Even a year later, there are a number of golf’s “new” rules that golfers are often getting wrong, misinterpreting or forgetting.
The first rule change that golfers are having trouble with is the ability to ground their clubs in penalty areas. When your ball comes to rest in a penalty area, under the new Rules of Golf, you are allowed to ground your club in what was formerly known as the hazard. However, when you get into a bunker, you’re still not allowed to test the surface with practice swings or ground your club behind the ball.
If you touch the sand with your club without the intent of gaining an advantage, whether it be upon entering the trap or simply laying an extra club down while playing your shot, there is no penalty.