Neglecting to rake bunkers at this Q School event could hurt players’ wallets
There are few more frustrating feelings in golf than walking up to an already difficult bunker shot and finding your ball sitting in a big ol’ footprint.
Any chance you had of putting some spin on that sucker is likely toast.
If you’ve ever found yourself the victim of someone else’s negligence, then you might find yourself a fan of this rule from the first stage of the Asian Tour’s Q School in Arizona.
Mini-tour whisperer Ryan French got a hold of the players’ information for the qualifying series’ only American site — at Oakcreek Country Club — and spotted quite the harsh penalty for not upholding one of the simplest pieces of golf etiquette.
Yes, you read that right: an automatic $300 fine for failure to rake a bunker.
That may be pocket change to established Tour pros, for many players in the field at the opening round of Asian Tour Q School that could be a week’s meal budget.
This is the first time the Asian Tour, which now has ties to LIV after the Saudi breakaway league invested $400 million in the tour, has held an event on U.S. soil. Top finishers at the U.S. site and four others will move on to the Final Qualifying stage in January.
It’s also the first time since 2020 the Asian Tour is hosting Q School after Covid forced its cancelation in 2021 and ’22.
While not every player may have a caddie this week, those loopers who are on site will be on heightened alert not to cause his player financial harm.
The rule also begs a question of enforcement. Early stages of Q School often are bare bones, so it’s unclear who will serve in the role of bunker police this week at Oakcreek.
If we’re being honest, this a rule no tour should have to enforce. Raking bunkers is easy, and part of your duty as a golfer, even in the pressure-cooker of Q School.