Greens Communication 05-07-18
How you rake a bunker
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Fellow members, I would first like to congratulate those fastidious members who have enthusiastically embraced the divot bag system. This has made a very significant difference to our course and the Head Greenkeeper has clearly seen this and asked me to thank the members for this effort.
However, when it comes to raking bunkers the only thing that can be said about some member’s efforts in this regard is that they are truly shocking. The greens staff spend hours preparing the bunkers for play each morning and within two hours of play some of them are like a heard of elephants have visited them. I and the club management have set high standards for the greens staff as to how the bunkers should be presented and within two hours of play, all their efforts have been destroyed. We as a management team are being questioned as to whether or not all the man hours being invested here are actually worthwhile?
The lack of respect some members are showing for those members who play behind them is very shocking and unacceptable. I am asking members to up their game here considerably. If you play with a member that makes little or no attempt to rake a bunker after he has played I am asking you to challenge him or her and make sure that the bunker is raked properly. Also there are numerous occasions when you yourself may be on the green and your fellow competitor has played out of the bunker and may still be away or even over the green. Why not offer to rake the bunker yourself while he or she gets organised to play their next shot. This not only ensures the bunker gets raked but will also obviously speed up play.
Last but not least there is the issue as to how you rake a bunker. There are four simple ways to approach and leave a bunker:
1. Pick up the rake BEFORE you enter the bunker
2. Enter the bunker from the low side. DO NOT CLIMB DOWN THE STEEP FACE.
3. After playing your shot, LEAVE YOUR SAND WEDGE OUTSIDE THE BUNKER AND USE TWO HANDS TO USE THE RAKE.
4. Do not pull the sand back towards you, PUSH THE SAND AWAY FROM YOU as you exit backwards out of the bunker.

Click this LINK for a short video explaining the procedure very well.

The only difference is that at Old Conna we leave the rake in the bunker in line with the direction of play. We do this to ensure the greens staff do not have to dismount from their machines when cutting the grass to remove the rake and then dismount a second time to replace it.
Below is a quote from a greenkeeper from the STRI (Scientific Turf Research Institute) in relation to one-handed raking of bunkers
“As a greenkeeper I never managed to perfect the art of raking a bunker with one hand and yet golfers insist in trying to do it whilst holding a golf club in one hand and a rake in the other, sometimes even substituting the rake with the back edge of the club face or sole of a shoe"

Click LINK to view

Henry Doran.

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