Rakes in or Rakes out of Bunkers?
The following is an excerpt from the USGA’s “Rules and Decisions”
“Question: Should rakes be placed in or outside bunkers?
Answer: There is not a perfect answer for the position of rakes, but on balance it is felt there is less likelihood of an advantage or disadvantage to the player if rakes are placed outside bunkers.
It may be argued that there is more likelihood of a ball being deflected into or kept out of a bunker if the rake is placed outside the bunker. It could also be argued that if the rake is in the bunker it is most unlikely that the ball will be deflected out of the bunker.
However, in practice, players who leave rakes in bunkers frequently leave them at the side which tends to stop a ball rolling into the flat part of the bunker, resulting in a much more difficult shot than would otherwise have been the case. This is most prevalent at a course where the bunkers are small. When the ball comes to rest on or against a rake in the bunker and the player must proceed under Rule 24-1, it may not be possible to replace the ball on the same spot or find a spot in the bunker which is not nearer the hole.
If rakes are left in the middle of the bunker the only way to position them is to throw them into the bunker and this causes damage to the surface. Also, if a rake is in the middle of a large bunker it is either not used or the player is obliged to rake a large area of the bunker resulting in unnecessary delay.
Therefore, after considering all these aspects, it is recommended that rakes should be left outside bunkers in areas where they are least likely to affect the movement of the ball.
Ultimately, it is a matter for the Committee to decide where it wishes rakes to be placed.”
And the Committee says “outside”!
Also, it has come to my attention that some members feel we are only going to renovate a few bunkers, or maybe just the greenside ones. The plan is that ALL bunkers will be replaced with the Bunker Solutions material. It is so cost-effective and erosion-resistant, it wouldn’t make sense to leave any undone, given that the crew needs to fix them all after a downpour.
Feel free to reply with any questions.