There's not much more frustrating than going into a bunker and finding your ball in a footprint or divot. Someone else's poor etiquette is likely to cost you even more strokes and affect your overall experience on the course. Be a considerate player and follow one of the most important unwritten rules of golf and leave the bunker in better shape than you found it!
When to Rake
Bunkers are classified as hazards, therefore you cannot test the condition of the sand prior to hitting a shot. After hitting your shot, use care to smooth the sand out with a rake in preparation for players behind you.
How to Rake
Bunkers are designed to have an even amount of sand throughout them to prevent false lips from forming. When raking, rake towards the middle of the bunker while moving out towards the lowest point of it to help avoid damage. If the imperfections left behind go deep into the sand, use the smooth back side of the rake to fill them in, followed by the front side of the rake to smooth out the area. Once you are finished raking, leave the rake inside the bunker along the bottom edge to limit it's impact on play prior to the next golfer using it. If you are playing from a greenside bunker be sure to tap any excess sand off your shoes before you walk on the green.
By using good etiquette you'll help ensure everyone has a great day on the course!