1. What level of proof or certainty do you need that a ball is embedded IN ITS OWN PITCH MARK to take relief under rule 25-2?
2. Are you able to lift your ball to gather evidence/information to determine if it is in its own pitch mark (or below the level of the soil)?
Yesterday was our first sunny day after a week where we got heavy rains at times. On #2, I had difficulty finding my tee ball on the fairway when on about 10% of the ball was visible with 80+% below the level of the soil. It seemed obvious it was embedded in its own pitch mark and I took relief.
Next hole, a 215 yard par 3 into the wind, I hit a 4 iron that appeared to land just short of the green take a hop and then quickly stop on the fringe. FWIW, my eye sight isn't great, so it might have done something else entirely. When I got to the ball only about 50-60% was visible. When I lifted the ball, it was clear it was in a pitch mark with about 20-30% of the ball was below the level of the soil. It wasn't obvious whether it was in its own pitch mark or an older pitch mark so I placed the ball back in the pitch mark and putted it from there.