Historic multi-Clubs playing over traditional linksland with dunes and flat inland holes.
In Montrose on the beach. DD10 8SW.
Claire Penman
01674 672634
Jason Boyd
Green Keeper
Darren McLaughlin
Access Policy:
Visitors welcome
Dog Policy:
Well behaved dogs are welcome
Open Meetings:
Fees in 1960s
Fees today
£100 - 2020


Quick review

We had an enjoyable overnight stay at the Grey Harling hotel overlooking the 18th green of Montrose, before playing the fifth oldest course in the world.

This is a classic links with early holes along the high dunes bounding the wide strand beach and then across dead-flat links land on the inward side. It is exactly the type of heritage ‘running-golf’ course that FineGolf loves.

Nevertheless, recently it has been in the news more because it is under long term threat from erosion, and this has been used in a report by the alarmist Climate Coalition, with quotes from R&A Officials to help its credibility, as an example of ’emergency climate change’, for which the facts need some truthful explanation.

When the high tides and storm-surge from a particular angle coincide, the dunes are being gradually eroded where there is no rock armour on the beach.

Accurately measured sea level rise at North Shields from 1900 to present.

This erosion has little to do with ‘climate change’ and the increase of sea level by 1.9mm per year that has been consistent over the past 130 years. As can be seen on the graph of accurate measurements taken at North Shields, a slight levelling off has occurred since 2000 rather than a sudden seven-fold increase as the climate alarmists would have you believe.

The situation at Montrose has rather more to do with dredging the River S. Esk, in order to allow larger vessels to enter Montrose Harbour, and changing tidal movements.

Attempts are being made to redirect the dumping of the dredging spoil to locations in Montrose Bay that will allow a strengthening of the beach with re-charge without detriment to the Montrose Port Authority. Rock armour is a hard, unsightly solution and has been discussed, but costs approx. £1m per 100 metres for the right type of rock armour boulders (sometimes sourced from Norway). This idea is being resisted from Holyrood, where the influential Greens have a general policy similar to England’s Environment Agency of allowing the sea to take back the land.

Despite this, if the dunes are breached along Montrose Bay it will not only be the two historic golf courses that are flooded, but the majority of low-lying Montrose town itself.

Angus Council is currently working on a scheme to strengthen specific areas of the dunes, which will buy some time before a longer term sustainable solution can be found.

Perhaps it is time for The R&A to coordinate the fight to raise funds in the same way as was done for Royal Portrush in the 1980s when they defended their fifth hole. I am told that Scottish National Heritage ( the equivalent to Natural England who have been actively unhelpful to Royal North Devon and their sea defences, for example) are trying to help, via Dynamic Coast, but perhaps what is needed is a public body with financial clout to redirect flooding funds.

Therefore, in summary, please do go and play The 1562 Course at Montrose; it’s not all about erosion!’

Quick report from Lorne Smith 2020.

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