Celebrations to mark the 450th anniversary of a famous Scottish Links course were threatened after illegal travellers made camp next to the golf course this week.
Montrose Golf Club in Angus, North East Scotland, is the world’s fifth oldest golf club and dates back to 1562.
Six caravans appeared on the boundaries of the golf course on Thursday, just one day before Scottish Women’s golf star Catriona Matthew was due to visit to launch a new hole marking the anniversary.
Angus Council, in the North East of Scotland, ordered the travellers to leave the site within 48 hours and issued an eviction notice.
Matthew visited the course today Friday April 13th, to hit the first tee-shot on its newly extended 450-yard 11th hole and host a series of golf clinics.
The 11th hole was extended to 450 yards as a marker of the club’s historic anniversary.
Club officials contacted authorities because they felt the presence of travellers would spoil the celebrations.
Montrose Links secretary Claire Penman said: “Our first port of call was to phone the police and Angus Council.
“We get travellers arriving at the course two or three times a year and it always seems to be when we have events on.
They are 300 yards away but for anyone using the car park I can understand it probably isn’t the best impression to give.”
The travellers, who hail from South-West England said they are doing no harm and are “quiet people.”
Travellers frequently pass through the Angus town, and previous proposals have been put forward by council officials to build a permanent site on the edge of Montrose for travelers to use when they pass through.
Charming coastal town
Montrose is a charming coastal town beyond Arbroath on the rail route North.
The golf club has two courses, the championship Medal course and the shorter Broomfield Links.
Members of three clubs, Caledonia, Merchantile and Royal, play on the links and the course dates back to 1562.
A series of events are being held throughout the year to mark this historic anniversary including Open Tournaments, weekend long celebrations, Junior Championships, an Open Week, Pro and Tri-am tournaments.
For more about Montrose’s 450th anniversary, click here
Read Global Golfer’s reviews of Montrose Links and the courses in Scotland’s Angus County here