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Players reject plans to cope with Montrose Golf Links erosion

The erosion at Montrose threatens the golf course's long-term future.
The erosion at Montrose threatens the golf course's long-term future.

Plans to realign the world’s fifth oldest golf course to stop it from falling into the sea have been put on hold due to objections from golfers.

Montrose Golf Links had proposed changes to the famous medal course in response to coastal erosion.

Last month a decision was taken that ladies tees at the second hole were no longer be useable.

However, the plans, which would have changed the layout of seven holes, were rejected by the three clubs which use the course as well as season ticket holders.

Some felt the erosion problem was so great the plans would only be a
temporary solution.

There was also dissent over extending the sixth hole from 510 to 600 yards, which many felt was too long.

Claire Penman, secretary of Montrose Golf Links, said there will be no more work until an in-depth survey by Angus Council is evaluated.

Meanwhile, erosion continues to chip away at the historic course.

She said: “The problem is we’ve lost quite a bit more ground at the second tee and in the area of the third hole.

“We had meetings with season ticket holders and the clubs had input into the plans.

“The information that came back is that they didn’t agree with what was being suggested.

“We’ve got to listen to the members’ views.”

She said one concern was that erosion was happening so quickly, by the time the work was complete, more would be needed.

The proposal included extending three holes in length and reducing four holes in length with longer-term plans to create two new holes.
Past captain Chris Curnin, from Royal Montrose Golf Club, said: “With the
current rate of erosion it was felt the realignment would not give the course a long-term future.

“It would only extend its life by 10 years or so and would be too expensive for such a short term.

“They felt the course wasn’t just being changed for realignment. They felt it was also being altered and lengthened beyond what was necessary.

“The overall view of the members was that they wanted to protect the great course we have by using an engineering solution.”

Mr Curnin added that the club was looking to set up a stakeholders forum to look at the best way forward, which would include interested parties such as the golf clubs, port, Angus Council, erosion experts as well as the general public.

He added: “At present lots of different parties with different agendas are
pulling in different directions which is not helpful and I’m sure with some thoughtful discussions a suitable solution for all parties could be found.”

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