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Brian_Ewen

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Montrose Golf Links Erosion
« on: January 14, 2014, 09:08:39 PM »
http://www.scotsman.com/news/environment/plan-to-stop-montrose-golf-links-sinking-into-sea-1-3267847

Plan to stop Montrose Golf Links sinking into sea

David May and Montrose Golf Links chairman Alan Crow at the spot where storms eroded part of the course. Picture: Hemedia
by ILONA AMOS
15 January

AN EMERGENCY rescue plan is being drafted to stop one of Scotland’s oldest golf courses from being washed into the sea by coastal erosion.

The 452-year-old Montrose Golf Links is facing a battle for survival as erosion from the North Sea has started to destroy parts of the ancient course.

Managers at the course, the fifth-oldest in the world, will attempt to work out the best way to save the greens and preserve features created by legendary Scottish golf course designer Old Tom Morris.

The Medal course has already had to be altered after storms led to the loss of dunes at the edge of the fairway between the second and fifth holes.

Alan Crow, chairman of Montrose Golf Links Limited, said: “The storms of last week took another 1.5 metres off the beach level, and two metres off the top edge of the dunes.”

The original sixth tee disappeared in 1994, but since then there has been a steady progression and about 10 metres of dune frontage fell away a couple of years later.

“The overall result since the erosion kicked in in the late 1980s and early 90s is that we’ve lost between 35 and 40 metres.

“As a result of that we rerouted and redesigned the second hole to make it playable and take it away from the edge of the dune.”

Montrose councillor David May said: “Over the last 20 years coastal erosion has had a devastating effect on the beach at Montrose and also the loss of much of what was part of the second fairway of our course.

“This led to Montrose Golf Links Limited having to spend considerable sums on realigning the fairway.”

It has been estimated that the Montrose coastline could wear away by up to 90 yards over the next 50 years. The sixth tee was made unplayable by a storm 15 years ago, and green keepers have continued fighting the elements ever since.

New sand fencing has already been installed to replace the barrier that has been lost, and council workers will stay in regular contact with the course manager in order to monitor the impact of the tides.

After further discussion between Mr May and the council, a meeting will be organised later this month with representatives of the Montrose Golf Links and councillors to develop a strategy to save the course.

A full stakeholders’ meeting will then be organised with others including GlaxoSmithKline and Montrose Harbour Board.

Experts say the conditions that led to the development of beaches and dunes have now been reversed. Sediment is being washed away so the beaches are getting narrower and the shoreline is moving inland and cutting into dunes. The second issue is rising sea levels, which are starting to engulf sections of the coast that had not been affected before. These effects are working together to make the shoreline move landward and erode whatever is at the bank.

A Montrose lad called James Melville is credited with recording the existence of golf at Montrose as early as 1562. He enrolled at St Andrews University at the age of 15 and his diary records that he was taught from the age of six to play many sports, including archery “and how to use the glubb for goff”.

He was born in 1556, so it is established that the game was being played in the town by, and very probably before, 1562.

Marty Bonnar

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The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town.

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: Montrose Golf Links Erosion
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2017, 05:52:48 AM »
I never played Montrose.


Are the best holes beside the sea?

jeffwarne

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Re: Montrose Golf Links Erosion
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2017, 08:55:23 AM »
I never played Montrose.


Are the best holes beside the sea?


There are plenty of good holes at Montrose-some on the sea, some not.
The issue it would seem is that they can't get funding UNLESS the dunes are breached, rendering it a flood plain.
By then it would be too late-the dunes are pretty much the hgh point on the property.
It would seem there would be some money available from some sort of historical or preservation society to PRESERVE the course, rather than use far more emergency once it's destroyed.


Really cool place-plays right out of the town and back into the town
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Marty Bonnar

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Re: Montrose Golf Links Erosion
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2017, 11:57:56 AM »
I never played Montrose.


Are the best holes beside the sea?


There are plenty of good holes at Montrose-some on the sea, some not.
The issue it would seem is that they can't get funding UNLESS the dunes are breached, rendering it a flood plain.
By then it would be too late-the dunes are pretty much the hgh point on the property.
It would seem there would be some money available from some sort of historical or preservation society to PRESERVE the course, rather than use far more emergency once it's destroyed.


