News & ToursDecember 18, 2018

Fifth-oldest golf course in the world buried in sand after Scottish storm

The Courier
The Courier

Montrose Golf Links has been around for 450 years. But a storm made the course look like a thing of the past.

Montrose, located in the Angus county of Scotland, was hit with strong winds over the weekend from Storm Deirdre that blew sand from the beach onto the second hole. Montrose greenskeeper Darren McLaughlin captured footage of the damage, which transformed the fairway into a bunker.

“The weather was absolutely biblical,” McLaughlin told the Courier.

In February, the Climate Coalition used Montrose Links, one of the oldest courses in the world as a case study. In the last 30 years the North Sea has crept 70 meters closer to the course, according to research published by Dundee University.

“As the sea rises and the coast falls away, we’re left with nowhere to go,” Chris Curnin, director of golf at Montrose, is quoted in the report. “Climate change is often seen as tomorrow’s problem, but it’s already eating away at our course.”

McLaughlin echoed those concerns.

"This is our major worry," McLaughlin said. "The reason we posted that video was to raise awareness of coastal erosion. We had to capture it as best we could. We have never had it this bad.

“It is the time of year where the course isn’t as busy. If this had happened in April-May, that causes us huge issues."

Workers were out on Monday, attempting to dig out bunkers, but McLaughlin said Montrose would likely need the help of an industrial-sized blower on Wednesday to get the fairway back to shape.

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