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Is raking the sand trap OK prior to shot?

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POSTED: August 14, 2013 12:04 p.m.

Q: Kathy and Jane are playing in a tournament. On the fourth hole, Kathy hits her second shot into the bunker in front of the green. She notices that a rake has been left in the bunker between her ball and the hole.  She retrieves it and, in the process, makes footprints. She smooths her footprints, as well as other footprints, prior to making a stroke. Jane says she must be penalized for repairing a bunker prior to making a stroke. Kathy replies that she did not improve her lie, area of intended swing or stance, and nothing was done to infringe upon rule 13-2 in relation to her next stroke and therefore she should not be penalized. Who is correct?
A: Kathy is correct since the raking was conducted for the purpose of caring for the course.
Tip: Leave the rake in the bunker with the handle sticking out of the bunker and pointing toward the hole.
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