Rules FAQ


Rule 13-4

Position On Raking A Similar Hazard

Q.  What is the ruling when a player's ball lies in a bunker and he smooths the sand in the same or another bunker (from which he has not played)?

A.  Rule 13-4a prohibits a player from testing the condition of the hazard in which his ball lies or a similar hazard, however Exception 2 to Rule 13-4 allows a player to rake an area of the bunker for the sole purpose of caring for the course as long as nothing is done to breach Rule 13-2 for his next stroke. A player would be in breach of Rule 13-2 for his next stroke if he improved the lie of his ball, the area of his intended swing, stance, his line of play or a reasonable extension of it beyond the hole or any area where he is to place or drop a ball.

Note: This FAQ has been updated to reflect the 2012 Rules of Golf.

When the player’s ball lies in a bunker, it would not be a breach of the Rules if the player were to smooth the sand in another bunker, provided (a) the smoothing is for the sole purpose of caring for the course, (b) the smoothing does not breach Rule 13-2 (Improving Lie, Area of Intended Stance or Swing, or Line of Play) with respect to his next stroke.

A player should not rake an area of the bunker if he believes his ball might come to rest in that area as this would not be for the sole purpose of caring for the course and would be a violation of Rule 1-2. For example, if he thought that his ball might hit the lip and bounce back to a specific area in the bunker, he must not rake that area.


Below you can view videos related to this Rule.

View Video
View Video

RealPlayer Windows Media Player
High Bandwidth High Bandwidth
Low Bandwidth Low Bandwidth

RealPlayer Windows Media Player
High Bandwidth High Bandwidth
Low Bandwidth Low Bandwidth

RealPlayer Windows Media Player
High Bandwidth High Bandwidth
Low Bandwidth Low Bandwidth

RealPlayer Windows Media Player
High Bandwidth High Bandwidth
Low Bandwidth Low Bandwidth