From Agnes in September to Kathleen in the opening week of April, it's been a hyperactive spell as 2023-24 tied the record for the most named storms in the UK.

Scotland's golfers have been all too aware of this as the country's greenkeepers have struggled to keep up with the impact of excessive wind and rain. In the most extreme instances, courses are disappearing into the sea.

Links courses on the east coast have been particularly affected, with dozens said to be suffering or at risk. Among those under threat is Montrose, which has reportedly lost seven metres of the dunes upon which it sits in the last year alone.

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St Andrews has similarly taken its share of battering which is why the charitable trust in charge of the world-famous Old Course is using its return to profitability to focus on restoration work.

“We have a quite well thought-out winter works programme here where during that period of time we will try to do quite a few projects across the courses – various little maintenance projects that it’s hard to get through during the summer," says Neil Coulson, chief executive of St Andrews Links Trust.

"But certainly the weather this winter meant that we barely did half of the things that were actually planned, so that needs to roll over.”

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Releasing its annual report earlier today, the trust revealed a record-breaking year on multiple fronts with more than 283,000 rounds played across the seven courses that it oversees during 2023. This translated into operating revenues hitting an all-time high of £44 million and a jump in operating profit to £11.5m from £3.7m previously. 

Mr Coulson says the trust is now "more aspirational" as it emerges from the financial shadow of Covid, which includes dunes maintenance and restoration work to protect the links for future generations.

“We are custodians of this site on behalf of others, so a big piece of it is sustainability and coastal protection as well," he said. "You will have seen the damage that was done through the winter with those storms that was all up the coast here, and we certainly bore a bit of a brunt there on our West Sands.”