Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Could St. Andrews Be History in 2050?

For golf enthusiasts, here is some depressing news -- the Old Course at St. Andrews, the most famous golf course in the world, could be history by 2050.

According to Professor Jan Bebbington, the director of the St Andrews Sustainability Institute, climate changes could cause the Old Course to be sucked in by the sea. Wow, that sure puts that Coldplay song into a whole different perspective.

She said the old course, which is right on the sea, could be destroyed by strong storm surges caused by climate change unless protection is put in place.

"There is a lot of coastal erosion going on already because of stronger storms," she said. "I wanted to use something iconic to demonstrate what we stand to lose."

Talk about a loss. Not only is it the most famous golf course, but host to the Royal and Ancient Clubhouse along with some other incredible courses in the area. The Jubilee and New Course at St. Andrews actually sit closer to the ocean, so a storm would surely wipe those out if it took out the Old. Also, you're talking about the new Castle Course up the coast along with Kingsbarns, the Pebble Beach of Scotland.

Bebbington didn't just stop there with the bad news. She continues to bark about all the horrible things that might happen over the next 40 years. I'm a little scared, not going to lie.

rof Bebbington said even if Scotland manages to cut carbon emissions by 80 per cent, as proposed in new legislation, the country will have to prepare for climate change - unless the rest of the world also manges to reduce greenhouse gases significantly.

She said Scotland will have to prepare for more severe winter storms, flooding and rising sea levels by co-ordinating a "managed retreat from vulnerable coastal locations".

Yep, global warming and such is a lot closer than we probably once realized and when you hear things like this it hits home. It especially hits home with me because I was lucky enough to work at the Old Course and lived in the town for a summer. The place is Fifth Avenue for golfers, full of courses and bars and golf gear and all of it. If we lost a place like that, golf would never be the same.


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