Fifth Oldest Club In The World In Danger Of Disappearing

If you've ever played Montrose then you'll be aware of what a brilliant and special course that it is. For starters it's the fifth oldest course in the world – think about that for a minute - and it's ranked as the 53rd best in Scotland.

It's a special links that was first designed by Old Tom Morris, making it the oldest 18-hole course in the world after the Old Course, and it has since been altered by Willie Park Jr and Harry Colt. These days there are two separate clubs who play over the links and it is overseen by the Montrose Links Trust.

Now it is in danger of disappearing due to the threat of coastal erosion. Climate change has been a worrying factor on these shores for years now as the North Sea continues to rise as well as more and more storms adding to things.

“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 is the most examined coastline in Scotland 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.”

Adams added that he believes that the whole town is at risk of flooding and he criticised Angus Council and the Scottish government despite the council putting £350,000 into the fight to stem the flow just last month.
That money will go towards building sand dunes at Montrose Bay which is adjacent to the course but Adams, who works with Dynamic Coast who survey the impact of climate change in Scotland, claimed that installing something called rock armour, which involves large boulders being interlocked together to create protective structures, would be a wise move.

“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.”

The courses on the west coast of Scotland are less susceptible to climate change while Montrose, which hosted Final Qualifying for The Open Championship at Carnoustie in 1999 and 2007, and other clubs along the east coast need to act sooner rather than later.