Golf Bunker Etiquette

By Laird Small

The Importance of Bunker Etiquette

Well, I did not use enough club and I found myself in a bunker, but since we are in a bunker, instead of talking about bunker technique let's talk about bunker etiquette. I think that is a big deal for those of you who are playing golf on a regular basis and it can do a tremendous amount of good just around the bunker and how to behave in it.

Rake Your Bunker Footprints

I am going to walk in to the bunker from the lowest side that I can find. So here I walk in to the bunker from the lowest side, I see my ball and ups. Steven, you dirty end of a mop, look, you did not rake your bunker and I found my ball right in your footprint. Now I have absolutely no chance. I know that this has happened to some of you and I know how infuriating it is. So when you clean up your mess after you have been in a bunker make sure you rake your footprints. And if somebody else did not do that then you go take care of that too. That is just being a good citizen in the bunker and leaving it better than you found it.

Let's see if I can hit this good lie bunker shot out of here. Now this one in the footprint is going to be a little bit tougher. See what happens, I hit the lip and it came back in. When that happens it can ruin someone's round or create one of those X holes because someone did not rake their bunker. You can call it the rub of the green but it did not have to happen that way.

An Unraked Bunker Can Ruin a Good Round

Many times when you hit a good shot you get so excited about it that you are going to walk right up the face of the bunker. What happens is that as you do that you tear the wall of the bunker down, the sand comes down. The superintendent spent a lot of time and energy trying to keep the faces of the bunkers nice so if you walk up them you are going to tear the bunker down.

Enter and Exit the Bunker at the Lowest Point

Walk in and out of the lowest part of the bunker. On my way out of the bunker here I will get my rake, do my cleanup work. If I have to rake up the face of the bunker I am going to rake up the bunker so that the sand stays up on the face of the bunker. I will make sure I do that and to make it look nicer than when I found it I will clean up Steven’s footprint. Make it look good on the way out, clean up all my marks.

Lay the Rake with the Teeth Down

Once I get out of the bunker what I want to do is lay the rake handle in the grass in the direction of the hole with the teeth down. That is the way the superintendents put them out on the golf course. It keeps the area looking nice.

Knock Sand Off Your Golf Shoes

This is some bunker etiquette for you to think about. Oh, I almost forgot, one last thing. When you walk out of the bunker sand usually stays on your shoes. Get your club, hit the side of your shoes and knock some of the sand out. What will happen is that when you walk out of the bunker you will track some of the sand on to the green that the superintendent mowed very nicely. Then you will see sand footprints all over the place. Do not be one of those people that do that.

Hope some of this etiquette stuff helps you clean up around the bunker and make the area better than you found it.

Category: Etiquette
Sub Categories: Bunker Play

About the Instructor

Laird Small
Laird Small
Pebble Beach Golf Academy
1700 17-Mile Drive
Pebble Beach, CA 93953
Tel: 831-622-8650