A refresher on the rules pertaining to the stakes marking out a hazard.
I found my ball only centimetres in the hazard with a decent lie and decided to play the ball. No more than a metre in front of my ball in a direct line to the green was the red stake defining the hazard. It was a short stake and not interfering with my swing but a very real chance of impeding the ball flight of my next shot.
Could I remove it?
Remarkably, no one in my group had any idea.
Hazard stakes are considered movable obstructions and under rule 24.1a;
If the ball does not lie in or on the obstruction, the obstruction may be removed. If the ball moves, it must be replaced, and there is no penalty, provided that the movement of the ball is directly attributable to the removal of the obstruction. Otherwise, Rule 18-2a applies.
Basically, hazard stakes can be moved regardless of where your ball is but just so you know, do NOT remove anything defining out-of-bounds – two stroke penalty.