Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Ask Linda #988a-Hazard stakes and OB markers

Hi Linda,
I have always believed that any stake marking a water hazard was part of the hazard, which means that the stake could NOT be removed unless the ball was outside the hazard.
I believe that out of bound markers are also not allowed to be moved.
I welcome your comments.
Lou from Australia

Dear Lou,

I suspect you are not the only one confused about how to treat hazard stakes and out-of-bounds markers.

The answer lies in the Definitions section of your rulebook. The Definition of “Water Hazard” states: “Stakes used to define the margin of or identify a water hazard are obstructions.” Now you can read Rule 24: Obstructions, where you will find all the relief information I just explained in Ask Linda #988-Relief from hazard stake.

Moving on to the Definition of “Out of Bounds,” you will read the following: “Objects defining out of bounds such as walls, fences, stakes and railings are not obstructions and are deemed to be fixed. Stakes identifying out of bounds are not obstructions and are deemed to be fixed.” As such, you may not move them. If any object defining out of bounds interferes with your ability to hit the ball, your only option is to declare the ball “unplayable” and choose one of the relief options in Rule 28, all of which include a one-stroke penalty.

Take the time to study the Definitions. They are an indispensable prelude to reading and understanding the Rules of Golf.

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