Bunker Rakes and their Placement

May 5, 2015 Dean Baker

 Submitted by: Dean Baker Date: May 5, 2015

  • Playing the New Bunkers
  • Bunker Rakes and their Placement

Raking Andy

As the new bunkers come into play this season, many members have commented on how good they look and also their larger size. Doug Carrick did accentuate some bunkers to fit the holes better with challenge in mind. As we prepare to remove the side boards and prepare the bunkers for full play, there is a set-up in mind, on not only playing the bunker, but getting in and out of them as well. There are designed entry points, which will help members safely enter the bunker. These entry points also aid in keeping the important part of the bunker, the bunker faces, intact. The high sided bunker faces, which usually face the hole, are not intended to be walked on or used as an entry point. These areas are of important value and aesthetics to the bunker, plus are too steep to be safely walked on.

The bunker rakes are important to all members in the maintenance of the bunkers and for the playability for your fellow members behind you. Their placement is just as important and follows two criteria, the playability of the hole and being available at access points of entry.

Bunker playability

Working with the PGA Tour for many years, bunker set-up was extremely important. It is noted as “the most important hazard” on the course. As the bunkers saw play, they had to remain consistent for all players. As for the rakes, they were placed not to interfere with any shot that could impede the ball from entering or exiting the hazard. Rakes generally are placed to the back of the bunker & off to the side, not to interfere with any forward shots, but also not to interfere with shots that may enter the bunker from a fairway shot. Ironically in design, Doug Carrick has in most cases used these areas for entry points.

Example, you will not see rakes in between a bunker face and the green. This placement could easily interfere with shots on the green and because of high bunker faces on the greensides, we would not want members entering the bunker from this point.

Bunker access points

With the newly designed bunkers, some may be larger, but Doug has also incorporated new entry points. As the members start to understand the playability of the new bunkers, it will be easy to see where the safest entry points are and hence, where the rakes are to be placed. Look for a rake... that is your safest entry point. As you come out... place the rake in the same spot. Simple!

I hope this explanation helps members with using the new bunkers and also to understand why the rakes are placed where they are.

Enjoy the course this year and have fun in the new bunkers!  

About the Author

Dean Baker

Dean Baker, Certified Golf Course Superintendent (Since 1989). He joined Burlington Golf & Country Club in 2012, where he has enjoyed the remodeling and renovation of this historic 1922 Stanley Thompson design. Dean is a graduate of the University of Guelph where he remains involved with the program he graduated from, Associate Diploma in Turf Management. There he lends his expertise as an instructor to upcoming turf managers, by instructing the Human Resources for Turf Managers Course.

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