Montrose Links to crowdfund for £5m to stop course falling into the sea

Emma Williams
By Emma Williams July 13, 2017 12:09

One of the oldest golf clubs in the world may crowdfund for £5 million to stop the course falling into the sea.

The 455-year-old Montrose Golf Links wants to install rock armour alongside three of its seaside holes.

Failure to find a solution would mean amalgamating the 18-hole course with the second one at the venue, said a spokesman.

In research published in 2016, Dundee University post-doctoral researcher, Dr Fraser Milne, estimated that the North Sea has crept 70 metres towards Montrose within the last 30 years.

The championship course has already been altered to take account of recent devastation.

Andrew Boyd, chairman of the board of directors at Montrose, said: “The erosion has been ongoing for the past 25 years and we’ve realigned the second, third and sixth holes to minimise the damage but now we’re running out of room.

“We are lucky in that we have two 18-hole golf courses at Montrose Links but if we can’t find a solution we could lose nine holes.

“We’d have to carry out a massive realignment exercise and effectively build a new course over the existing 36 holes to save what we have.”

Mr Boyd added: “The weather is the biggest unknown factor – we could lose a lot of holes very quickly or we might not lose anything.”

The club is looking at government grants and even the possibility of a crowdfunding campaign to raise the £5 million.

Mr Boyd said: “The town of Montrose isn’t affected at the moment but if the dunes are breached then it becomes a flood plain and suddenly the funding would become available as it would be classed as an emergency.

“It’s galling – Rome can’t be fixed once it’s burned.”

Experts say the conditions that led to the development of beaches and dunes have now been reversed.

Sediment is running out so beaches are getting thinner and the shoreline is moving landward and cutting into dunes.

The second issue is rising sea levels which are impinging on sections of coastal land not previously affected.

These effects are working together to make the shoreline move landward and erode whatever is at the bank.

North East Scotland Conservative MSP Liam Kerr said: “It is alarming to hear even the suggestion that holes at this historic course could be lost.

“The club – and indeed the town – simply cannot afford for a major incident to happen before action is taken. At that point, it will be too late, and we will be talking about damage limitation rather than prevention.”

 

Emma Williams
By Emma Williams July 13, 2017 12:09
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1 Comment

  1. Wayne July 17, 10:13

    I hope they are successful in saving holes No. 2 and No. 3 especially. Montrose Links is a special links golf course and I was privileged to play it in late April. Listening to the sea is integral to the experience.

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