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The 15th oldest golf club in the world has set up an emergency fund to ‘protect’ its links course.

Fortrose & Rosemarkie Golf Club, near Inverness, was battered by Storm Ciaran last October, leaving some of the worst damage in the club’s history.

The championship venue lost up to six metres in places, as coastal erosion ripped apart the left hand-side of the opening two holes.

And now, General Manager Mike Macdonald has issued an emergency plea to save the course with ‘vital’ rock armour, as local authorities ‘refuse’ to help.

“The cost for the first and second tee is coming in just over £140,000 and that’s only for 110 metres,” Macdonald told

“The Highland Council were going to stop us putting rock armour in at the first tee unless we put a path in, as crazy as that sounds.

“They’ve only contributed £6,500. That’s a local authority, they haven’t been helpful at all.”

Historic club emergency plea
Fortrose & Rosemarkie Golf Club

It remains playable, but Macdonald has outlined the club’s number one priority, as it begins to lay down 60 metres of rock armour at the first and second tees.

Coastal erosion has wiped out paths around the third and fourth holes, as well as a path to the left of the opening hole.

Despite continued effort to get support, Fortrose has been left to fund the work on the foreshore, which is owned by the Highland Council.

“Their core path, that ran down the first fairway, is gone now,” added Macdonald. “It’s on the beach. It’s frustrating that they can’t contribute to the cause in any positive way at all.

“We’ve tried and tried to get them to contribute but they have said the pathway is not a priority for them.”

Adding to the frustration, Macdonald says the council have been putting rock armour down in Rosemarkie Village, as storms left their mark further down the coast.

“It’s been funded by the Highland Council by the roads department to protect the town and the infrastructure there, but they’re not willing to do anything of note with us at all, they’ve refused.”

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As a result, Fortrose – which opened in 1793 – has set up a GoFundMe page, with a target of £100,000.

Out with Castle Stuart and Nairn Golf Club, it is one of the main links golf courses in the area and currently takes in around a quarter of a million pounds in visitor fees each year.

With around 1,100 members, Macdonald has re-assured the club’s regulars that within three weeks, the club should be fine.

However, he has detailed the importance of protecting the course for future generations, amid the possible threat of more storms.

“We can’t have what’s happened, happen again,” Macdonald said. “This is all about future generations, we need to do as much as we can to protect the golf course.

“The last thing I want to do is re-route the golf course in some respect because that’s going to be an issue.

“It was re-designed by James Braid in 1932, so the current layout is the way he set it out back in the day and that’s close to 100 years ago.

“We want to preserve that for people coming to visit in the future, the membership and members of the public.

“All money received will be ring-fenced for carrying out the necessary works.”

The project, which got underway yesterday, is set to take around three weeks, tying in with the start of Fortrose’s summer season.

Click here, to find the club’s GoFundMe page.

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John Turnbull A graduate of the University of Stirling, John joined the bunkered team in 2023 as a Content Producer, with a responsibility for covering all breaking news, tour news, grassroots content and much more besides. A keen golfer, he plays the majority of his golf at Falkirk Golf Club. Top of his 'bucket list' is a round of Pebble Beach... ideally in the company of Gareth Bale.

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