I want to come back on this topic from a previous article and explain again how the Rules of Golf deal with animal encounters.
-1 MOVING BALL HITS AN ANIMAL
During the Seniors Open in St-Andrews last week, Mark James ball hit a bird in the air and the ball finished it flight in an area Out of Bounds.
DECISION: The player’s ball is considered Out of Bound. He must put a ball back on the tee and it had to hit his third stroke.
-2 BALL AT REST MOVED BY AN ANIMAL
If an animal moves your ball at rest you must put the ball in play at the area where it was moved. On a green you will replace the ball, anywhere else, you will drop the ball. If the ball is lost, you may substitute another ball.
-3 DANGEROUS SITUATION
If your ball lies near a bees nest, a snake, an alligator or any other dangerous animal, you may drop your ball or another ball as near as possible from the situation. In a bunker, if no area is not closer to the hole you may drop in another bunker .
NOTE: Some players don’t like ants and sometimes they will ask me for a relief. I refused many times except when it is Fire Ants.
-4 BIRD’S NEST
If in taking your stance or during the stroke, there is a possibility to hit the nest, an official will probably grant you a free relief.
-5 HOLE MADE BY A BURROWING ANIMAL
If the ball lies in a hole made by a burrowing animal, you are allowed a free relief. A burrowing animal is an animal that makes a hole for habitation or shelter. (rabbit, mole, groundhog, gopher, etc) . A hole made by a dog or a skunk will not give you automatically a free relief.
NOTE: a worm or an insect is not considered a burrowing animal.
RIGHT HANDED PLAYER WANTING TO PLAY ON THE LEFT
Last week I explained to you that there is a possibility to switch sides in order to have a free relief. We need to have a physical situation.
If the ball is in a unplayable lie and can’t be played on either sides, no free relief will be made available.