How to legally test a bunker?

Oddsocks

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Agree this can work for some bunker lining materials, but I'm also seeing bitumenised stones being used - bringing genuine injury and club damage risks for courses that do not keep them appropriately maintained.
We have these in a few bunkers and like you mention they have failed to put enough sand in them after. Often you can jar your wrist in them which isn’t cool!
 
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Apologies if this was covered earlier in the thread.

When out today I decided to put a rake (that had been left outside its bunker and in a daft place) properly into it’s bunker. I chucked it into the bunker and noticed the sound it made as it landed - and that sound told me instantly that there was not a lot of loose sand in the bunker…at least in the vicinity of where I chucked the rake - which was in the middle of the bunker - in the area a ball hit into the bunker would likely end up.

This has led me to thinking whether doing that could be deemed to be testing the sand if my ball had been in that bunker? Yes I know that I can usually sense depth of sand in a bunker as I walk in it, but the noise the rake made told me very clearly without me actually physically connecting with the sand in the bunker.
 

salfordlad

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Apologies if this was covered earlier in the thread.

When out today I decided to put a rake (that had been left outside its bunker and in a daft place) properly into it’s bunker. I chucked it into the bunker and noticed the sound it made as it landed - and that sound told me instantly that there was not a lot of loose sand in the bunker…at least in the vicinity of where I chucked the rake - which was in the middle of the bunker - in the area a ball hit into the bunker would likely end up.

This has led me to thinking whether doing that could be deemed to be testing the sand if my ball had been in that bunker? Yes I know that I can usually sense depth of sand in a bunker as I walk in it, but the noise the rake made told me very clearly without me actually physically connecting with the sand in the bunker.
I think you are drawing a very long bow, but.......
It's a self-policing game that requires player integrity. And 12.2b(1) tells you a player must not: Deliberately touch sand in the bunker with a hand, club, rake or other object to test the condition of the sand to learn information for the next stroke. So if you are taking this action for the purpose of testing the sand then you are in breach of the rule. I don't believe you would get any more guidance from an RB.
 

rulie

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I think you are drawing a very long bow, but.......
It's a self-policing game that requires player integrity. And 12.2b(1) tells you a player must not: Deliberately touch sand in the bunker with a hand, club, rake or other object to test the condition of the sand to learn information for the next stroke. So if you are taking this action for the purpose of testing the sand then you are in breach of the rule. I don't believe you would get any more guidance from an RB.
Agree with this and the intent to test. In the first instance noted by SwingsLikeHogan, where he would be "caring for the course" by throwing the rake to where it should be, it would be fine, no breach. However, if throwing the rake into the bunker where his ball lies, with the intent of testing, it's a breach.
And I'm a hardliner, any doubt would be resolved against the player! :)
 
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Agree with this and the intent to test. In the first instance noted by SwingsLikeHogan, where he would be "caring for the course" by throwing the rake to where it should be, it would be fine, no breach. However, if throwing the rake into the bunker where his ball lies, with the intent of testing, it's a breach.
And I'm a hardliner, any doubt would be resolved against the player! :)
Lest there be any doubt…my question was purely on what the rules would say rather than me having any thoughts on actually doing what crossed my mind…👍
 

Swango1980

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Lest there be any doubt…my question was purely on what the rules would say rather than me having any thoughts on actually doing what crossed my mind…👍
If you always threw the rake into the bunker, when your ball was still in that bunker, I've no doubt somebody would question why you did that. If you said it was because you can test the depth of the sand, you are going to get a penalty. If you were to throw the rake into the sand before an isolated reason, for some unknown reason, I doubt many would raise an eyebrow to be honest. I am sure there are plenty of times a player would get the rake and bring it somewhere near to where you play the shot, before the shot is played. This will normally require you to drop the rake into a position somewhere near the ball. I think in nearly all cases, this would deemed to be a completely normal action, and nobody is going to think you are doing it for any reason other than convenience.
 

