannot obtain relief for an animal hole if the ball is in a penalty area (red or yellow stakes), but the free relief is available if the ball is in a bunker.
There is no relief without penalty if the position of the ball is such that it is clearly unreasonable to play the ball.
Example : The ball is in the midst of a dense bush and there is an animal hole. Because a stroke is clearly unreasonable, the player cannot get relief without penalty for the animal hole.
How to take relief :
There are three steps :
From this point, a drop must be taken within one club length of the reference point (relief area).
This relief area must be in the same area, must not be closer to the hole and must offer complete relief.
LOCAL RULE :
A local rule may be adopted granting relief without penalty for the lie of the ball denying relief when an abnormal course condition only interferes with the area of the stance.