Really cool place-plays right out of the town and back into the town


That funding point is exactly right, Jeff.
Nobody in authority really gives a shit about a golf course, but as soon as a house, an office or a factory is threatened, the cash spews forth.
Harsh reality,
F.
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town.

Robin_Hiseman

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Re: Montrose Golf Links Erosion
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2017, 04:35:39 AM »
I was both a member of Royal Montrose and a consultant to the LInks Trust back in 2004.  I provided them with a detailed report of the redesign options should the coastline holes be lost. When I left the region to work for EGD, they declined to continue the working relationship and eventually hired Hawtree to do essentially the same report again. Here we are 13 years later and no closer to a resolution, whilst with every easterly storm the links falls into the sea.

There are sea defences at the 3rd tee and behind the 2nd tee and one can see from the aerial images how they have been partially effective. It is the 2nd which is primarily at risk and I believe Hawtree has realigned the hole inland (which is exactly what I advised). If the worst comes to the worst, the 2nd tees will be lost and the hole will need to be shortened, unless the 1st green is relocated to the south.

At the time I was consulting I went down there a couple of times during fierce easterly storms to see for myself how the dunes erode. What I saw was pretty bleak. As much, if not more, damaging as the tidal wash, was the effect of the wind on undercutting the dunes. With a 40mph wind hammering into the vertical dune face I watched the sand being scoured away from beneath the turf and chunks dropping off for the waves to take them away. When the tide was high the dunes stood no chance from the pounding, but even when the tide was out the wind continued to erode and weaken the dune structure.

The problem for the course is that there are options to realign it which will work and will preserve its championship status. There is good land beyond the 7th hole for the design of two or three replacement holes.  The adjacent Broomfield Course could also be altered to give up holes to the Medal Course. I suspect that this reality is not really conducive to investment being forthcoming for massive sea defences to maintain the status quo.

Montrose is a lovely course and my time playing there made me a much better golfer. Certainly far better than I am today! Saturday medal day was a time for serious golf under perennially testing conditions. Good golfers are bred in Montrose and they deserve a course worthy of their loyal devotion.
Best of '22: Al Mouj; Cleeve, Painswick, Minch Old, Silloth, Balfron, Archerfield, Roxburghe, Stoneham, Woburn Marquess, JCB, Hayling, Wentworth (East), East Sussex West, Dunes, Arcadia Bluffs South, Crystal Downs, The Loop, Shoreacres, Chicago, St. Patrick's, Rosapenna Sandy Hills & Old Tom Morris


Niall C

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Re: Montrose Golf Links Erosion
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2018, 07:46:08 AM »
I don't mean to sound flippant but hasn't that sand drift produced some lovely contours. If only they get some growth  ;D

Reading Robins post from last year it seems to me that the club are unwilling to resolve the long term issue of the course eroding away by their own actions of redesigning the course, and are instead looking instead for the government to spend many millions of public money to secure a stretch of ground that they happen to play golf on. I might be over-simplifying it but I don't think it is realistic in this day and age to expect public money to do it all.

Niall

Rich Goodale

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Re: Montrose Golf Links Erosion
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2018, 10:37:27 AM »
You are not being flippant, Mr. C.  I've played Montrose in numerous competitions over the past 5-10 years, and any megafade from the tee will not only leave you with a challenging 2nd shot but also with fear that the dune will crumble under your feet.  To fix that dune erosion would require a massive intervention relative to what Ballybunion and Dornoch did over minor erosions over the past 10-20 years.  My guess is that Montrose GL will (and should) abandon the dunes and rebuild a new 18 incorporating all of the 25 existing holes, away from the dunes.  I'll demur for now from you and Mssrs. Ewen and Hiseman, who know far more than I as to what is the best intervention.


Rich
Life is good.

Any afterlife is unlikely and/or dodgy.

Jean-Paul Parodi

Colin Macqueen

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Re: Montrose Golf Links Erosion
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2018, 11:38:25 AM »
Hmmmm .... footprints on the sands of time!


Cheers Colin
"Golf, thou art a gentle sprite, I owe thee much"
The Hielander

Marty Bonnar

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Re: Montrose Golf Links Erosion
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2018, 11:51:42 AM »
Aeolian accretion is a lovely thing. Maybe what we should do, is have mobile golf courses. Follow that Camel!
F.
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town.

