Spectacular coastal erosion threatens the green at this Dorset course
Meet the ‘Rider Cup’ team, see a course collapsing into the sea and meet a man who needs no balls.
The par-4 15th at Bridport & West Dorset Golf Club is simply stunning, perched on dramatic 150ft-high cliffs overlooking the channel. But the hole got a bit trickier when a massive landslide saw a huge chunk fall onto the beach below.
Around 2,000 tonnes of rock, which formed part of Britain’s Jurassic Coast in West Bay, Dorset, collapsed from the top of the cliffs made famous by TV series Broadchurch, leaving a 50ft pile of rubble to clean up. Yet despite warnings from the UK Coastguard to stay away, it’s been business as usual for staff and golfers at the 18-hole course.
“We never felt like there was a need to close the course because there has been virtually no impact on play,” says Colin Hore, director of estates at Bridport & West Dorset Golf Club. “The edge of the cliff is approximately 10 yards from the edge of the putting green now, whereas before the fall it would have been maybe 12 yards at the closest point.
“The adjacent footpath was closed immediately by the police and coastguard, and drop zones are now in place for golfers who would otherwise have to play from this area. What happens next will depend on a safety assessment by the local authority. We have had a preliminary meeting but can do no more until this process is complete.”