First tee

Spec­tac­u­lar coastal ero­sion threat­ens the green at this Dorset course

Today's Golfer (UK) - - Contents -

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.”

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