Should rakes be left in or outside bunkers.?
A. 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 of 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 — see Decision 20-3d/2.
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.
Otherwise there is no rule on it. There are rules though concerning the ball hit into the bunker and rest on the rake. Moving the rake without causing the ball to move is very difficult and you will creat such a puzzle on the rule to the guys behind if you leave the rake in the bunker. I read recently though that remove loose impediments causing the ball to move is no longer a penalty.
My home course makes the caddy carry the rake (a light plastic one) so there's no argument on this.
Outside the hazard the rake is movable obstruction. Lift ball, move rake, replace the ball exactly where its original position was - sans rake. It's clear in the rules and equitable for all. Hint: there are no rakes in traps at pro or USGA events.
A rake in the trap is supposed to be an immovable obstruction. Moving the rake, lends itself to rules interpretations and equity issues. Touching the sand with the rake can be construed as testing the conditions. Allowing "lift-rake-roll" will result in taking unfair advantage to improve the lie. If just lifting the rake in the trap is allowed, then some of the resulting lies will be excessively punitive to the player.
More Questions & Answers...