If a player plays a shot from a large bunker and the ball travels about 10 yards but remains in the bunker, is the player permitted to rake the sand before playing their next shot out of the same bunker?
Dear Lou Lou,
Yes. You are permitted to rake or smooth the sand in the bunker even though your ball lies in the same bunker, as long as you do not improve the area of the stance or swing for your next shot or your line of play to the hole. In your case, since your ball is ten yards away, it seems unlikely any raking you do will affect your next shot, unless your ball ended up behind your first effort.
Before anyone writes in to wonder whether raking the sand when your ball remains in the same bunker constitutes testing the sand, please note that there is a Decision (14-3/36) that states that such raking is permissible and is not regarded as testing the sand’s consistency.
On golf courses with large sand bunkers, raking the disturbed sand surrounding your first shot before proceeding to your second will help improve the pace of play.
Copyright © 2010 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.