The New Rule: Under Rules 12.2a and 12.2b, the player will be allowed to touch or move loose impediments in a bunker and will be generally allowed to touch the sand with a hand or club.
You still can’t intentionally touch the sand to “test” it.
And you can’t clip the sand during a practice swing.
Are bunkers penalty areas?
the player must play from in starting the hole he or she is playing, (2) all penalty areasPenalty Area: An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if the player’s ball comes to rest there., (3) all bunkersBunker: A specially prepared area of sand, which is often a hollow from which turf or soil was
Can you take a drop from a bunker?
Players are still allowed to drop in the bunker within two club-lengths of the ball, or, behind the ball on a straight line from the hole, for one penalty stroke. Come 2019, players can take relief outside of the sand on a line from the hole to where the ball came to rest in the bunker.
Can you touch the sand on your backswing?
When you are playing a shot in a bunker you accidentally touch the sand while making your backswing. Unfortunately you are in breach of Rule 12-2b when you touch the ground in the bunker with your club before making your stroke. General penalty of 2 strokes!
Are you allowed to ground your club in a bunker?
On top of this, golfers can move loose impediments in bunkers and will not be penalised for generally grounding their club away from their ball. However, you still CANNOT ground your club when playing a BUNKER shot.