- Trick – Per Decision 14-2/3 [Caddie Shields Player from Sun During Stroke], this would be a breach of Rule 14-2a [Physical Assistance and Protection from Elements].
- Trick – According to Rule 23-1 [Loose Impediments: Relief], when a ball is in motion, you must not remove a loose impediment that might influence the movement of the ball. See also Decision 23-1/10 [Removal of Loose Impediments Affecting Player’s Play] which describes a special situation wherein a player, facing a downhill putt, has instructed his opponent or fellow-competitor not to pick up loose impediments behind the hole. In this case, it the opponent or fellow-competitor refuses to comply with the request, he or she would lose the hole in match play or would be disqualified in stroke play.
- Trick – According to Rule 27-2b [When Provisional Ball Becomes Ball in Play], you may play your provisional ball until you reach the place where your original ball is likely to be.
- Trick – Rule 19-1b [Ball in Motion Deflected or Stopped by Outside Agency] 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 canceled. The ball must be replaced and replayed. [Emphasis added]
- Treat – The penalty statement for Rule 14-3 [Artificial Devices and Unusual Equipment; Abnormal Use of Equipment] advises that the first offense is a loss of hole penalty in match play and a two-stroke penalty in stroke play. For a subsequent offense, the penalty is disqualification. See also Decision 14-3/20 [Player Uses Artificial Devices on Separate Occasions].
- Trick – Your ball is in the water hazard since it is touching the red line defining the margin of the hazard. See Definition of “Lateral Water Hazard” which states, in part, “When the margin of a lateral water hazard is defined by a line on the ground, the line itself is in the lateral water hazard. … A ball is in a lateral water hazard when it lies in or any part of it touches the lateral water hazard.” Since your ball is in the lateral water hazard, you are not permitted to take relief from the burrowing animal hole even though the abnormal ground condition is situated outside of the hazard. Rule 25-1b [Abnormal Ground Conditions: Relief] states, in part, “Except when the ball is in a water hazard or a lateral water hazard, a player may take relief from interference by an abnormal ground condition ….” [Emphasis added]