Thomas Dai

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Re: Montrose Golf Links Erosion
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2018, 12:00:16 PM »
Nature is powerful.

Nah sand, nah links?
Atb

Brian_Ewen

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Re: Montrose Golf Links Erosion
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2018, 07:09:57 PM »



Unless its St. Andrews ?

Duncan Cheslett

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Re: Montrose Golf Links Erosion
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2018, 10:52:32 AM »
Many is the golfer who has lamented that a links course occupies the flat ground in the lee of the dunes rather than take us on a dramatic roller coaster ride through the sandhills themselves.


The assumption is generally made that the Victorian course designers missed a trick by ignoring the most spectacular ground.


Perhaps we do them a disservice...




...is the genuine linksland away from the dunes not actually the best ground for golf? And far more likely to survive the vagaries of weather and tide?









Jon Wiggett

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Re: Montrose Golf Links Erosion
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2018, 12:24:46 PM »
Many is the golfer who has lamented that a links course occupies the flat ground in the lee of the dunes rather than take us on a dramatic roller coaster ride through the sandhills themselves.


The assumption is generally made that the Victorian course designers missed a trick by ignoring the most spectacular ground.


Perhaps we do them a disservice...




...is the genuine linksland away from the dunes not actually the best ground for golf? And far more likely to survive the vagaries of weather and tide?



Duncan,


well said!!!


large dunes and fantastic vistas make for a great setting but it is usually the more subtle contours which make for great GCA.

Duncan Cheslett

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Re: Montrose Golf Links Erosion
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2018, 06:26:21 PM »
There are dunes at St Andrews. The Old Course however, goes nowhere near the dunes.


As a consequence it is very unlikely to suffer from erosion or flooding.


Does TOC suffer from not venturing into the dunes?


I think not...

Brian_Ewen

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Re: Montrose Golf Links Erosion
« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2018, 08:56:42 PM »
There are dunes at St Andrews. The Old Course however, goes nowhere near the dunes.


As a consequence it is very unlikely to suffer from erosion or flooding.


Does TOC suffer from not venturing into the dunes?


I think not...


So, no public money has been spent on shoring up the coastline at St. Andrews ?

Duncan Cheslett

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Re: Montrose Golf Links Erosion
« Reply #17 on: December 23, 2018, 04:05:44 AM »
Brian,


The point I'm making is that the links land so prized for its suitability for golf is not in the dunes - it is in the lee of the dunes. Whenever a course ventures into the dunes themselves there is always the danger that erosion by wind and tide will eventually force a re-routing. It appears only to be the holes in the dunes at Montrose that are threatened.


The pure financial case for "shoring up the coastline" at St Andrews is clearly many times more valid than that at Montrose. Chalk and cheese.  Unfair perhaps, but realistic.

Mark Pearce

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Re: Montrose Golf Links Erosion
« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2018, 04:38:29 AM »
The point I'm making is that the links land so prized for its suitability for golf is not in the dunes - it is in the lee of the dunes. Whenever a course ventures into the dunes themselves there is always the danger that erosion by wind and tide will eventually force a re-routing.
I would argue that that is missing the point.  What I understand Jon to be saying and which I agree wholeheartedly with, is that the less dramatic links land in the lee of the dunes makes for better golf holes.  In Scotland TOC and Muirfield are great examples.  Sadly, this is not always obvious on a first, or even second visit.
In July 2022 I will be riding 3 stages of the Tour de France,  in the Alps, to raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust which is dedicated to providing opportunities for under privileged young adults.  To support the Trust, please visit https://fundraising.wwmt.org/fundraisers/MarkPearce/rid

Sean_A

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Re: Montrose Golf Links Erosion
« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2018, 05:01:17 AM »
I would take the middle ground and say its good to use both types of the property  8)  Just sayin!

Merry Christmas
« Last Edit: December 23, 2018, 05:22:30 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022:

Thomas Dai

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Re: Montrose Golf Links Erosion
« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2018, 05:09:33 AM »
The suitability/availability and cost of earth/sand moving equipment has to be taken into consideration. I'd imagine that the good folks at the likes of Enniscrone and Portstewart would have long looked on the big dunes as terrain they'd have liked to venture forth into to play but the terrain was so severe as to be out of the question until more recent times so they continued to play on the flatter land.

