The bunker can be a real headache in your game of golf. There are many situations where the rules related to bunkers come into effect. bunkers are called sand traps and there are various situations which would cause your game to face some difficulties.
When the golf ball falls into the bunker, there are rules that you must be aware of so as to ensure that you do not breach the regulations of the game. If the ball is buried underneath the sand, you are allowed to move the sand or any loose pebbles or leaves away so that you can see the ball. In fact, you should only move the sand or impediments away until a sufficient part of the ball can be seen.
Take note that you will lose the hole in the match play if you play a wrong ball from a bunker. Apart from that, you could incur a two-shot penalty in stroke play if you hit the wrong ball in the sand trap. This means that you must be extra careful and mindful of which ball is yours.
You are not allowed to touch the sand with your hand or club to test the surface where the ball is. If you are looking for the ball which could be buried underneath, you can touch the sand only if you are trying to maintain balance so as not to fall down. You could also touch the sand if there are obstructions like rubbish on the sand. Be careful not to test the surface when touching the sand to remove any alien objects. This could cause you to be charged with improving your lie and you could incur a 2-shot penalty or even loss of hole.
You are not allowed to ground your club at any time in the bunker even during a backswing, so be careful not to breach this rule. Meanwhile, if you accidentally removed a loose impediment when it was not moved or did not give you any advantage in your swing or lie, then it is acceptable.
There is no penalty incurred if the ball is dropped into a dry area of the bunker if it was in water. However, the location of the ball drop must not be closer to the hole or one that might give you added advantage. However, you are allowed to drop the ball outside the bunker which will incur a one-stroke penalty.