Thursday, November 19, 2015

Ask Linda #1195-Relief from critter holes in bunkers

Dear Linda,
This one has raised a query to which I can't find the answer in the RoG. We have a load of nocturnal critters that dig for worms in the edges of bunkers. When I find myself in a hole right at the front edge of a bunker, I drop in the bunker, although I cannot comply with the "not nearer the hole" bit because there is no part of the bunker further from the hole than the critter scrape. What should I be doing?
With best wishes as always,
Lou from England

Dear Lou,

It is possible you are not entitled to any free relief, Lou. You only get free relief if the holes have been made by a burrowing animal (defined as an animal that makes a hole for habitation or shelter, such as a groundhog, mole, rabbit, or fox).

If you can establish that the holes were made by burrowing animals, you have another problem. You are allowed a free drop in a bunker at the nearest point of relief, provided that point is no closer to the hole. If there is no such point, you must drop outside the bunker on the line-of-sight to the hole and add a one-stroke penalty to your score [Rule 25-1b (ii)].

It might be time to politely encourage the greenkeeping staff to take better care of the bunkers.

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