Rules Guy: Is unstaked water still considered a hazard?

January 5, 2019

The Rules of Golf are tricky! Thankfully, we’ve got the guru. Our Rules Guy knows the book front to back. Got a question? He’s got all the answers.
If a retention pond isn’t staked, is it still considered to be a water hazard?
—PAUL NEUBERT, SURFSIDE BEACH, S.C.

The Zen philosopher Ty Webb once said, “A flute with no holes is not a flute. A donut with no hole is a Danish.” 


Similarly (or perhaps dissimilarly — it’s hard to say), Decision 26/3 clarifies that if a water hazard is unmarked by the committee it does not lose its status as a water hazard. Hit into it, and you can still take relief under the water hazard rule … or, better yet, don’t hit into it.
Got a rules question? Of course you do! Whatever it may be, send yours to [email protected] and the question may be answered in an upcoming issue of GOLF. Until then, play by the Rules!