By the way, it wasn't just Montrose that was hit by the sand deluge in the photos posted above. Parts of the Cruden Bay course were too so I'd imagine a few other NE courses were as well.

As to the St Andrews comment, wasn't the start/finish stretch of the course much narrower with the beach covering part of what is now the 1st/18th fairway until the Bruce Embankment was built?

atb

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: Montrose Golf Links Erosion
« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2018, 05:10:24 AM »
It’s so hard to generalise because every piece of links land is so different to the next.


Many of the flatter stretches only have one identifiable dune ridge: would Western Gailes be better if it ignored that dune ridge on every one of its holes between 5 & 11? Definitely not (even though a repetitiveness on how that dune ridge is used is one of Western Gailes’ weaknesses).


I think we can agree that good rumple beats huge dunes for most of us who love our links. But beyond that each case has to be looked at individually.

Jim Sherma

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Re: Montrose Golf Links Erosion
« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2018, 05:22:55 PM »
Agree with the gist of this. I think a good example is Enniscrone. The newer dune holes have a wow factor but the old flat Hackett holes that were pushed into the third nine are better golf.

Brian_Ewen

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Re: Montrose Golf Links Erosion
« Reply #23 on: October 06, 2022, 02:33:59 AM »
https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/business-environment/environment/3755284/350000-a-start-but-millions-more-needed-to-save-montrose-coast/


£350,000 a start but millions more needed to save Montrose coast
By Aileen Robertson
October 6 2022

A £350,000 award to help save the Montrose coastline from erosion has been welcomed as “a start”.

Angus Council will use the Scottish Government funding to reinstate dunes at Montrose Golf Links.

Dunes next to the golf course are being claimed by the sea at a rate of two metres per year.

And there are fears of flooding in the town of Montrose if the dunes fail to hold back the sea.

‘Its a start, but…’
John Adams is a former chairman of Montrose Golf Links.

He has been involved in Dynamic Coast – a Scottish Government led research project.

Montrose was a focal point for the research because of the alarming rate the dunes are retreating.

The sea has already claimed a few tees and fairways at Montrose’s 1562 Course.


John, right, with Montrose Golf Links general manager David Brown. Where they are standing used to be a fairway before the sea claimed a swathe of the course.

John says £350,000 “will not go a long way”.

He adds: “When you think of the need to spend in the region of £40m plus for a semi-permanent solution.

“If the £350,000 spend is genuinely just a shoring up exercise until a larger scheme is produced, well it’s a start.”

Is there a permanent solution?
Angus Council bosses say this is just the “first phase of a wider plan” to tackle the issue of erosion at Montrose.

In the coming years the council will draw up a long-term strategy to replenish the dunes and protect the beach.

John has backed the idea of a ‘sand motor’ and an Angus Council spokesperson recently indicated the authority had not ruled out this option.


A sand motor has already been trialled in the Netherlands.

Dutch authorities used millions of cubic metres of sand to create an artificial peninsula off the coast.

Wind and tidal action drives the sand landward, nourishing the dune system.

However, the project at The Hague cost in the region of £60m to build.

What happens now?
The funding will allow Angus Council to commission the design and construction of a solution to coastal erosion at Montrose.

But before any work can go ahead the council must assess potential environmental impact and assess its options.

John does not believe at this stage that the work will have a huge impact on the layout of the golf course.


Council officers are working with Montrose Golf Links, NatureScot, Marine Scotland, Montrose Port Authority and Sepa (Scottish Environment Protection Agency) on the project.

Montrose SNP councillor Bill Duff said: “Studies by Angus Council and Dynamic Coast highlighted that dune repair work is urgently required to maintain the dune cordon and reduce the flood risk.

“I am acutely aware that this project, while important for Montrose, will also be very important to golfers, as it will assist in defending the golf course.”

Adrian_Stiff

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Re: Montrose Golf Links Erosion
« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2022, 08:10:57 AM »
33 yards of erosion since 2006. Nightmare.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2022, 03:36:56 AM by Adrian_Stiff »
A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
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