Monday, May 23, 2016

Ask Linda 1308a-Follow-up to #1308 (Ball leaning against hazard stake)

Dear readers,

I have received a number of questions in response to Ask Linda #1308-Ball leaning against hazard stake, all of which wanted to know whether the player may move a water hazard stake if his ball is leaning against it.

The answer depends on whether the stake is movable or immovable:
• If the stake is movable, the player may remove a water hazard stake. If the ball moves in the process, there is no penalty and the ball must be replaced [Rule 24-1a].
• If the stake is immovable, the player may not remove the stake. Relief from interference by a water hazard stake depends on whether the ball lies in the hazard:
  1. If the ball lies in the hazard, the player must play the ball as it lies or take relief under Rule 26 [Rule 24-2b, Note 1].
  2. If the ball lies outside the hazard, the player is entitled to free relief under Rule 24-2b.

Please don’t confuse water hazard stakes with out-of-bounds stakes. Out-of-bounds stakes are deemed to be “fixed” – you may not remove them, and there is no free relief if they interfere with your shot.
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