Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Ask Linda #1218-Rake bunker before hitting shot
Are there any conditions under which a player may rake a sand bunker before playing ball, which is in the same sand bunker? Has there been any recent change to the rule regarding play from sand bunkers?
Lou from Ireland
A player may rake the sand in a bunker prior to hitting his shot provided:
1. the sole reason for raking is to tidy up the bunker; and
2. the player does not improve his lie, area of intended stance or swing, or line of play [Rule 13-4, Exception 2].
This was a Rule change that went into effect in 2012, so I doubt you could call it a “recent change.” It is my understanding that one of the reasons the Rule was changed was to save time: a player entering a large bunker with the intention of exiting on the opposite side would be permitted to rake his footprints as he approaches his ball.
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