If you’re watching the TaylorMade Driving Relief event at Seminole Golf Club, you may have noticed that there are no rakes in the bunkers (colloquially called sand traps) for Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff to use on the course.
Instead of using rakes, the players are using their feet to smooth out the sand as best they can after a bunker shot. But why no rakes?
There are no rakes in the bunkers because of the conditions set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and the state of Florida, which require operating golf courses to remove shared surfaces used by golfers. One of those shared surfaces is a bunker rake, so they’ve all been removed from the course. No one will be handling them, even rules officials.
Other shared surfaces that are being removed from golf courses nationwide include ball washers, benches and water coolers. Players are also not allowed to touch flagsticks.
The goal in removing these surfaces is to eliminate the possibility of virus transmission when an infected person touches such a surface and unwittingly transmits it to an uninfected person who touches that same surface and then ingests the virus.
The players are also carrying their own bags, and there are no caddies allowed on the course.
This is just a number of safety precautions the PGA Tour is taking as event organizer to follow local laws and guidelines, as well setting a good example for the golf world that the sport can be played safely.