Golf Etiquette Issues: Bikinis & Bunker Rakes... and a Day at the Beach

I wrote about bunker etiquette a few years ago after I encountered more than my fair share of the hated hazards during an otherwise enjoyable round.

I'm republishing a segment of that post today because I know I'll be spending some time in the sand today. You see, I've got some friends visiting from Europe... and I'm taking them to the beach. 

Bunker etiquette is somewhat ambiguous, and often subject to debate. The controversy frequently begins with the rake, and that age-old question: should it be left inside or outside of the sand trap? In fact, there is no official rule on that subject. The USGA, does have a guideline however, it's known as "out and down", which simply means the rake should be left outside the bunker, facing down. And that's fine. Except that there are some who feel the spindly sweeper is better left inside the bunker so as to avoid having it block the hapless trajectory of the next ball that happens to make a beeline for the beach. And I've got to admit that actually happened to me once. My ball sped towards the sand only to be stopped, a half an inch short, by a well positioned rake. I responded fittingly by jumping up and down with glee and shouting "Yay"! Multiple times over.  My fellow players were not amused by the incident (or my immature reaction).

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