There’s a lot more to bunker etiquette than simply raking your footprints before you leave. The next time you ball ends up on the ‘beach,’ consider these following customs:
Try to enter the bunker from a spot as near as possible to your ball, but never from the ‘front’ of the bunker (greenside), always from the rear (opposite the green). The reason for this is twofold. One, it’s bad form. Two, should you hit a lousy shot, you really don’t want your ball to end up in one of your footprints.
Don’t enter a bunker by walking up or down a steep slope. Try to enter from a spot that is level. By doing this, you won’t cause an avalanche of sand to fall from the slopes to the bottom. Again, doing so, is just bad form.
Unless you are playing in a tournament, bring a rake with you into the bunker so you can rake your footprints on your way out.
Walk out of the bunker along the same line that you entered so you will only have to rake one trail of tracks.
Rake the bunker with purpose – don’t just go through the motions. The objective is to smooth the sand so there aren’t any bumps or troughs that might cause the next player additional stress.
Replace the rake where it was when you found it. Some course prefer to place the rakes in the bunkers, others prefer to keep them out. Just follow the local custom.
Always lay the rake with the teeth down.
Just like most things in golf, there’s a lot more to the custom than you might think at first glance. Getting those little things right is what demonstrates your respect for the game and the other players on the course.