THE famous Old Course Hotel in St Andrews is to have a new golf-ball-proof roof fitted to stop stray shots damaging it.

Bosses at the hotel have called in experts after they were spending more than £1,500 each week replacing slates damaged by errant balls.

Every year, golfers who go to play the world-famous course fire shots that miss the fairway on the 17th hole, known as the “Road Hole”, and strike the roof of the popular hotel.

The five-star resort has now hired Canadian company Euroshield Roofing to fit a new rubber roof to the top of the building.

Work will begin next month on replacing the 7,000-square metre 28-year-old roof and is expected to be completed by the start of the golf season in April.

Euroshield owner Henry Kamphuis said: “I was stunned when we got the call because it was St Andrews. I was up on the hotel and the gutters are just full of golf balls. It’s very easy to hit the hotel. It’s right in the middle of the fairway.”

Work starts on January 9 and netting will be put up to protect the roofers.