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Don’t let hazard stakes obstruct your stance or your swing

POSTED: November 26, 2012 10:45 a.m.

Graham Lewis

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Q: Larry and Moe are playing the third hole at Sapelo Hammock. Moe hits his ball toward the lateral water hazard on the right side of the fairway. He finds his ball outside of the hazard but resting next to the red lateral water-hazard stake. Larry says, “Tough luck — you have to play the ball without moving the stake.” Is Larry correct?
A: No, Larry is incorrect. A hazard stake is considered to be a moveable obstruction. As such, it can be moved if it interferes with your stance or swing. Moe removes the stake and after hitting a great shot to the green, he replaces the stake.
Tip: Remember that red stakes mark the boundary of a lateral water hazard, and yellow stakes mark the boundary of a water hazard. Both may be removed. White stakes mark the out-of-bounds boundary and may not be removed.
As always, have fun playing and practicing the game of golf and email me at with questions or comments.

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