Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Ask Linda #1218-Rake bunker before hitting shot

Hi Linda,
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 

Dear Lou,

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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