Playing from a Bunker
A player makes a stroke at their ball lying in a bunker. It bounces on the grass bank and drops back into the same bunker. May they smooth the sand in the area where the stroke was made from before making their next stroke?
Yes, the player may smooth the sand. Decision 13-4/36.
Would there be a different answer to the above question if the ball had not touched any part of the course before landing in the same bunker?
The answer is the same. The player may smooth the sand.
Exception 2 to Rule 13-4 states:
At any time, the player may smooth sand or soil in a hazard provided this is for the sole purpose of caring for the course and nothing is done to breach Rule 13-2 with respect to his next stroke. If a ball played from a hazard is outside the hazard after the stroke, the player may smooth sand or soil in the hazard without restriction.
Note: In the photos above the area being raked was not on the line of play for the player’s next stroke, so the smoothing of the sand from the previous stroke did not breach Rule 13-2.
A player makes a stroke at their ball lying in a bunker and it comes to rest out of bounds. May they smooth the area where the stroke was made from before dropping a ball under Rule 27-1b?
Yes. Decision 13-4/37