Badgers in the Bunkers

I thought I had witnessed most situations with Golf Rules on the course, but Sunday brought a new one. We were just walking from the 10th green and noticed a deep scrape in the left-hand greenside bunker. On examination, we noticed there were no rabbit droppings but there were paw prints. I blamed it on a stray dog and Alan Wardle kindly raked the bunker to ensure any player behind was not faced with the dilemma as to whether he would be entitled to relief.

On Monday morning I was walking off the 10th and glanced in the same bunker, only to see a new scrape (photo) along with a rather large pile of poo. We did not rake the bunker, thus avoiding a nasty surprise to anyone playing a bunker shot, and I again blamed a dog, I chanced on a member of the greenstaff and reported the deposit. He informed me that it was most likescatly to be a badger. I have since found almost identical photos on the web (you can find almost anything with Google) and I am now reasonably certain it’s a badger scrape. “The Badger digs a shallow pit to deposit the scat well away from its home or sett.” A badger = burrowing animal ie “makes a hole for habitation or shelter”. Therefore if it occurs again it’s reasonable to take relief under 25.1 Abnormal Ground Conditions. I hope the occasion does not arise again!

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