Golspie Golf Club faced the full brunt of high tides and strong winds this weekend, 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:
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:
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.
One reviewer on top100golfcourses.com said: