Ode to Bunkers: What’s In A Name?


The Old Course at St. Andrews is the home of golf and pot bunkers.  More than 110 (112 to be exact) bunkers dot the iconic links.  A lot of those sand traps are pretty darn famous.  There’s the 300 square-meter Hell Bunker on the 14th hole; the Road Bunker on the infamous 17th Road hole; and even the Coffins, a group of three sand traps located in the center of the 13th fairway.

Then there’s the Strath Bunker that guards the 11th green.  It might not be first on the list, but how it got its name is a heck of a story, one that I bet you didn’t know.

The legend goes like this: David Strath was a gambling man.  In 1876 he bet all comers that he could negotiate the bunkers and huge greens of the Old Course in fewer than 100 strokes … in the dark.  With the only light coming from a full moon, a full complement of bettors followed Strath around the links and watched in amazement as he shot a 95, all without losing a golf ball. 

To honor the accomplishment, the crew named the bunker fronting arguably the toughest of the Old Course’s par-3s in his honor.  Hence, the Strath bunker was born.

Safe to say, Strath hit the lottery.