Burrowing Animal

Question: - My ball has landed within the roots of a tree and I am unable to play a shot.  The ball however has landed in a scrape made by a burrowing animal.  Do I get a free drop?


Answer: - Most players believe that under these conditions you are lucky, and get a free drop, as your ball lies in abnormal ground conditions. Unfortunately they are wrong.

There is an exception to Rule 25-1b which states that you cannot obtain relief under this rule as it is clearly unreasonable to play a stroke due to interference by something other than the abnormal ground condition. (Decisions on the Rules of Golf 25-1b/20).


You therefore do not get a free drop and should declare the ball unplayable and take relief using Rule 28 under penalty on one stoke.