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Video Transcript

There’s quite a few rules in the game of golf, specific to when you’re in bankers and how you can play bunker shots. And one of the most commonly known rules is that you’re not actually allowed to touch the sand before you play your bunker shot. So when you’re setting up to the ball, it can take a bit of time to get used to this idea actually.

When you’re setting up to the golf club, letting the club rest on the sand before you play your shot; that’s not allowed. So you actually got to hover the golf club before you set up. That also means you can’t take a practice swing. So if you’ve been wondering into bankers, a couple of practice swings here to feel for the depth of the sand, then drop the club down and angle it and wiggle around it then hit, that’s incurring penalties every time you do that.

So it’s a simple rule that says that you’re not allowed to touch the surface of the sand before your bunker shot. But it can go a little bit further than that, because for example if I’m standing here waiting to play my shot onto the green, and I’m just leaning relaxed on my club, this is already causing me a penalty shot because the club is touching the surface of the sand. And the rule actually goes to far as like, you’re not allowed to test the surface of the sand. Now testing the surface of the sand could be letting the club touch the ground, it could be kicking it with your feet to see how deep it is, it could be raking the sand before your bunker shot which isn’t allowed either.

One thing you are allowed to do when you’re taking your stance which can as golfers help us feel the surface of the sand, is we can wiggle our feet into the sand. So you’ll often see good players setting up hovering the golf club but wiggling their feet. And that wiggling of the feet can help you understand and gauge the depth of the sand, but it is a way that you’re allowed to do that because that’s clusters building your stance and not testing the surface of the sand.

So a simple rule is, you’re not allowed to touch the surface of the sand; with the rake, with the club or test it with your feet before you hit your shot, but you are allowed to build your stance. So if you want to feel how deep the sand is; how soft the sand is, use your feet and not the golf club.