How To Rake a Sand Trap

When playing golf, you may encounter a sand trap. In fact, if you play a professional course, it should have a sand trap to provide you with an extra level of difficulty to help you hone your game. Take the time to learn how to rake a sand trap so you can get out of the golfing pitfall in no time and prepare the spot for the next player.

Here’s how to rake a sand trap.

  • Relax. Golf is about both relaxation and concentration. Before you get frustrated, take a deep breath and realize it’s all part of the game. All professional courses have sand traps and bunkers so realize that in order to be a good golfer, you need to be able to overcome such environment.
  • Look for the lowest part of the sand trap. Evaluate the topography of the sand trap. Look for the lowest part. This will be the way for you to go in an out of the trap. If you attempt to go in at a high part, you risk moving the sand around making it more difficult to rake after and it may place your ball in a more delicate position.
  • Bring the rake into the trap. Go into the sand trap. You may bring the rake with you as long as you don’t try to alter the conditions using the rake. The rules don’t forbid that you bring the rake in with you. In fact, it will make the play move along faster and cause less delays. However, don’t make any changes to the surface of the sand. Carefully step into the sand.
  • Set the rake down. Before you take the shot, you need to set the rake somewhere else. Make sure it is not in the way. Ideally, place the rake at your back so it doesn’t get in the way of your game.
  • Take the shot. Before you can start raking, you need to get the ball out of the sand. Go ahead and use the proper iron to take the shot with and give it your best. Once the ball is out of the sand, you can now prepare the sand with the rake.
  • Clean up the area where you took the shot. Get the rake. Start from the center of where the ball landed and work your way around the sand. Use long strokes and carefully work your way outwards. Avoid using heavy strokes since you want to keep the sand clean. Avoid moving too much sand around or creating deep grooves on the surface. If there are footprints in the bunker, pass the rake over it to cover the tracks.
  • Use long gentle strokes. The goal is to even out the surface of the sand, not to make furrows on the ground to plant seeds. Use long strokes while being careful not to disturb the sand surface too much.
  • Step out of the sand bunker. Carefully step out of the sand. As you get out, move the rake over your tracks so you don’t leave any footprints behind. You may need to work backwards, starting from the center of the bunker and go outwards to the perimeter.
  • Check your work. Before you leave the area, check to make sure you did a good job. There should be no footprints and the surface of the sand should be clean and clear of heavy grooves or other disturbances on the surface.

Raking a sand trap is part of proper golf etiquette. This way, you prepare the area for the next user. You want to leave the course in such a manner that the next player will have as much fun playing the sport as you did without any disturbances or unnecessary hindrances. Rake the sand trap properly, and other golfers will appreciate you for it.


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