There is nothing more frustrating than hitting a ball into the bunker and finding upon arrival your ball sitting at the bottom of someone else’s divot.
Someone else’s laziness and disregard for proper etiquette is likely to cost you strokes and increase your blood pressure.
To ensure you don’t arouse someone’s ire, always try to follow the unwritten rules of golf, essential if you want to be thought of as a considerate player.
Because bunkers are classed as hazards, golfers cannot test the condition of the sand before hitting a shot. This means if a golfer enters a bunker to find thousands of footprints, they can’t do anything about them until they hit their own shot. The only time a golfer can rake smooth a bunker they are unfortunate to be trapped in is after they play their shot. After the shot has been played, the golfer should use a rake to smooth the sand in preparation for golfers following behind.
Sometimes golfers will find the bunker they are in has no rake. If they can’t find one nearby they should not abandon their attempts to smooth the sand out. Golfers can smooth the sand out after they play their shot with either the feet or club. Using the feet is often easier because they are bigger than the club head. Golfers should remember to smooth the sand and walk backwards out of a bunker to avoid adding extra footprints. This method might take a few minutes longer but will gain plaudits from whoever visits the bunker next.
How to rake
The very best bunkers have an even amount of sand in them. This helps avoid having deep sand in some parts of the bunker and shallow sand in other parts of the bunker.
Keeping the sand level throughout the bunker also helps ensure a ‘false lip’ is not created. This is when the sand is raked towards the front or back of the bunker disproportionately, building up either the front or back lip of the bunker. To help stop this from happening, golfers should rake sand into the middle of the bunker. This will help ensure the sand is evenly spread and help avoid any false lips being created.
When possible, golfers should also rake over footprints moving backward and out of the bunker at the lowest point possible, this will help avoid damage to the bunker.
Bunkers are frustrating places to visit but by following the correct rules and etiquette, golfers can help themselves and others escape and boost their own standing amongst fellow members and playing partners as a considerate player.