A player asked me a question regarding her trouble in the sand trap.
#2 at Black Bear. Hit her ball into the right-side of the fairway sand trap, landing on the high edge of the sand trap. She saw a rake, which was above her ball, on the edge of the trap. The trap was steep. She walked above where her ball lay and moved the rake so as not to hit the rake. Then walked the 3 steps back to her ball. She then hit her ball, which hit the lip of the trap, rolling back into the trap, landing in her footprint that she made when moving the rake.
Could she have raked the foot print before hitting her first shot attempt out of the sand trap?
From USGA RULE BOOK, Number 13-4 Discuss Ball In Hazard. Rule 13-4a prohibits a player from testing the condition of the hazard in which his ball lies or a similar hazard, however Exception 2 to Rule 13-4 allows a player to rake an area of the bunker for the sole purpose of caring for the course as long as nothing is done to breach Rule 13-2 for his next stroke. A player would be in breach of Rule 13-2 for his next stroke if he improved the lie of his ball, the area of his intended swing, stance, his line of play or a reasonable extension of it beyond the hole or any area where he is to place or drop a ball.
TO BE SAFE: If the rake is in your way you can move it with as little disruption to the bunker prior to hitting your ball. This means avoid stepping into the bunker unless necessary to remove a rake. If the rake is in your way, and you can remove it prior to stepping into the bunker, do this first. Then approach into the bunker to hit your ball. I use the method: Stop - analyze your approach to the hole - enter with all necessary equipment.
She took an unplayable lie.