Bunkers - Do you get free relief from animal tracks/footprint? NO!
Rule 16 covers when and how the player may take free relief by playing a ball from a different place, such as when there is interference by an abnormal course condition or a dangerous animal condition.
16.1 :Abnormal Course Conditions (Including Immovable Obstructions) This Rule covers free relief that is allowed from interference by animal holes, ground under repair, immovable obstructions or temporary water.
R&A Definition - Animal Hole
Any hole dug in the ground by an animal, except for holes dug by animals that are also defined as loose impediments (such as worms or insects).
The term animal hole includes:
- The loose material the animal dug out of the hole,
- Any worn-down track or trail leading into the hole, and
- Any area on the ground pushed up or altered as a result of the animal digging the hole underground.
Interpretation Animal Hole/1 - Isolated Animal Footprint or Hoof Mark Is Not Animal Hole
An isolated animal footprint that is not leading into an animal hole is not a hole made by an animal but rather is an irregularity of the surface from which relief without penalty is not allowed. However, when such damage is on the putting green, it may be repaired (Rule 13.1c(2) - Improvements Allowed on Putting Green).