Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Ask Linda #1055-Player rakes bunker ahead of ball on line of play

Linda, thank you for this forum and your clear discussions of the rules… Here is a situation that occurred the other day and I think a rule was broken but not 100% sure. Tried to find it and could not…

Player A comes up short on 2nd shot on par 4 and is right behind a trap (stroke play). He has to hit over the trap to get to the green and pin. Before he hits the shot he goes into the trap and rakes the trap of the footprints and blast holes from a previous golfer. The footprints, etc., were on a direct line to the pin. I told the guy I thought it was OK to rake the trap in an area away from his shot but not on the line of play of his shot but was not sure. Can you please help me understand this rule better?

Thanks from Lou in North Carolina

Dear Lou,

Sure can, Lou.

When a player’s ball is behind a bunker, he is not permitted to walk forward and rake footprints in the bunker that are on his line of play [Decision 13-2/28]. This would be a breach of Rule 13-2, which prohibits a player from improving his line of play. The penalty is two strokes (loss of hole in match play).

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