Mary's Rules Corner Special Edition: Care of the course- smoothing bunkers
Golf courses pulled the rakes from bunkers as part safety measures during the COVID19 pandemic. As a result, the USGA allowed club/courses to apply special local rules giving players free relief from “disturbed” areas of bunkers since players were not able to rake bunkers.
Rakes are back and those special rules are gone.
TPWGC plays by the USGA Rules of Golf:
- Rule 9 addresses the central principle of the Rules: “Play the ball as it lies”
- Rule 1 tells us that “All players are expected to play in the spirit of the spirit of the game by taking good care of the course, for example by replacing divots, smoothing bunkers, repairing ball-marks, and not causing unnecessary damage to the course.”
So there you have it. The Rules tell you to rake bunkers, and if you’re unlucky enough to land in a footprint, there is no free relief….play the ball as it lies, or take an Unplayable under Rule 19.
Be considerate to the players behind you. Leave the bunker in the condition you would like to find it if your ball were to land there.