Like the Black Widow, the Scorpion or the Woosle-Nosed Centipede, bunkers have a habit of stinging golfers at will.
There are many types of bunkers from traditional, modern, pot, rivetted and even retro. They all have differing degrees of difficulty and different functions. Some are penal, some are placed as indicators to spell out the line from the tee. Others dictate how a dog-leg bends, and some are decorative and give the player the thrill of watching the ball sail over them. In my designs I have used most of the above styles. However, I am very conscious that the style, theme and positioning of the bunker has fitness of purpose.
The most interesting bunkers are strategic and they dictate the play of the hole, often mapping out alternative choices and in many cases laying out options for a conservative or heroic shot. In other situations, the positioning of a greenside bunker may offer the skilled player an advantage if he or she has the ability to shape the shot to the green.
Have you noticed in modern golf that bunkers no longer have names? Gone are those days. Thank goodness for the old courses like St Andrews, where you can get buried in "the Coffins", plug in the "Principal's Nose," or go to "Hell," as Jack Nicklaus did in 1995 Open when he took four to escape. Then there is the "Road".....So easy to enter, so difficult to leave.
Perhaps worst of all was when Tommy Nakajima made the fatal mistake of going in the infamous "Road" bunker during the 1978 Open. His fate was a quintriple bogey 9. Asked afterwards if he lost concentration, the hapless Japanese replied "No, I lost count."