The Old Course in St Andrews has been hosting golfers for over 450 years, but climate change is threatening the future of links courses across Scotland.
A new report from Climate Coalition states rising sea levels, combined with fiercer storms are putting coastline courses in danger across the UK.
“Sea-level rise poses the greatest long-term threat to golf in the UK,” the report reads. “More than one in six of Scotland’s 600 golf courses are located on the coast — including the Old Course at St Andrews.”
However it is not just the Old Course that is at risk.
The report looked at Montrose Golf Links, one of the five oldest golf courses in the world, first hosting play in 1562.
According to the report the North Sea has advanced onto the course 70 meters over the last 30 years.
“As the sea rises and the coast falls away, we’re left with nowhere to go. Climate change is often seen as tomorrow’s problem, but it’s already eating away at our course,” Montrose director Chris Curnin says in the report.
The report says that the golf courses are trying to do their part in combatting the dire forecast.
All 10 Open championship venues have become certified by the Golf Environment Organisation, a body committed to moving golf courses toward sustainability.
The release of this new report came in advance of the announcement that St Andrews will host the 150th Open Championship in 2021.
This will be a record 30th time that the Championship has come to St Andrews, beating the previous record it held.
Most recently the event was staged here in 2015.
Royal and Ancient Golf Club head Martin Slumbers said, “The Open holds a very special place in the hearts of golf and sports fans around the world.”