The Postage Stamp: The end of the bunker rake?
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I write this email out of pure admiration for my husband, a golf club and course manager at Brookmans Park Golf Club in Hertfordshire and other fellow greenkeepers and golf club employees.
Over the years there has been a story or two on my husband Trevor, who has been a greenkeeper for 25 years, starting as a trainee under the guidance of his father, Trevor Smith Snr, now retired. He has been a strong advocate for learning and has always encouraged and supported his staff through training and self-development, nurturing talent and encouraging staff to go the extra mile to keep their passion (and his) alive so our golfers can enjoy the very best of their golf course.
These very testing times have been no mean feat for all involved and I feel he and everyone like him deserve some praise and recognition for the hundreds of hours that have been put in to keep our courses functioning at this time. It really does take someone with a passion for the course to keep it maintained and keep the drive (pardon the pun) and spirit of the course thriving during the most damaging of times that golf has ever had.
Rake or no rake? That was the question
In October’s magazine James Bledge asked whether we should abolish bunker rakes for good once coronavirus restrictions are lifted. Here are some of the responses from social media:
Really enjoyed reading this James. Love not having bunker rakes. No downside for us. We have to rake the bunkers regularly anyway and haven’t found any that are really bad yet at our place. Same when playing at RCPGC.
Great article and food for thought. I favour the no rakes policy with the lift and place rule, purely because it is a hazard and you should be penalised for an errant shot. It would be good to see the same apply to the professional game to keep consistency – doubtful though.
I’ve totally u-turned from wanting no rakes to believing they are totally necessary because of the poor etiquette of golfers. From the COVID situation I have found a badly raked bunker is better than a carpet-bombed sand pit.
I see both sides of the argument but would be happy never to see a rake in a bunker. It’s a hazard! If people aren’t even attempting to repair the damage they leave then the players should pull them up on this. No excuse for bad etiquette but shouldn’t cost the business money!
I would like to see rakes disappear as a bunker is meant to be a hazard and you are meant to be penalised for a wayward shot. The only people who really benefit from a raked bunker are those who are first out in the morning and generally can’t play a bunker shot.
Another impressive edition of GI. Some powerful messages which inspire confidence and a sense of belonging to something tangible and important.
Well done Team BIGGA!
Paul Worster, retired member
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