Action needed now to stop erosion of historic Montrose Golf Links says councillor

Montrose's Medal Course has been slipping into the North Sea for 20 years
Montrose's Medal Course has been slipping into the North Sea for 20 years

Strong opinions and reservations were heard at a meeting of Montrose Golf Links board to discuss proposals to stop the historic course sinking into the sea.

The board have come up with an action plan to preserve the 453-year-old Medal Course - created by legendary Scottish golf course designer, ‘‘Old Tom’’ Morris, from St Andrews - which has been slipping into the North Sea for 20 years since the original sixth hole disappeared in 1994.

What is being proposed is that holes one, three, seven and 18 be reduced in yardage and holes two, six and eight be increased.

The board meeting held by Montrose Golf Links Ltd (MGLL), was well attended and “bore witness to how important golf and our golf courses are to the people of the town”, according to Montrose councillor Bill Duff.

However, the plans are dividing golfers with some in support and many others against them.

Mr Duff said: “Some felt that the best course of action was to do nothing and see if the current situation reverses itself.

“I am in an unusual position of being a member of MGLL, as I am a lapsed golfer, so perhaps more able to see the issues without a personal interest or emotional attraction to a particular format or favourite hole.

“The future viability of the historic Links courses is a weighty responsibility.

“We know Montrose Golf Course is 450 years old and we want to ensure a secure future for golf in the town.

“I firmly believe that we need to act now as coastal erosion has seriously eaten into the course, the coastal defences installed 15 years ago are weakened and the fencing has not achieved as good a result as expected.

“Recycling the sand dredged from Montrose Port has not been proven as a viable approach and even if successful could take many years to repair matters.

“Golf is very important to Montrose with about one thousand local season ticket holders and Montrose Medal course being an important part of Angus’ tourist offering.

“The funding of a major project is certainly challenging but I’m confident the money required can be found and we can look forward to another 450 years of golf in Montrose.”

All the local clubhouses have information on what is likely to happen to the course and the proposed changes until January 5. Golfers will have until this date to submit their comments to MGGL.