What Is A Revetted Bunker?

We look at this distinctive type of trap and explain how it's constructed

A revetted bunker pictured on a golf course
(Image credit: Getty Images)

What Is A Revetted Bunker?

What exactly are revetted bunkers and what does the word 'revetted' mean?

They are a common feature on a vast number of courses across the British Isles, including the Open Championship venues, the best links courses in the UK and many of the UK and Ireland's top 100 golf courses.

The dictionary definition of revetted is: "to face, as an embankment, with masonry or other material." It comes from the French word 'revetir', which means 'to put on, wear or don.'

In golfing terms, a revetted bunker is one where sods (grass and the part of the soil beneath it held together by roots or a piece of thin material) are used on top of each other to create a layered effect, which helps to fortify the bunker and play mind games with the golfer.

A close up of a bunker on a links course

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Other benefits include better on-course aesthetics and a reduction in wind-based erosion, which can be a real issue with non-revetted bunkers.

Construction starts at the base and works its way upwards in a sphere all the way around the bunker. There will be between 25 and 50 layers, depending on the size and depth of the trap. A typical revetted bunker costs around £1,000 to build.

They are often employed as strategic features, too, as the grass around them tends to be shaved, attracting more golf balls and essentially doubling or tripling the size of the bunker from a strategic point of view.

After the bunker has been revetted, the next stage is to excavate a hole for drainage purposes, before coring - which includes cleaning and smoothing the bunker, compacting the bunker floor and distributing the top soil - and sand filling.

Revetted bunkers, which can also be known as 'pot bunkers' when in the fairway of links courses, look great but they're definitely ones to avoid when playing a round of golf.

Sam Tremlett
Senior Staff Writer

A golfer for most of his life, Sam is a Senior Staff Writer for Golf Monthly. 

Working with golf gear and equipment over the last five years, Sam has quickly built outstanding knowledge and expertise on golf products ranging from drivers, to balls, to shoes. 

He also loves to test golf apparel especially if it a piece that can be used just about anywhere!

As a result he has always been the one family and friends come to for buying advice and tips.

He is a graduate of Swansea University where he studied History and American Studies, and he has been a part of the Golf Monthly team since December 2017. He also previously worked for World Soccer and Rugby World magazines.

Sam now spends most of his time testing and looking after golf gear content for the website. He also oversees all Tour player content as well. 

Unfortunately, Sam is not a member of any club at the moment but regularly gets out on the golf course to keep up the facade of having a handicap of five.