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How to correctly rake a bunker

By: BIGGA | Mon 12 Jun 2017 | Comments ()

You may not be aware, but each year BIGGA sends a team of greenkeepers to the Open Championship, to help the resident team with the preparation of the course.

I bet you never thought ‘who rakes the bunkers?’ after each shot during the Open, did you? It’s certainly not the professionals, elevated above the status of us club golfers who are left to clean up for ourselves.

Instead, it’s actually a team of BIGGA members who follow every single match around and are on hand with their own individually-assigned rake, just in case one of the players strays into a bunker.

But even our team of expert greenkeepers need a little bit of instruction, ensuring they are up to the perfecting standards of the R&A and the home greens team.

Before the event starts, they’re given a tutorial by the course manager and a representative of the R&A on the correct way to rake a bunker.

Firstly, rakes should be shallow toothed, to a depth of no more than one inch. Deep-toothed rakes disturb too much sand and can result in a very soft top surface which is prone to plugging. They also increase the amount of sand displaced when a shot occurs.

When raking, pull the tool towards you as this smooths over the bunker without pulling too much sand.

As you walk backwards, rake over your footprints, attempting to move as little of the bunker as possible – the rest of the hazard should already be in top position.

By raking you are attempting to restore the surface of the sand so that it follows the contours of the bunker and there are no signs of ball divots or bunkers.

When pulling the sand back, keep the raking smooth and shallow and do not pull the sand over the edge.

Do a good job, and the next golfer to land in the bunker will thank you for it.

For more more videos in this series visit: www.golfshake.com/improve/tag/BIGGA/

This video was filmed in association with Golfshake and BIGGA (The British and International Golf Greenkeeping Association) at the Belfry in March 2017. 

BIGGA represents the Nation's greenkeepers and works hard through education and training to raise standards in golf course management throughout the greenkeeping profession. To find out more about the work BIGGA do visit: www.bigga.org.uk

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British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association

BIGGA is dedicated to the continuing professional development of its 5,700 members, BIGGA works hard through education and training to raise standards in golf course management throughout the greenkeeping profession.

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