Lump

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Am I imagining things, but wasn’t there an update to the rules that allowed you to rake a bunker, even if you are yet to play your shot from said bunker, if you are only raking to remove a footprint/rake imprint etc and not to test the sand?
 

clubchamp98

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Am I imagining things, but wasn’t there an update to the rules that allowed you to rake a bunker, even if you are yet to play your shot from said bunker, if you are only raking to remove a footprint/rake imprint etc and not to test the sand?
Think that was if you left it in with your first attempt.
You can rake the sand then go play your ball if it still in the bunker but not to close to your first attempt.
This might have changed but that’s how I understood it.
Happy to be educated at all times.!
 

Swango1980

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Am I imagining things, but wasn’t there an update to the rules that allowed you to rake a bunker, even if you are yet to play your shot from said bunker, if you are only raking to remove a footprint/rake imprint etc and not to test the sand?
No, you are correct, that is permissable. It is about intent though, a player can't do it if they are doing so to test the sand.
 

Swango1980

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Think that was if you left it in with your first attempt.
You can rake the sand then go play your ball if it still in the bunker but not to close to your first attempt.
This might have changed but that’s how I understood it.
Happy to be educated at all times.!
That is not the case.

The rule states, when touching the sand, there is no penalty if:

  • Digging in with the feet to take a stance for a practice swing or the stroke,
  • Smoothing the bunker to care for the course,
  • Placing clubs, equipment or other objects in the bunker (whether by throwing or setting them down),
  • Measuring, marking, lifting, replacing or taking other actions under a Rule,
  • Leaning on a club to rest, stay balanced or prevent a fall, or
  • Striking the sand in frustration or anger.
 

Slab

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Apologies if this was covered earlier in the thread.

When out today I decided to put a rake (that had been left outside its bunker and in a daft place) properly into it’s bunker. I chucked it into the bunker and noticed the sound it made as it landed - and that sound told me instantly that there was not a lot of loose sand in the bunker…at least in the vicinity of where I chucked the rake - which was in the middle of the bunker - in the area a ball hit into the bunker would likely end up.

This has led me to thinking whether doing that could be deemed to be testing the sand if my ball had been in that bunker? Yes I know that I can usually sense depth of sand in a bunker as I walk in it, but the noise the rake made told me very clearly without me actually physically connecting with the sand in the bunker.
Although, can "chucking" course maintenance equipment ever be considered as 'care for the course' (quite the opposite really)
 
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Although, can "chucking" course maintenance equipment ever be considered as 'care for the course' (quite the opposite really)
Not sure what other word to use. I simply throw that rack gently into the bunker so that it drops level with the only impression created being of the rake, so no other indentations or ‘skid’ marks.

All our bunkers now have steep reverted faces all round. Head greenie demonstrates how we rake bunkers…and rake positioning. And this is what I do.

(Note for all ‘rulies’ - the video is from April 2018).

 
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Slab

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Not sure what other word to use. I simply throw that rack gently into the bunker so that it drops level with the only impression created being of the rake, so no other indentations or ‘skid’ marks.
I understand you weren't going all 'Steve Backley' with it (y) but any throw, chuck, lob, gentle toss or whatever else it might be, is never going to leave the bunker (or the rake) in better condition than it was. So I can't easily see that the action can ever be seen as care for the course, as rulie mentioned earlier
 

rulefan

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Not sure what other word to use. I simply throw that rack gently into the bunker so that it drops level with the only impression created being of the rake, so no other indentations or ‘skid’ marks.

All our bunkers now have steep reverted faces all round. Head greenie demonstrates how we rake bunkers…and rake positioning. And this is what I do.

(Note for all ‘rulies’ - the video is from April 2018).

Interesting but no mention that the revetted face is artificial and therefore an IO (like the steps)
 

Foxholer

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Interesting but no mention that the revetted face is artificial and therefore an IO (like the steps)
Will that ever actually be a factor?
Even if a ball struck from within a bunker becomes imbedded in the revetted face (the only possible way I can imagine it could happen), it's still 'in the bunker'. So any relief would have to in the bunker. FWIW, from the look of the revetting, I don't believe that would ever happen anyway.
@SwingsitlikeHogan Presumably, some of the bunkers are now 4 years old. What condition are they in now? Basically, has it been a cost-effective exercise?
 
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