Historic Golf Course At Risk Of 'Disappearing' Due To Climate Change

Montrose Golf Club is under threat from rising seas as a result of climate change

Montrose Golf Course
(Image credit: Getty)

Montrose Golf Club – the fifth oldest course in the world – is facing the risk of “disappearing” due to the constant threat of coastal erosion.

Climate change is affecting the course, as the North Sea continues to rise and erode the coastline, while more frequent storms are also playing their part.

“We lost a metre in the 1970s and 80s,” former chairman John Adams told STV's Scotland Tonight. “We’re now looking at two or three metres a year, it just keeps going.”

This, of course, doesn’t just affect Montrose Golf Club, as courses along the east coast are believed to face more imminent jeopardy than those on the west, where the geology is much less susceptible to the ever-growing threat of climate change. Adams works with Dynamic Coast, a group that surveys the harsh impact of climate change in Scotland.

“This is the most examined coastline in Scotland,” Adams added. “But nothing has been done. There’s been no cash spent other than moving the rocks from one point to another.

“We’re about to spend £250,000 on a project, but it’s not big enough. We need to really, really invest and just get on with something.”

Angus Council and the Scottish government have come under criticism from Adams, who believes the entire town is at risk of flooding. However, despite his concerns, the council did secure £350,000 to help in the fight against coastal erosion at Montrose just last month.

This funding will go towards building sand dunes at Montrose Bay next to the course and will aim to slow the pace at which the coastline is being eaten away by the sea. Adams, however, believes a solution called rock armour, which sees large boulders interlocked together to create protective structures, should be considered.

He said: “Rock armour can fix it in a heartbeat. Or we can go sustainable and put something offshore to stop the waves from hitting the beach, which would be my preference.”

Whatever solution the council decide on going forward, whether it be the reinstating of sand dunes or rock armour, they need to act sooner rather than later, or the fifth oldest golf course in the world could fade into the history books.

Ross Kilvington

Ross Kilvington is a freelance writer from Scotland who has had his work published by acclaimed publications such as Nutmeg alongside popular online blogs including the Gentleman Ultra, North Section and Engrossed in Football. Ross holds a passionate interest in golf and tries to play as often as possible, although having two daughters under the age of four means his quest to break 80 will have to wait a little bit longer. He writes about golf in his spare time, most recently having an article published in the Golf Memories anthology Mind the Links, which was released in July with all proceeds going towards Alzheimer charities. With a handicap that floats between 13-14, highlights are few and far between on the golf course, with an eagle on the par 4 16th at Kinghorn one that stands out (it doesn’t matter that it was only 290 yards!).