September 1, 2015
I drove my ball near a tree. When I reached my ball, a squirrel had picked it up and was chewing it. He ran up the tree with the ball in his mouth and then dropped it. My ball was now all chewed up and deep in the woods. What do I do?
Rule 18-1 says that a ball moved by an outside agency must be replaced without penalty. The squirrel is an outside agency, and it has moved your ball therefore you must replace the ball. If the ball is chewed up it would fall under Rule 5-3: "A ball is unfit for play if it is visibly cut, cracked, or out of shape". You need to inform your marker, get his agreement as to the ball being unfit and substitute a ball, placing the ball as above.
Happy golfing and remember the Rules Matter.