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Experts prevent a hole in one - and erosion in two others

H R Wallingford Press Release, 23 February 1999

Coastal experts have helped the construction of the prestigious new Kingsbarns Golf Links at Kingsbarns in Fife. The championship standard course - located near to the famous St. Andrews courses - is currently nearing completion following development by the California based company, Granite Bay Scotland Inc. Six of the holes will be sited along the shore, presenting golfers with dramatic views and challenging approach shots. Unfortunately it also presents the developers with the problem of coastal erosion.

Experts from HR Wallingford were called in to assess the problem, which local civil engineers were predicting would cost nearly £250,000 to solve. HR Wallingford is a world leader in coastal defence strategy planning, and in other issues related to the management of rivers, estuaries and coastlines. Apart from its work for government agencies, local authorities, port authorities and civil engineers, the company has had long experience in advising on hydraulic issues relating to recreational development along the coast.

Oceanographer Tom Coates of HR Wallingford conducted a site survey and carried out desk studies to assess the risks of coastal erosion for the Kingsbarns course. His finding was that the erosion could be managed at considerably less cost than that proposed by local engineers. Not surprisingly, Granite Bay took the advice of the experts and chose the best value option.

One of the difficulties in managing coastal erosion for courses on the coast is that they are often surrounded by environmentally sensitive areas. This means that special care needs to be taken in designing coastal defences to avoid disturbing or damaging local habitats. The Kingsbarns Golf Links is in just such an area, being bordered by a site of special scientific interest.

Thanks to the work of HR Wallingford, the coastline greens should be safe from erosion for many years to come. So when the golfers at Kingsbarns drive off the tee, there should only be one hole to aim for.

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