No.55 Animate Outside Agencies
 

 
Question 1:
Following a stroke from the fairway, a player's ball is at rest on the putting green when it is picked-up by a seagull that then drops it nearer to the hole. What is the ruling?
a) The ball must be played as it lies
b) The ball must be placed on the putting green as near as can be estimated to where it was at rest on the green before the seagull picked it up.
c) The previous stroke must be cancelled and the player must drop the ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which it was last played.

Question 2:
Following a putt from on the putting green and while the ball was still rolling, a player's ball was picked-up by a seagull that then drops it further away from the hole. What is the ruling?
a) The ball must be played as it lies
b) The ball must be placed on the putting green as near as can be estimated to where it was picked up by the seagull.
c) The previous stroke must be cancelled and the player must replace and replay a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which it was putted from.


Answer 1:
b) The ball must be placed on the putting green as near as can be estimated to where it was it was picked up by the seagull.

Part of Rule 18-1 states;
If a ball at rest is moved by an outside agency, there is no penalty and the ball must be replaced.
Answer 2:
c) The previous stroke must be cancelled and the player must replace and replay a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which it was putted from.


Part of Rule 19-1 states;
If a player's ball in motion after a stroke on the putting green is deflected or stopped by, or comes to rest in or on, any moving or animate outside agency, except a worm, insect or the like, the stroke is cancelled. The ball must be replaced and replayed.

If the ball is not immediately recoverable, another ball may be substituted.   
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Question 3:
A player sees a dog pick up his ball at rest in a bunker and run off with it. How should the player proceed?

Question 4:

A player strikes their ball towards a greenside bunker that is out of sight. Arriving at the bunker the ball cannot be found, but a dog is seen running away. It is assumed that the dog must have picked it up from the bunker, which has tell-tale paw prints in it. How should the player proceed?


Answer 3:
If the player knows where the ball was at rest he may place a ball at that spot. However, if it is impossible to determine the spot where the ball is to be placed a ball must be dropped in the bunker as near as possible to the place where it was at rest when the dog picked it up. Rule 18-1 and Rule 20-3c.


Answer 4:
In the absence of knowledge or virtual certainty that the ball had been moved by an outside agency, if the ball is not found within five minutes, the player is required to put another ball into play under penalty of stroke and distance,  Rule 27-1.