Coastal Erosion and Flooding on Golf Links


The objective of this survey was to assess the extent to which coastal erosion and flooding are issues for links golf courses in Ireland. Global warming is already resulting in acceleration of sea level rise and increased storm surges which have serious implications for the sand dunes on which links courses are located.

This survey has produced the first comprehensive information on coastal erosion and flooding problems on golf links in Ireland. It demonstrates clearly that there is a significant problem with coastal erosion and that the most common method of addressing this has been the use of traditional hard engineering structures. Few golf clubs appear at present to be considering alternative, soft engineering techniques for addressing the coastal erosion problem. Managed realignment, by modifying the layout of the links course, is not considered necessary by most clubs affected by coastal erosion. Flooding is only a problem for a minority of golf links and only a few clubs have taken some remedial action to address this.

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