Committees, Player, and Course Superintendents have varying opinions about rake placement, and for what it's worth, mine is that rakes should be placed inside the sand, because if my ball were to hit it and it result in a poor lie, well, my ball was likely destined for the hazard anyway and whatever the outcome is the result of my poor shot. Conversely, if the rakes are outside the bunker and my ball hits it and it ricochets into the hazard, well, then perhaps I might feel that it unfairly caused my ensuing bunker shot. You may have a differing opinion but I will say that over the years (that's 22 now) I've had only an occasional mention of rake placement and so apparently the Grounds & Greens Committee's decision long ago to place them inside the bunker has generally been acceptable.
Having stated all this, what I really want to mention in this blog is how we are changing the placement of the rakes inside the bunker. Simply stated, instead of placing the rake parallel to the bunker edge, the Grounds & Greens Staff will now place them perpendicular as we prepare bunkers every morning. We are asking that you place them in the same manner and please feel free to remind your caddies and fellow members to do the same.
Former rake location was to place rakes parallel to bunker edge.
With rake placed as above there perhaps is a greater chance of a ball coming to rest at the rake head and this could result in a more difficult lie near the bunker edge, than otherwise might occur.
New rake location is still completely inside sand, on outside or leading edge of bunker (with handle about 6-8 inches inside edge) Perpendicular to edge as shown above.
The idea in testing this new location is that perhaps it will impact final resting location of a ball that rolls up against it, more favorably, than a ball that might come to rest at the rake head with the former location. In this new location a ball may stop against it but perhaps it will be more likely to lie further toward center of bunker rather than closer to the edge.
We'll see how this works, we'll hope it is observed by all and placement will not again become haphazard, and we welcome your input. More importantly, as far as I'm concerned, is that the bunker rake is used after a shot (it's our responsibility as players), and the rake is treated with care and not thrown or driven over or stepped on which can damage or destroy it. It's embarrassing to say this but over 50 rakes were damaged last year and the majority had to be replaced. Please use care and correct anyone, players, caddies, staff, anyone, that mishandles these rakes. Thank you for your cooperation! Now go get a lesson and come out and practice so you quit hitting it in the bunker in the first place!