How to Rake Sand Bunkers

By Herm Otto

Sand bunkers are a golf hazard in which the beginning or high handicap golfer will likely spend some time. When your ball lands in one, you hope that it has landed on a smooth sand surface, not in a footprint or club print from a previous golfer. This will make your sand shot easier.

After your shot, you will want to leave the bunker in as good a condition (or better) as you found it. Therefore, it's advisable that you learn how to rake a bunker and leave it in prime condition for the next player.

Instructions

Difficulty: Easy
Step 1
Locate the rake. If there is none, you will need to do the best that you can with your club head. If there is one on the cart, be sure to bring it with you when you come to the bunker to take your shot.
Step 2
Enter the bunker on the low side, carrying your golf club and the rake. Do not enter a bunker from the high side, even if it is closer to your ball. This is hazardous to both you and the bunker.
Step 3
Lay the rake aside, within reach but out of the way of your shot, and take your shot. If you do not get your ball out of the bunker, continue your shots until your ball is out.
Step 4
Pick up the rake and start walking backwards out of the bunker over the same path that you entered. Use the teeth side of the rake head to grade the sand into its original contour where your feet, ball impact, roll path and ball-striking have disturbed the sand during your entry, shot-making and exiting.
Step 5
Turn the rake head over and use the straight-edge side to smooth out the graded sand to a smooth surface. Continue this two-step raking process as you back out of the bunker, leaving smooth sand behind with no sign of your presence in the bunker.
Step 6
Place the rake just inside the bunker, unless it was provided on the cart. This prevents it from blocking other balls from entering the bunker, and places it out of the way for the greenskeepers when they are mowing the grass.

Tips & Warnings

The rake head should have two sides: one with teeth for grading the sand, and one with a straight edge for finishing the sand surface. Rakes are provided on the ground near or in the bunkers, or, less commonly, on the golf carts. If your ball is on the green and another player in your group has just hit out of a greenside bunker but is not yet onto the green, offer to do the player's raking while he takes his next shot. This will speed up the pace of play.
The rake head should have two sides: one with teeth for grading the sand, and one with a straight edge for finishing the sand surface.
Rakes are provided on the ground near or in the bunkers, or, less commonly, on the golf carts.
If your ball is on the green and another player in your group has just hit out of a greenside bunker but is not yet onto the green, offer to do the player's raking while he takes his next shot. This will speed up the pace of play.
Never enter a sand bunker with a golf cart.

About The Author

Herm Otto is an architect and was a university instructor for over 25 years. He is also an avid golfer who began golfing 10 years ago. As a Demand Studios writer, Otto writes golf and travel articles for GolfLink. He now resides in Arizona.

Subscribe Today

Get our best training tips, videos, and tee times deals -- straight to your inbox

Tee Times Deals to your inbox
Join our mailing list today!

ACTIVITY FEED

Jeffrey S. joined GolfLink

Ron A.  Scored 78 at  Ballard County La Center, Kentucky

Robert S. joined GolfLink
John Z. joined GolfLink
Gary S. joined GolfLink

View Activity Feed

Video of the Day
Play Your Course On The Range Watch Video>>

Related Articles

Article Image Playing Golf with Your Child

Golf is a great sport that can be played throughout your life. ...

Article Image Golf: How to Swing

The basic golf swing is a simple movement, but somehow we complicate ...

Article Image Driving Range Safety Tips

The driving range should be a part of nearly every golfer's...

Article Image Driving Range Tips for Beginners

It is common to see both beginner and seasoned golfers head to ...

Article Image What to Bring to a Driving Range

The driving range is a place where many serious and leisure gol...

View All Related Articles