Originally Posted by stangmark
Technically no, as long as the rake is not used to improve your lie or stance, test the bunker sand, or assist in the swing line (i.e. leaving it parallel to your stance and aligning your body perpendicular to the hole). In a tournament, never bring anything extra with you into a hazard (which a bunker is), or risk a persnickety player/official calling foul. Some players like to take it with them and rake their prints as they go, because it saves sooooooooooo much time and effort from walking to the nearest rake after you take a shot; but if your groups competitive or playing for money, leave it be until after you've swung out of the bunker. Also, keep in mind that it is good etiquette to rake smooth (maintain) the entire bunker before you leave, and lie all rakes equidistant from each other, entirely in the bunker's edge, parallel to the line through the green, handle pointing away from the hole (this is so you do not give a competitive edge to the group(s) playing behind you, by deflecting their ball away from the bunker with how you left the movable obstructions, a penalty on you).
You may rake a bunker before playing your shot. There is now an exception to Rule 13-4 that allows it:
Rule 13-4. Ball in Hazard; Prohibited Actions
Exception 2 to Rule 13-4 is amended to permit a player to smooth sand or soil in a hazard at any time, including before playing from that hazard, provided it is for the sole purpose of caring for the course and Rule 13-2 is not breached.
Also it should be made clear that there is nothing in the rules on how rakes must be placed/left in bunkers, this is up to the club to set their own guidelines.
And finally are you really saying that if a player in a group following hits a rake with their ball that you placed, that you receive a penalty? More nonsense.