Golspie Golf Club tees up restoration works after major storm damage

By Alistair November 5, 2023 08:26

A Scottish golf course that was famously hit by storm damage in 2012 and 2014, has been hit again, and is currently carrying out a clean-up operation.

Golspie Golf Club faced the full brunt of high tides and strong winds in late October; the third time this has happened following major storm damage in 2012 and 2014.

With coastal rock armour damaged – heightening the risk of erosion, flooding of large areas, and debris littering the course, the club was forced to temporarily close its doors.

But thanks to the hard work of volunteers from across the village and support from neighbouring courses, work is already underway to restore the course for play – showcasing the strength of the golfing community in the Scottish Highlands.

William MacBeath, captain of Golspie Golf Club, said: “Just when we thought we had finally got over the big storm in 2012, this one arrived – although thankfully this time there was less damage. I wish to thank all those volunteers who have come to help clear up the mess, and I look forward to working with the Highland Council on repairing the rock armour defences.

“The club has faced and overcome challenges in the past, and I’m sure it will soon recover from this one.”

Following a call for help on social media, the club was inundated with volunteers willing to help begin repairs – a huge boost for greenkeepers and the club, which is itself run by volunteers. Neighbouring courses also committed staff to help with efforts to shift debris in a show of solidarity.

Head greenkeeper Muir Ross added: “It’s quite a blow to experience the impact of the sea and its effects on the course. However, there is limited damage to the playing area and we hope to get it back into use before long. I’m very grateful to colleagues from neighbouring clubs for their help in getting the place tidied up.”

Following the clearance of debris, Golspie Golf Club will work with the Highland Council to assess, repair and reinforce the rock armour defences that line the shore, protecting the club – and neighbouring caravan park and go-kart track – from the North Sea.

Golspie Golf Club was founded in 1889 in the shadow of the imposing Ben Bhraggie. Within a few short years it was hailed as one of Scotland’s golfing highlights – a reputation it continues to enjoy to this day, thanks in part due to improvements made by acclaimed course architect James Braid in the mid 1920s.

The club is no stranger to dealing with the effects of bad weather, shifting over 3,500 tonnes of debris from the course after a major storm in late 2012. Then, the course was rendered totally unplayable with some holes impossible to find – with floodwater stretching at least 150 yards inland. Thanks to the help of greenkeepers, local clubs and over 100 volunteers, the club was reopened within a matter of months.

Now Golspie welcomes thousands of members and visitors from across the globe every year, to enjoy its unique blend of links and heathland holes and the warm welcome the village is famous for. In 2021, the club hired its first pro – Jordan Ferrie – in 50 years, highlighting how its reputation has continued to grow.


By Alistair November 5, 2023 08:26

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