Monday, August 15, 2016

Ask Linda #1361-Rake bunker after failure to hit ball out

Linda, today one of our players landed in the sand in a terrible uphill spot. She made many ruts due to getting a stance. Once she hit the ball, it rolled back into the sand. She hit the ball again and it rolled into the ruts she made originally. This occurred twice. Could she have raked the original ruts caused by her first attempt to get out of the sand before hitting the ball the second time?
Lulu from Kensington, California

Dear Lulu,

The player may not rake the bunker if her ball is still in the bunker and the raking will improve conditions for her next stroke [Rule 13-4, Exception 2]. If the player’s first failed attempt to exit the bunker landed away from the ruts, such that raking the area would constitute caring for the course (as opposed to improving the area in the vicinity of her ball), she would be entitled to rake. In this case, if a subsequent shot rolled back into the raked area, there would be no penalty. Any raking while the ball lies in the bunker that improves the area of the player’s lie, stance, or swing will result in a two-stroke penalty (loss of hole in match play).

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