Understanding Yellow Stakes In Golf

We get it, between the lingo, equipment, and slang it can be tough to keep up to date on everything in your golf game. But one part where you shouldn’t be lacking is the rules. That’s why this review is on hand to breakdown yellow stakes in golf so you know exactly what to do next time you encounter one on the course.

What Do Yellow Stakes Mean In Golf

A yellow stake in golf is meant to indicate a water hazard. This is different from a lateral water hazard that is typically indicated with red stakes. A water hazard will always be surrounded with yellow stakes, this is helpful as a water hazard does not necessarily have water in it at all times of the year.

It is also important to mention you can still play your ball when it is in a water hazard. Though this is only possible when you are able to make contact with the ball before grounding your club into the hazard.

This is a fairly rare occurrence as this typically only occurs when a ball is only just slightly beyond the yellow stakes.

What To Do Once You Have Hit Into Yellow Stakes

Once you have hit into a water hazard you have two options. First, you can hit your ball from the same location that your last shot was taken from. This will be accompanied with a penalty stroke so if your second shot went into the water then your next shot from your drop will be your fourth.

The other option is to place your ball anywhere behind the hazard in which you entered.

Difference Between Red And Yellow Stakes

The difference between red and yellow stakes is that red stakes refer to lateral hazards while yellow stakes refer to a regular water hazard.

A lateral hazard goes alongside the hole while a water hazard typically is in front of you on the hole.

With a red stake, you only have one option for dropping the ball. That option is to drop the ball within two club-lengths of where your ball entered the hazard.

This is different from a yellow stake as you are able to shoot from your original position when dealing with a yellow stake.


We hope you enjoyed our guide to understanding yellow stakes in golf. If you have any questions regarding this article please be sure to reach out in the comments below.

If you did enjoy this guide we hope you check out some of our others such as our guide to the understanding MOi in golf or understanding match play in golf.

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