Some of our most precious golfing treasures are fading away with every passing tide and storm. This special NCG investigation looks at how coastal erosion is changing the links landscape

Golf courses and coastal erosion: Abersoch

“It’s an easy solution,” vents a frustrated Dai Davies, Abersoch’s club manager. “You continue the rock armour to where the beach huts are. We’re talking £250,000 of work, but the club doesn’t have that sort of money in ready capital.”

If the narrow fence – all that’s now separating the beach from the 8th green at Abersoch – wasn’t enough of a clue that parts of this Gwynedd course are in imminent peril then the new contouring on the putting surface has alerted everyone to its fate.

“There’s obviously some movement underneath the sand dunes as well,” Davies adds. “If there was a breach there, and there’s every indication that there might be at some time in the future, how long that’s going to be I’ve got no idea, it wouldn’t just affect the 8th.

“It would come across the 8th, 9th and 10th and effectively up to the 11th and the clubhouse.”

coastal erosion

A number of Abersoch’s holes run right alongside the sand dunes and around three quarters of the golf course is protected by rock armour, sea defences, and a line of beach huts.

But there’s around 150 metres of unprotected sand dune, reckons Davies, and, in the last four years, he estimates those dunes have shrunk by as much as 30 metres.

The club proposed a solution to the problem – build three new beach huts, sell them and use the money to pay for more rock armour to protect the unguarded dune – but say they’ve got nowhere with the authorities.

“It’s probably 50 or 60 metres away now,” adds Davies. “Four years ago we had devastating storms that wiped away a lot of the beach huts and two of those (storms) and there would be a serious breach.

“It’s massively frustrating because we know there is a solution to the problem.”

coastal erosion

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The affect of coastal erosion on golfing communities

Explore more:

Introduction

What is coastal erosion?

How Montrose is falling into the North Sea

Formby’s future-proofing plan for new holes

How Royal North Devon lost 20 metres in three nights

What can be done to tackle coastal erosion?

How Royal Dornoch is fighting coastal erosion

The stark reality of coastal erosion