Every wondered what a revetted bunker is? We look at this distinctive type of trap and explain how it's constructed

What Is A Revetted Bunker?

As the golfing calendar swings to The Open Championship and Royal St George’s we are sure to see several things at the tournament. Fantastic golf, stunning views and in all probability, rain and wind. Another thing we will see are revetted bunkers.

But what exactly are these bunkers and what does the word ‘revetted’ mean?

Fear not, we’re here to explain what they are, why they are used and how they are constructed.

They are a common feature on a vast number of courses across the British Isles, including most of the venues that host the Open Championship.

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.’

Related: 5 perks of winning the Open Championship

A view of two bunkers at Royal St George’s (Getty Images)

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.

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.

They are often employed as strategic features, too, as the grass around them tends to be shaved, attracting more golf balls.

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.

For more news from the Open Championship, check out the Golf Monthly website.