Bunkers are sand pits / traps, but can be grass hollows, which are situated in various positions throughout the course whose aim is to punish a poorly hit shot from the golfer. Bunkers are not meant to penalise a well played shot.

Why Rake Bunkers?

  1. To remove stones, leaves and debris.
  2. To loosen sand.
  3. To smooth out footmarks and rabbit scrapings.
  4. To provide a suitable depth of sand over the whole area of the bunker - typical depth being 100-150mm.
  5. To make the bunker suitable for play by golfers.


  1. Ideally bunkers should be raked daily.
  2. Edge and trim the bunkers to provide a tidy, attractive appearance, with the edges being accurately defined for the players.
  3. Weed and grass, especially Couch grass, colonisation can be a problem in poorly maintained or low maintenance bunkers.
  4. If a herbicide is used, care needs to be taken, especially with green side located bunkers, as sand can be splashed onto the turf when a shot is played out of the bunker, potentially depositing any chemical residue on the green.
  5. Turf repairs may be required if the edges are damaged or have collapsed, especially if golfers have not taken care getting into or out of bunkers.

Sand Replenishment

Sand will need to be replenished to allow for loss due to wind blow, golfers chipping it out of the bunker and erosion from rainfall.

It is important to ensure that when sand is replenished in bunkers, it is adequately consolidated otherwise it will be too loose and golf balls will become temporarily lost due to them plugging into the sand. This causes unnecessary inconvenience to golfers and from a management point of view can slow down play leading to potential customer complaints.

If an important tournament or competition is being held, sand replenishment may need to be carried out some time before the relevant day to allow for adequate consolidation to take place. There may be some tournament regulations which state that replenishment must not take place on a stated number of days before the commencement of the tournament.

Types of Rake

There are a number of different types of rakes available with different heads and overall weights:

  1. Wooden headed.
  2. Metal headed.
  3. Plastic / Rubber headed.
  4. Wire headed.

Heavier rakes are generally better for wet conditions.

Rakes can sometimes have small rollers or strips on the back of the head of the rake to assist in surface water removal or excessive sand deposition from greens.