The Rules Blog
This week we look at Swans and Geese, no it’s not a nature blog ! One of the perils of playing golf in the countryside is the impact of sharing the course with wildlife and over the years the Rules have evolved to take account of this.
Rule 16.2 Dangerous Animal Condition
16.2a – Such a condition exists when a dangerous animal near a ball could cause serious physical injury to the player if they had to play the ball as it lies. (Swans and Geese are very territorial and will get aggressive when breeding so fall into this category, as do adders)
Relief is allowed anywhere on the course, except:
- When playing the ball as it lies is clearly unreasonable because of something other than the dangerous animal condition.
- When interference exists only because the player chooses a club, stance, swing or direction of play that is clearly unreasonable under the circumstances.
It is Free Relief if the ball is anywhere on the course except a Penalty Area. When the ball is in a Penalty Area free relief is available by taking a drop in the P.A. and Penalty Relief (1 stroke) is available dropping outside the P.A.
Your nearest point of Relief will be the point where the Dangerous Animal Condition no longer exists.
Animal Waste( and let’s be right the Geese leave plenty of it) is a Loose Impediment and can be removed from the course in accordance with Rule 15.1 – however when it is sticking to the ball it is not a Loose Impediment and cannot be removed (unless on the putting green). This is a situation often referred to a “Tough S**t” and your only option is to play the ball as it is or take a costly unplayable.