The player can move the hazard stake as it’s a movable obstruction. If the ball moves, it’s replaced without penalty.
If he elects not to play the ball, he has stroke and distance, keeping the point between him and the hole (sometimes out in #7 fairway), under Rule 26. He can’t use two club lengths since it’s not a lateral water hazard.
He can also use the Dropping Zone for a one shot penalty.
Playing # 8 at Quicksilver last night with the water around the front of the green. In front, there’s water, then a wood wall, then yellow stakes next to the wood wall, then the big apron area and then the green. Occasionally, someone will hit the apron area, and then the ball trickles backwards and ends up against the wall, which is in the hazard, cause the wall is on the “bad” side of the yellow stakes.
So last night, a guy hits a nice high shot……….hits the apron and trickles backwards. We get to the green and we see his ball……….wedged between the back edge of the yellow stake and the edge of the wood wall. If a golf all is an inch and a half in diameter……….then there was an inch between the wall edge and the stake.
I know you can’t move white stakes that are in the way of your stance/swing, but you can move red or yellow ones. Not sure if moving them is legal if the ball is in the hazard though (as opposed to being outside the hazard.)
Also, there was absolutely no way to move the stake without the ball moving, so would that affect whether he could move the stake or not?
There is a ball drop area next to the green and with him being in the hazard, I’m confident that this was one of his options, as well as going back straight from the pin, which would have put him in # 7 fairway/rough. Or re-teeing. One club length would have been questionable as to whether he would be closer to the hole or not.