Hand Raking Bunkers? Better Make It A Double

By Derf Soller, agronomist, Northwest Region
June 26, 2013

(L) If hand raking bunkers is necessary and if it takes a lot of labor time, doubling the area raked by each crew member can speed up the job. (R) A double rake can easily be made by manufacturing it from two leaf rakes and a short piece of wood 2x4.

Bunker renovations often include the use of some type of liner interface between the subsoil and the sand. This may be to help keep a rocky subsurface from migrating upwards and contaminating the new sand, or it may be necessary to help keep sand on a bunker face that is too steep. Whatever the reason or type of liner, hand raking is usually necessary when a liner is used. Mechanically driven rakes are too likely to catch and pull up these liner materials, so hand raking becomes necessary each and every time the bunkers are raked. This can add time and labor to bunker maintenance. 

Raking large areas with a hand rake takes time. The turf maintenance team at the Glencoe Golf and Country Club in Calgary, Alberta, came up with an effective and affordable way to cut down some of their time spent hand raking their new bunkers. They cut the handles off of two leaf rakes, mounted the rake heads on a 2x4 piece of wood with just one handle, and the double-headed leaf rake was created. It is a cost effective way to double the raking production of the crew. With the 2x4 as the support for the rake heads, there is just enough extra weight added that it actually makes the raking a little easier. The crew need only set the rake down and pull it towards themselves, or even walk with the rake behind them. The added weight is enough to allow for proper raking without having to put extra down pressure on the rake. The crew really liked the remodeled rake. 

Bunkers are hazards, so keeping costs down when maintaining bunkers is important. See: Bunkers: Can Your Golf Course Afford Them?.  If hand raking of multiple bunkers is required at your course, maybe you should make it a double, too. 

Source: Derf Soller  (dsoller@usga.org)

Information on the USGA’s Turf Advisory Service

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