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5 Steps to Great Bunker Raking

There are a number of unwritten rules of golf etiquette. From picking up your tees, to not stepping in the path of an opponent’s ball on the green, golf’s etiquette rules have one thing in common. They are generally intended to insure that everyone on the course has an enjoyable round of golf. To do so, the rules generally relate to showing common courtesy to your fellow golfer.

One of the unwritten rules is that you should rake the bunker after you play out of it. Playing out of a bunker is a challenge for even the world’s top golfers. So imagine the difficulty for a recreational golfer when his or her bunker shot lies in the middle of a footprint.

How to Properly Rake a Bunker

Even golfers who are keenly aware of the importance of raking bunkers might not know how to get the perfect rake every time.

What most golfers don’t realize is that properly raking sand bunkers starts before the golfer even enters the bunker.

  1. Find the Right Bunker Entry/Exit Point – The first step to good raking is to minimize the raking that’s needed. The best spot to enter and exit the bunker is the lowest spot along the edge of the bunker, closest to your ball. This avoids deeper impressions in the bunker from coming off a high spot, and minimizes footprints in the sand.
  2. Take the Rake With You – Before you step into the bunker, find the rake and carry it with you to where you will make your shot. This also minimizes foot steps and speeds up the raking process.
  3. Play Your Shot – Drop the rake behind you, out of your way, but within reaching distance. Play your shot.
  4. Back Out of Bunker Raking as You Go – Remember to rake the following areas: the path the ball made in the sand after landing; the spot where you put the rake; where your club contacted the sand; and all your footprints. Pull the rake towards you with the goal of levelling the marks to the surrounding surface of the sand.
  5. Step Out of the Bunker and Finish Raking – After you have finished levelling the sand, place the rake outside the bunker, on the side away from the hole, parallel to the line of play. Some courses may have different guidelines for rake replacement. Check your scorecard or rules posted in the Pro Shop.

Now that you are an authority on raking bunkers, why not book a tee time here at Royal Ashburn to put your knowledge into practice?

Royal Ashburn

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