Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Ask Linda #1065-Hazard stake is movable obstruction

Dear Linda,
Please advise on the following:

If the Local Rule says the water hazard stake is a MOVABLE OBSTRUCTION, can a player whose ball is IN THE HAZARD be allowed to  REMOVE the stake if:
a) it affects his line of sight
b) it affects his stance and stroke.

Thank you,
Lou from Australia

Dear Lou,

When water hazard stakes are movable, you may remove them regardless of where your ball lies [Rule 24-1a]. There is no need for a Local Rule to declare such stakes "movable;" they are movable by Definition if they may be easily removed. Please remember to replace them!

Immovable stakes are another story entirely. If your ball lies in a hazard, you are not entitled to free relief from an immovable obstruction. You must play the ball as it lies or take relief under Rule 26-1 [Rule 24-2b, Note 1].

If the Committee does not want players to remove movable water hazard stakes, it may write a Local Rule declaring the stakes to be immovable.

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