While a player's ball lies in a hazard, is the player permitted to remove a hazard stake?
Thank you, Lou Lou
Dear Lou Lou,
The answer depends on whether the stakes are movable or immovable.
If the stakes are movable, the player may remove them prior to hitting. Note that the stakes are movable only if they can be removed easily [Definition of Obstructions].
If the stakes are immovable, the player must play the ball as it lies or take relief under Rule 26-1 (Relief for Ball in Water Hazard), which will incur the addition of a penalty stroke. There is no relief from an immovable obstruction in a hazard [Rule 24-2, Note 1].
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