Wednesday, 25 November 2015


  Two Short Eared Owls were seen on the golf courses today. They seemed to spend most of the afternoon hunting along the 2nd, 3rd and 4th on the Medal course, together with the area around the burn on the Broomfield course. Although there have been a few sightings over the last week or so its the first time that I have seen Short Eared Owls for a number of years.

 The Short Eared Owl is one of the few species of Owl that can commonly be seen flying during daylight hours.
  I managed to get a few photos of one of the owls when it landed close to the 4th Medal hole. It is quite a large bird, only slightly smaller than a Common Buzzard.

 In Scotland, numbers are not high with the majority breeding on higher ground and moorland although lowland rough grassland and coastal dunes are also used. 
 In winter the upland birds often leave and move to the east coast dunes and grasslands, with some of these coastal birds also originating in Scandinavia.
  If you are out on the links over the next few days keep a look out for these great looking birds as there is no guarantee that they will stay in the area for long.

Les Rae,
First Assistant,
Montrose Golf Links Limited.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015


Anyone who has played the Broomfield course or passed along Traill Drive this week may have noticed the work that is in progress on the 18th hole. For those not aware of what was planned, we have started to realign the 18th Broomfield hole. The changes were necessary due to problems regarding stray golf balls damaging an adjoining property and house holder's vehicles. This in turn meant that Montrose Golf Links have faced a number insurance claims against the damages.

The 18th Hole prior to work being carried out.

Plans were drawn up by our course architect to try and minimize the danger whilst at the same time improving the overall look of the hole.

Turf removed from the main work area.

 The work will be carried out as quickly as possible to try to keep disruption to a minimum.
  Once all the work has been completed I will post a full report on the project from start to finish.

Les Rae,
First Assistant,
Montrose Golf Links Limited.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015


At this time of the year many types of fungi can be seen on the links. There are good numbers on all areas of the golf courses.  They come in all shapes, sizes and colours and should be on show until the first real frosts of the winter arrive. A selection that I have recently photographed around the two courses can be seen below.

Fly Agaric
The Fly Agaric is one of the most distinctive of all the mushrooms, with its red cap and white spots. It is quite toxic and also a hallucinogenic. This one, which was part of a small group, was photographed under the pine trees beside the 12th Broomfield hole.

The Parasol mushroom can grow to quite a large size, about the size of a dinner plate. Quite a few have been seen this year, especially around the 7th and 8th on the Medal course.

Slippery Jack
 Given its name due to the slimy nature of its cap, the Slippery Jack is normally found under pine trees. The group above were seen close to the greenkeepers sheds.

Puff Ball
Another distinctive mushroom is the Puff Ball, with large numbers found on the links this year.  The white flesh which is edible when young, changes to black as the spores mature. These spores are released into the air where they are carried in the wind. This young one was seen growing to the right of the 2nd Medal fairway. 

Golden Waxcap

Blackening Waxcap

Snowy Waxcap
  There are over 40 varieties of Waxcaps found in Britain and come in all shapes, sizes and colours. Waxcaps prefer short grass and are intolerant of chemicals. Their presence indicates high quality unimproved grassland.

There are many more types of fungi to be seen, so if you are on the golf courses, keep a look out as you will never be far from one species or another.

Les Rae,
first Assistant,
Montrose Golf Links Limited.