Scotland's disappearing dunes?

On a recent thread, the discussion centered around which golf course had the best dunes.
It got me to thinking about the great links I’ve seen (Cruden Bay, Old Course, Dornoch, Turnberry, Muirfield) and also to the plight of Scotland’s dunes. Clearly some will disappear as coastal erosion creeps nearer.
Which is exactly the case with Royal Montrose, a terrific links I played in April, 2004, alongside golf architect Robin Hiseman, who is a member at the course.
The first hole heads straight up hill towards the dunes. This photo will give you a sense of the main dune, which separates the course from the beach.

The issue is that the east side of the dune is disappearing. The course had several tees fashioned on the beach side of the dune that are simply disintegrating. That’s caused several tee shots to be moved inwards, altering some of the character of the golf course.

You can see that in the photo in the next entry….

Only time will tell how much of an impact this erosion will have on some links. Cruden Bay seems pretty safe, and others, like Muirfield, are actually well removed from the sea. But course like North Berwick, Crail and Dornoch could be in for some changes.

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Jeff Lancaster

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