Friday, September 4, 2015

Ask Linda #1142-Dead mouse in bunker

Hi Linda,

Here is one for you.

At this time of the year, the foxes on our course catch and bury mice in the bunkers.

A few days ago a fellow competitor’s ball came to rest in the bunker leaning against a dead mouse.

In our rules deliberations we argued that either (a) it was a loose impediment and could not be moved, or (b) as the first principal of the rules of golf is “safety,” the player was permitted to remove the dead mouse with no penalty.

We proceeded under (b).

Were we correct?

Thank you.
Lou from Toronto, Canada

Dear Lou,

In what respect is a dead mouse a safety issue?

Sorry, Lou. No relief from a dead mouse in a bunker. Dead animals are loose impediments. You may not remove them from a bunker when your ball lies in the same bunker. If you’re squeamish, declare the ball unplayable and proceed under Rule 28 – a one-stroke penalty for an unplayable ball would be less painful than a two-stroke penalty for removing a loose impediment from a bunker.

After you hit your ball out of the bunker, please consider removing the dead rodents as a courtesy to following players.

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