Club among ‘worst-hit’ by Storm Arwen devastated again

Keith Law John Rankin Forfar

A Scottish golf club which was devastated by Storm Arwen last year has been hit again by the latest round of wild weather. 

Forfar Golf Club lost 700 trees and was left “looking like a battlefield” after high winds ripped across the country at the end of November. 

Last week told how the club, one of the worst hit by Storm Arwen, was getting back on its feet thanks to a £30,000 cleanup mission.

• Scots courses on way back after Storm Arwen

But now it has been struck by another double whammy after storms Malik and Corrie wreaked havoc at the weekend. 

At least another 115 trees have been lost – but club chiefs believe the number could be much higher. 

They fear the total number felled since Storm Arwen could hit the 1,000 mark, and staff and members have been forced to clear debris by hand.

Forfar Storm Arwen

“We have had at least another 115 trees down over the weekend,” head greenkeeper Keith Law, an eight-time club champion, told

“In some parts of the course it’s so bad that we’re thinking we might have to completely clear it.  

Sadly now it feels like we’re back to square one. Some holes have drastically changed or are going to be drastically changed. 

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“There are 115 more trees down which we know about and we have managed to tidy up 10 of them by hand. We might not be able to get help with heavy equipment for two or three weeks and we can’t wait that long so it looks like we will have to keep doing it by hand. 

“We’ve had a lot of help from the members. They’ve been fantastic. We’re getting 20 or 30 guys out every day and they’ve spent the last three weeks picking up pieces of debris from every fairway.

The club has been granted a licence by Scottish Forestry to clear the trees - but regulations mean two will have to be planted for every one lost.

Forfar Keith Law Storm Corrie

The club had been due to reopen on Friday having been closed since the end of November.

However, that has now had to be postponed as the latest round of debris is cleared. 

“We were just about getting the course tidied up, and we were planning on opening on Friday,” Keith added. 

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“Hopefully it’s not going to have too much of an impact on us in terms of visitors. 

"That’s why the members have been doing such a great shift. 

“But if we keep getting winds like we’ve been getting it means we are spending a lot of time doing this and not looking after other parts of the course.”

Additional photography: Gareth Jennings/The Courier

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