When raking near the edge of a bunker, do not pull sand out of the bunker into the grass. Sand can accumulate in the grass around bunkers over time, causing the grass to dry out. Raking sand over the bunker edge also makes it difficult to define the edge, which can be problematic from a rules perspective.
As you are exiting the bunker, use your club to knock any sand off the bottom of your shoes. This is especially important following greenside bunker shots. Walking across the green after hitting a bunker shot can leave sandy footprints that cause playability issues for other golfers and may even damage expensive maintenance equipment.
The final step is replacing your rake in the location preferred by the course. Courses opt to set things up differently, so you should make yourself aware of the desired location before playing. If you’re not sure what to do, place your rake outside the bunker in a location where it is easily accessible by others and not likely to have a negative impact on play.
As you play different courses, you will likely find different rakes being used. Courses choose different rakes for a variety of reasons including price, the type of sand they have, the type of playing surface they want, and the appearance of the rake itself. The type of rake shouldn’t influence what we do after hitting a bunker shot – enter from the low side, smooth the surface as uniformly as possible, exit from the low side, knock the sand off your shoes and then go make that par putt!
Looking for more? Click here to view our Fore The Golfer video on How to Rake a Bunker.